Would you consider writing your reports backwards?

In the scope of the contemporary planetary crisis this post probably qualifies as less urgent and a little bit rant-y, but today I ’ d like to talk about reports, as in: Digital publications, usually pdf documents, that many large #globaldev organizations publish as a staple product for communication, engagement and reminding people that they still exist... tl;dr I read a lot of stuff on the Internet. I also skim-read a lot. I open a lot of pdf files, too. Please re-consider your organizational practice to have a report starting between page 10 to 15. Tell me as early as possible why I should engage with your report, why I should invest precious time to read it, perhaps even share it in my weekly #globaldev link review… I have mentioned it more than once in my curated #globaldev links that most organizational landing pages/repositories/libraries particularly of international organizations have room for improvement. I don’t really want to shame a particular organization, but many look s

Links & Contents I Liked 364

Hi all, Happy Friday & a joyful weekend! We have COVID-19 & #globaldev insights from Canada, Yemen, Australia, the military-industrial complex and Western anthropologists 'stuck' in Africa...and there's much more from Lebanon, Greece, Romania, Afghanistan, Tibet & Libya. Plus, how white people took over philanthropy & a great new Nyerere biography! Enjoy! My quotes of the week Our detached and benevolent claim to ethnographic participant observation, always from a position of privilege and relative security, is put into question at precisely the moment when true participation finally becomes inevitable. Now it is us who “are participated” (as the old aid-worker joke went) by the pervasive virus that is in every touch—maybe in our body, maybe in that of the other. It challenges differentiation, threatening pathogenic communion. And the escape route that we had been able to count on for six decades of post-colonial anthropology is finally being

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Hi all, It has been a while since I published my last book review -so I'm glad that a new one for Keenie Meenie is up now! The Covid-19 section features some interesting pieces on how the virus is affecting platform workers in the South & there are plenty of other interesting readings on Dutch reparations, fundraising communication, safeguarding in #globaldev research & more! Enjoy! My quotes of the week “We are now down to zero income, zero savings, and have zero insurance. We’ve managed to get through the last two weeks using donations from friends.” (How are platform workers in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria responding to the Covid-19 crisis?) As the research shows, contributors want their voices heard and to have a greater say in the stories that are told about them. So to continue showing need without changing the process by which we gather stories, or without investing in other, broader depictions, would be to undermine the research findings entirely. (You’ve been refr

Keenie Meenie (book review)

Like most of my readers I have had a hard time these past few weeks to stay focused enough to read longer texts so it took a bit longer to read Phil Miller’s excellent Keenie Meenie-The British Mercenaries Who Got Away with War Crimes . But Miller’s meticulously researched and sourced book about a relatively small British private security company that was active in some of the usual and less usual hot spots in the 1970s and 1980s is an important exploration into the capillary system of power, British foreign policy and ultimately into unpacking how the company’s mercenaries got involved in war crimes in Sri Lanka at the end of the 1980s. Keenie Meenie Services (KMS) with its unclear origins of the name, staffed with predominantly former British SAS elite soldiers and excellent contacts within the establishments at home and abroad was a different outfit than today’s global private military security companies. But it was the right set-up for the ‘old boy network’ days of foreign pol

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Hi all,  I hope everybody is still OK. I think this week's review is nicely balanced between watching Netflix ' 'Sergio', food for thought on a (post-) Coronavirus world, growing up in Dadaab, social movements in Hong Kong & anthropological research on the ICRC. Enjoy!   My quotes of the week We had fun like kids anywhere do. Celebrities visited Dadaab, although we only heard about it on the radio. We felt the pity visitors felt for us, and hated it. To the world, Dadaab was a garden where people, mostly white, came to plant trees and watch crowds of us squash each other in line for porridge. My father was the muezzin at the mosque, and every morning I woke up to his call to prayer. My mother promised she would kill me with her own two hands if my photo ever appeared on the pamphlets passed around the refugee camp to remind us of our own destitution. (Chasing the Mirage, from Nairobi to New York City) We are making a mistake by continuing to explore war in terms