Does Malcolm Gladwell want rural Indian women to buy Chevys? A few reflections on DevEx World

In 2014 I shared some reflections on DevEx’s career forum ( The future of expats in a globalized development industry ). This week I followed DevEx World social media coverage and Michael Igoe ’s summary really sparked my urge to share a few reflections. The positive potential of the private sector, the power of innovative, data-driven initiatives as well as a discursive change in moving from ‘beneficiaries’ to ‘consumers’ featured quite heavily. Given DevEx’s focus on the aid industry, a range of sponsors, including Cargill, Pfizer, Chemonics and the Exxon Mobil Foundation, that may deserve more critical discussion and its embeddedness in the DC political development circles this may not be entirely surprising. Healthy, empowered consumers through data science innovations It does not take long before ‘behavioral psychologists, data scientists, and machine learning experts’ appear in Igoe’s summary post. I found it quite fascinating that of all automotive metaphors Malcolm Gladw

Links & Contents I Liked 285

Hi all, We are in the process of examining 20+ MA projects at the moment-so without much of an introduction enjoy this week's link review from sunny Sweden! Development news: Was the answer to #OxfamScandal out of proportion? Worsening situation in Central African Republic; do the SDGs undermine democracy? Poverty porn-Ellen DeGeneres edition; ICT4D bullshit Bingo-Accenture edition; learning from slum dwellers in Ghana; ultra-rich kids in Nigeria; Uganda through the lens of a young photographer ; failed missionaries; new books. Our digital lives: YouTube producers burning out; healthy travel should be an employer's concern, too. Enjoy! New from aidnography A Destiny in the Making (book review) I really enjoyed reading Mohr’s memoir precisely because of his insights into regular UNICEF work that keeps the organization going. Partly because of his extensive diary keeping he manages to go back to small details and daily routines within the bigger picture of UNICEF under J

A Destiny in the Making (book review)

Even if you are only a semi-regular visitor or reader of Aidnography you have probably noticed at some point that reading and reviewing aid worker memoirs or biographies is one of my pet projects. One of my small luxuries of being a full-time employee at a Swedish university is that I have time and space to follow this fairly impact-free small research project. Writing about careers inside the UN system is a particularly fruitful sub-genre. Boudewijn Mohr’s A Destiny in the making: From Wall Street to UNICEF in Africa features some of the core ingredients of a good memoir as a mid-level manager reflects on almost three decades of UNICEF work starting in 1985. Mohr’s unique contribution to the genre lies in the fact that he was neither a senior executive of the organization nor did he work in particularly dangerous environments-being the country representative for Sao Tome & Principe has never been exactly a hardship post. But Mohr’s reflections, as mundane as they sometimes mu

Links & Contents I Liked 284

Hi all, This week's review has a strong humanitarian focus and lots of great people & initiatives are sharing new work! But there are also donkeys, fancy data visualizations & snarky tweets! Development news: UNHRC corruption in Sudan; Burundi not happy about donkeys; inside the Central African Republic; ODI, CGD, HHI on the future of the humanitarian enterprise; inside Save The Children UK; rescuing 'safeguarding' from becoming a buzzword; a mass facial recognition project for Zimbabwe; randomistas to the rescue! How to conference better. Our digital lives: Taking down philanthrocapitalists & neoliberal feminism; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fame. Academia: Medical education under fire; social media & harassment & more! Enjoy! Development news Since the publication of my investigation into corruption in UNHCR Sudan on May 15, I've been contacted by numerous other refugees, as well as current & former UN staff, all backing it up. Really h

Links & Contents I Liked 283

Hi all, Another great, sunny Friday! So keep the readings for the weekend and enjoy the start of your weekend outside :) ! Development news: Gender Equality Top 100; Opioid crisis in Nigeria; Addis' light rail project; the conflict in Yemen explained through humanitarian logistics; Syrian refugees in Jordan; Red Nose Day & shallow consumerism; how not to photograph Nigerian women; a female WOC encounters an 'important' white man; U.S. environmental organizations are very white; the challenges of localization for human rights NGOs Our digital lives: Sexpat journalists in Asia; Google & the military-industrial complex; the missing workplace data discussion; the oxygen of amplification; new Barbara Ehrenreich book. Publications: The false equivalent of academic freedom & free speech; how digital interventions influence girls' offline interactions. Academia: MOOCs have failed-at least in India; the Pamir region & the anthropology of Muslim humanitarianis