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Showing posts from April, 2015

Links & Contents I Liked 145

Hi all,

I am very glad that all of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances in Kathmandu and beyond are physically well after the earth quake. However, with one exceptional link, I will not share content about Nepal in this review; partly, because I have been overwhelmed in my news feeds and many good articles have been shared widely.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably know your basic humanitarian disaster response 101.
So this week's review is pretty much a regular review, featuring Development news on how WHO and UN struggle with critique and organizational learning, some good readings on the 'data revolution' beyond numbers, framing local messages and critically engaging with 'digital humanitarians'; new readings on ICT4D, climate change and...(anti-)witches; Digital lives on engaging with books white people write & like; how men pretend to work 80-hour weeks & the age of mega-algorithms; and finally Academia on how an arms manufacture…

Of drones, encounters nothing short of life-changing & building a movement – how the BBC reports on ICT4D & technological solutionism

‘Getting aid to a war zone in a swarm of drones’ popped up in my BBC app among many other articles over the weekend.
It seemed like one of many articles that you have probably come across as well that highlight how new technologies can be employed to deliver aid in humanitarian contexts.
But a closer analysis revealed a very interesting and also very typical narrative and turned this article into an almost textbook-like example of how mainstream media often write about ICT4D and technological innovation.
Since we are currently teaching a course on Cooperation, Culture & Media Analysis in our Communication for Development MA I thought I might take the chance and analyze the narrative more in detail: On an airfield in Sacramento a group of aircraft enthusiasts make noisy toy helicopters perform stunts in the air. Right from the beginning we are taken to a place thousands of miles away from an actual crisis and outside of any humanitarian or development context; the underlying message…

Links & Contents I Liked 144

Hi all,

Greetings from Stockholm where I participated in an interesting consultation meeting about the World Development Report 2016 (I live-tweeted with the #spiderwdr2016 hashtag yesterday).

But before we enter our well-deserved weekend, I want to share some interesting development- and digital culture readings with you: The ICT4DJester talks about the temptation of anecdotal evidence and lack of impact in ICT4D; WHO publishes a surprisingly frank statement on lessons learned from Ebola; UNICEF tries out Snapchat; The World Bank lets down resettled people; U.S. drones kill aid workers; and more personal reflections from a photographer on the limited power of images, from a veteran international correspondent on what he brought back, from a former Peace Corps volunteer who struggles with the legacy of her rape in Mozambique and from a frequent traveler on the changing face of passport visa.
Digital lives comes with a must-read on why technology people avoid to work for government agenci…

Why Katie Hopkins is so dangerous for development (journalism)

While I checked the #isoj (International Symposium on Online Journalism) and #ijf15 (International Journalism Festival) hashtags from time to time over the weekend for some interesting, inspiring conference live tweeting on issues around journalism, UK Sun columnist Katie Hopkins unleashed a vicious attack on journalism by sharing her views on the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean in a way that even for British tabloid newspapers marks a new low.
I am trying to stay as distant and unspecific as possible, because otherwise my anger would simply take over – and Katie Hopkins would bag another easy win.

I actually do not want to focus on the actual piece in question, the responses that she anticipated or the question whether an online campaign to remove her from her post is at all meaningful – the digital, viral spinning machine responds in the usual ways, e.g. Guardian’s Zoe Williams claiming that ‘we can fight her by refusing to stay silent’.But the damage is already done a its impac…

Links & Contents I Liked 143

Hi all,

Every link review has a different balance and this week has equally packed Development, Digital Lives & Academia parts!
Sending TOMS shoes to Africa is still a flawed project, more critical thinking on big data 4 development, critical reflections on humanitarian critique, the 'on behalf of' industry & Geneva as aid capital in decline (?); a range of new, free ebooks, reports and papers; Digital Lives with facebook's power & potential to censor, digital storytelling & the hype around incubators (spoiler alert: they are probably delivering less than assumed); finally in Academia we look at the decline of Masters degrees, post-colonial development thinker Frantz Fanon and predatory journals which are probably more of nuisance rather than a danger to scientific publishing!

Enjoy!

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