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Showing posts from November, 2014

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 …

Links & Contents I Liked 131

Hi all,

It's the busy marking season, plus I pulled many muscles from eyeball-rolling and hand-wringing over Ebola-Christmas-Song-gate, but finally there is a new, substantial link-review for our enjoyment ;)!

In tech/development/comms news we look at dumping smartphones in Liberia, contraband-smuggling in Colombia, depoliticised state capacity building, a new blog with critical 'white saviour' reflections, the power of Infographics, Buzzfeed vs. WHO tweet-off, Ebola & C4D and a ritualized UN data report summary. Digital lives features a great long-read on Anonymous's nerd activism. Academia & anthropology approaches important questions such as: Why is research hidden behind paywalls? Why is anthropology faculty mostly white? Why should you live tweet from academic conferences and why should you do a PhD?

Enjoy!

New from aidnography
Celebrities – the trolls of (virtual) global development?
But then I heard a distant knock on the my development blogging door and as a…

Celebrities – the trolls of (virtual) global development?

Brendan Rigby's post on his facebook probably captures a sentiment that many of us share: Duncan Green of From Poverty to Power (...) says that this Geldof-led band reformation feels like a mistake/step backwards. I agree. Surely, we've come further than this in 30 years in representation, knowledge and public campaigning? Why is Africa and African countries still the stage for the egos and guilt of others?
My initial response was short and simple: I'm going to sit this one out. The default rituals of celebrity involvement are getting too tiresome for me. People like Geldof don't really want to listen, learn and change and are wasting my time... But then I heard a distant knock on the my development blogging door and as an inner voice urged me to keep that door shut. I opened it nonetheless and let them in: The celebrity development trolls who usually operate on a strange reverse-hibernating system and wake up as important festivities in the Northern part of the planet…

Links & Contents I Liked 130

Hello all,

Let's just jump right into another comprehensive review! We have new stuff from Aidnography-and a new section that digs into the blog's archive.UN South Sudan whistle blowing, international adoptions, a code of conduct for using photos, the problem with 'evidence' and 'founderitis'; new reports from UNV on global volunteering and from IRIS on localising humanitarianism; tons of digital issues: PopTech, cyber cartels, your dads tech & the challenges of big data and transparency for school quality rating websites; last not least, a look into the value of research methods when discussing Hollaback and research papers as high as Mount Kilimanjaro!

Enjoy!

New from aidnography

The future of expats in a globalized development industry-Reflections on the Devex Career Forum
The (expat) aid worker experience will become ‘cheaper’ – in terms of lifestyles, salaries and perks as well as a general ‘doing more with less’ theme. Old* from aidnography
A few reflecti…

The future of expats in a globalized development industry-Reflections on the Devex Career Forum

Last week DevEx’ Kate Warren shared three major points from the DevEx Career Forum:
1. The localization of aid movement has drastically changed career opportunities for both international and local national professionals.
2. The center of gravity in development continues to shift from the West into the South.
3. Organizations are looking at how they can restructure and staff their operations to achieve more value for money These are very interesting trends with a seemingly clear overachieving overarching theme: The (expat) aid worker experience will become ‘cheaper’ – in terms of lifestyles, salaries and perks as well as a general ‘doing more with less’ theme.
But these three themes are also worth unpacking a bit more and putting them into a broader perspective of a global ‘development industry’ that not only comprises expat aid workers in large organizations, but different forms of services-from academic teaching and learning to service industries (e.g. entertainment and well-being) …