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Showing posts from February, 2012

Reflections on War Child's 'The Future of Aid: Our Shared Responsibility' panel

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War Child Canada organised an interesting panel on The Future of Aid: Our shared responsibility a few days ago featuring Samantha Nutt, Founder of War Child Canada, Ian Smillie, Chair of the Diamond Development Initiative, Sylvester Bayowo of Engineers Without Borders Canada, Sasha Lezhnev, Policy Consultant, Enough Project and Co-Founder of the Grassroots Reconciliation Group and Vijayendra [Biju] Rao, Lead Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank. 
I watched the full 67 minute YouTube video and since I have not found much writing on the discussion would like to share some highlights mixed-in with my own comments. 


First of all, it was an interesting discussion about the current state of international development and current issues, but disappointingly little was actually said about the future. It is still a worthwhile hour to learn about development topics, but nothing really new or ground-breaking was discussed. 

How much does the public really know and care about…

Links & Content I liked 14

Hello all,

It's a bit unusal to start off the week with a fresh round of links and comments, but I have come across quite a few interesting items which I'd like to share while they are still 'fresh'...

Development

UN slams Canada for First Nations treatment
"I am struck that despite being sixth in terms of development of the countries of the world, the indigenous peoples (in Canada) are in 66th place." Fellow panellist Anwar Kemal, a former Pakistani diplomat who served in Ottawa in the 1980s, noted the "alarming statistics" that show aboriginal people significantly overrepresented in the country's prison system. He also took issue with restrictions on the amount of federal money going to First Nations programming. "It has been noted that growth in funding for aboriginal programs has been limited to two per cent while the population is growing much faster than that," Kemal said. "There is discrimination against indigenous peoples tha…

Links & Content I liked 13

Hello all,

I guess the tagline for this week's post could be 'pictures say more than a thousand words' and very often in the development context this is not a good thing...so quite a few links will lead you to stories where the picture says indeed more than a thousand words of warning and education.

Still, enjoy the links!
New on aidnography

A picture says more than...what development in Nepal looks like

I love the fact that it offers me fascinating anthropological encounters of the visual kind or, in short, with moments of clarity that are difficult to express with words alone. Last year I had a great 'what the UN looks like' moment and this week it's a picture from Gulariya, a few miles away from Nepalganj one of the hubs in central Nepal.

Development
Footwear collection to makes its way abroad
To be clear, Warkentin’s collection of 40,000 sets of shoes does not belong to him; he has been collecting them for two years and will send them to Haiti and Africa.
“When …

A picture says more than...what development in Nepal looks like

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I love my facebook newsfeed. I love the fact that it offers me fascinating anthropological encounters of the visual kind or, in short, with moments of clarity that are difficult to express with words alone.
Last year I had a great'what the UN looks like' moment and this week it's a picture from Gulariya, a few miles away from Nepalganj one of the hubs in central Nepal.

The picture was taken at a workshop on 'Enhancing Access to Aid Information in Rural Nepal' organised by the Alliance for Aid Monitor Nepal, an organisation that works on aid transparency and foreign aid debates in Nepal. There are quite a few things about this picture that make me hopeful: The equal number of women and men participating in the workshop and one of the women standing up during the dicussion to make a contribution. The fact that aid transparency and access to aid information is discussed in rural Nepal. The use of technology and the power of 'the laptop' in facilitating change w…

Links & Content I liked 12

Hello all,
Before I'll continue with my brief weekly link and content review I have to say that one of the items that showed up in my facebook newsfeed the most this week were variations of the picture-meme on 'what parents/friends think I do and what I really do'. As a friend remarked: 'All the final pictures are in front of a computer-it's a bit sad really, isn't it?' Rest assured most of the memes got it wrong! Whether you work in development or happen to be an anthropologist wild (expat) parties, meetings and workshops in fancy hotels/resorts & hanging out in aiports (or, for global civil civil servants in aiport lounges) is what's really awaiting you! Nobody wants to waste you talent and dedication in front of a laptop! There are always rides in (white) 4WD vehicles as a final get-away from the office-but that mostly applies to humanitarian people, you know, the ones who do the 'real-real' work ;)!

Enjoy the links!
New on aidnography
New pu…

New publication I like: Lies, White Lies, and Accounting Practices-Why nonprofit overheads don’t mean what you think they mean

Chris Blattman’s recent post on Who is to blame forexcessive administration costs in humanitarian aid? or Bottom Up Thinking’s latest post on Accountability and Overheads or just two examples of how alive the debate on organisational overheads is.
However, as valuable as the anecdotes, examples and comments are they are often written by insiders for the insider’s (blogging) community. The main reason why I enjoyed Saundra Schimmelpfennig’s new e-publication on the subject so much is that it is an accessible, practical and relevant publication that can be read by the whole family. Given the growing size of the philanthropic sector, the fact that many donors to charities are not development- or non-profit-experts and the complexity of the subject Saundra’s publication really speaks to the ‘99%’ of non-experts: If you are like 80% of Americans, the number one thing you look at before giving to a nonprofit is the percent they spend on “overhead” which are administration costs such as salar…

Links & Content I liked 11

Hello all,
After last week's round-up of interesting links focussed more on development, this week's list contains a few more anthropology- and research-related items.
Enjoy!
New on aidnography
Book Review: Democracy under stress-The global crisis and beyond In the end, the questions outlined in the official summary are not sufficiently addressed. But what sounds primarily as a shortcoming of the book is actually more a shortcoming of the authors and their disciplinary rituals. They neither add any self-reflective insights into their profession, their theories and the shortcomings of keeping up with real-life developments nor do they provide bold, critical comments on the origins of the crisis and how democratic institutions and systems have been hallowed out to a box-ticking exercise of theoretical phrases such as ‘free and fair elections’. Almost all of the contributors stick to their ‘theoretical guns’, models that have been discussed for 15, 20 or more years – 15 or 20 years in…