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My development blogging review 2014

Dear all,

I publish my fourth annual personal development blogging review (the ones from 2011, 2012 & 2013 are still available) at the end of my first full year as Senior Lecturer in Communication for Development at Malmö University-and to start with a pre- rather than a review: You can still apply to our 2-year part-time blended learning MA until 15 January 2015!

Aidnography as a small, permanent writing retreat
Amidst traveling to and on three different continents with our Glocal Classroom, laying the foundations for exciting collaborations with UNICEF's C4D teams, new research, new courses and continuing engaging with a fantastic group of colleagues and students, my blog has become something of a small permanent writing retreat for me; in an environment that is often influenced by Swedish Higher Education rules and regulations, formalities of research applications and requirements from the academic publication process the blog continues to be a space for shorter, less formali…

Links & Contents I Liked 133

Hi all,

The last link review of the year-and it is basically list, listicle and 'best of' free! There will be my own end-of-year reflection tomorrow to wrap up aidnography before the holidays, but let's focus on some critical readings and new publications:

Good intentions to do automatically eradicate poverty as miners in DRC and inhabitants of a waste site in Thailand experience in contacts with Western aid; Ed Carr on the emerging 'co-production' discourse; J. on UNICEF's controversial 'fake campaign' at a games convention; Alex De Waal on the perpetuating rituals of 'peace talks' in Darfur; the end of Invisible Children; the rise and rise of humanitarian technologies (and the absence of tough discussions around their pitfalls); a World Development Report that includes blind spots, group think and the fallacy of development professionals; a new important report on the damages of orphanage tourism in Nepal; behind the scenes of the TED conference…

Chasing Chaos: My decade in and out of humanitarian aid (book review)

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Reviewing books about aid work and particularly those written by aid workers is one of my ongoing projects where my academic interest in ‘popular representations of development’ merges with aspects of following an emerging genre of literature.

At the same time, I think that writing about the communication aspects around aid worker biographies and accounts from inside ‘the industry’ are important aspects of how ‘development’ emerges in written forms in the 21st century.

Based on my previous book reviews, one key challenge is to give each book its unique space rather than starting comparing right away even if a self-description as
Dressing in my baggy, worn-out khakis and long-sleeved shirt, I didn’t need a mirror to see how awful I looked (p.3)
of a female aid worker is not perhaps the most novel approach to convey the message that you have been exposed to ‘the field’.
To be honest, it took me a few pages to warm to Jessica Alexander’s Chasing Chaos and her writing and I was a bit conc…

Links & Contents I Liked 132

Hi all,

I was busy last week following the Save The Children-Tony Blair PR disaster (and I also have a fantastic day job that involves marking, teaching & researching ;)) and some great links have accumulated in the meantime: A great overview over another #globaldev controversy, BandAid30; measuring & ranking global slavery; 'Faking it' in charity communication; World Bank, water & wasted money; Firestone in Liberia; the industry in aid industry; against ‘agency’; UNICEF’s Ebola ICT; new publications on public broadcasting, big data ethics & transmedia activism; Out digital lives features thoughts on social impact; Silicon Valley’s liquid amorality; in Academia we look at the every-lengthening research chain & the 10 most popular Political Science articles per decade (for the geeks ;)…

Enjoy!

New from aidnography
Why Save The Children’s Global Legacy Award to Tony Blair matters for C4D
Learning organization #fail: Save The Children’s PR to defend Blair is almos…

Learning organization #fail: Save The Children’s PR to defend Blair is almost worse than award itself

Since I wrote my initial post on the Save The Children award for Tony Blair on Sunday, the story has gained some considerable momentum; it has been widely shared and discussed in my social networks-so I probably underestimated how interested many people are in this story and how disappointed they feel with an award for Tony Blair.

So how does Save The Children respond? With, excuse my language, a variety of PR farts, e.g. quoted in the Guardian: The first question was: “Why would Save the Children chose (sic) to provide one of its most prestigious award – ‘a global legacy award’ to a man accused of being a war criminal?”
In response, Eileen Burke, STC’s director of media and communications in the US, circulated “a line” explaining Blair was selected for the award for debt relief work and the Make Poverty History campaign.
“Otherwise we are not in a position to respond to some of the geopolitical questions below,” she wrote in a separate email. A development INGO (which stands for inte…

Why Save The Children’s Global Legacy Award to Tony Blair matters for C4D

Addendum 26 November: As the story unfolds, a new post:
Learning organization #fail: Save The Children’s PR to defend Blair is almost worse than award itself


I only read about Save the Children’s (STC) Global Legacy award to Tony Blair today and was surprised that it has not made bigger waves in the virtual development discussion spaces:
The controversial former Prime Minster received the Global Legacy Award at the Save the Children Illumination Gala 2014, which was held at The Plaza in New York City.
The star-studded event boasted a guest list featuring Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles, acting couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner and Twilight actress Dakota Fanning – as well as the much-loved collie dog.
(…)
A spokesman said Blair had been chosen for the award on account of his work while serving as Prime Minster, including setting up the Department for International Development and hosting two G8 summits. You surely need a bit of selective memory to just highlight …