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Showing posts from March, 2015

Links & Contents I Liked 141

Hi all,

The last week was just crazy and we essentially skipped one iteration of your favorite link review. But I enjoyed the debates around my reflections on development volunteering and the rise of a new precariat...
So before we break for Easter (if you celebrate) let's catch up with some good readings!
From a critical CBC volunteering documentary to essential aid life hacks, Nepal's ever failing development, UNICEF's Twitter secrets, the lure of charity porn and an academic essay on 'Bankspeak', the language and discourse of World Bank report language, there is breadth and depth in the development news section!
In Digital Lives we have a guidelines for immersive media projects, an Instagram project that challenges community guidelines and censorship and why Twitter maps should be approached with caution. Last not least, Academia looks at peer review fraud once again and academic book reviews.

Enjoy!

New from aidnography
The professionalization of development voluntee…

The professionalization of development volunteering – towards a new global precariat?

Recently, three separate incidents have caught my attention: A new report from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) on The role of volunteering in sustainable development was launched, a post on the GUARDIAN asked the critical question: Volunteering overseas: the best method for creating new aid workers? and discussions with Danish colleagues revealed that the Danish Foreign Ministry wants to fund a new volunteering scheme in cooperation with Denmark’s leading NGOs.

While the debates on volunteering and voluntourism are prominently featured in virtual debates (as early as 2009) and research, including on this blog (e.g. or), I find it important to add a more nuanced, shall we say, ‘political economy’ discussion to the topic.

The question is …

Links & Contents I Liked 140

Hi all,

New week, fresh linkage!

'Yoga is helping to end poverty in Africa'-you, I & Jeff Sachs knew it all along!
But there are better stories from Africa, including storytelling from South Sudan and the question when 'immigrants' become 'expats'; there's a great section on the issue of how NGOs need to be political to stay relevant for social change; the World Bank realizes that Google maps don't solve resettlement issues; research communicators need to be political, WhyDev celebrates some kind of anniversary; and we have tech debates around radio call-in shows, girls’ empowerment and crowdsourced data.
Our digital lives looks at instagrammed fashion moments, Airbnb’s tricky maps, and upscale Monocle magazine and what we can learn for development communication. Finally, the question whether we need more adjunct administrators rather than teachers in higher education.

Enjoy!

New from aidnography
Why I promote book reviews
Book reviews are time consuming…

Why I promote book reviews

Book reviews are time consuming and are usually read and shared less than other blog content-so why bother with them?

Book reviews have been one pillar of my blog since I started Aidnography in September 2010. I recently received a few comments about my reviews, particularly whether it is ‘worth’ writing them in an era of fast social media trends and various discussions about the future of books in a digital age in general and in academia more particularly. I actually wrote about some of these issues as early as 2011: .
In addition to simply saying that I enjoy reading books and consider myself very fortunate that this activity is (a small) part of my paid full-time employment, I want to structure my reflections along four themes: the stamina of books, the relationship between books and my research, the changing nature of (academic) publishing and my resistance against overpriced edited anthologies.

Books are here to stay

As …

Links & Contents I Liked 139

Hi all,

The latest link review once again reminded me what a fantastic network of friends, colleagues and digital acquaintances I have that do and write about really great stuff!

Development news features a great portrait of the state of the UN and his current leader, insights into the World Development Report, the future of the SDGs, post-traumatic growth, tourism in Haiti, the legacy of Greg Mortenson, and another bad celebrity campaign.
Our digital lives continues with some of the topics, featuring insights into the 'Ferguson industry', hyper-transparency, facebook tips for non-profits-and Buzzfeed.
Academia features a call for better practice in business school ivory towers and thoughts on anthropology's 'long tail'.

Enjoy!

New from aidnography
Blinded by Humanity (book review)
I can recommend Martin Barber’s book highly because of his historical view (many aid worker biographies start with the Sudan or Rwanda crises of the 1990s) and, more importantly, because of his …