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Showing posts from July, 2015

Barbara Bush, the rise of global health & white privilege

As difficult as it is to engage with Nick Kristof’s latest column A Millennial Named Bush on George Bush’s daughter Barbara Bush without getting a little bit sick in your mouth (we are still talking about the Bush family...), there is quite an interesting statement in the text that triggered some broader reflections on global public health, international development and increasing elite professionalization:
Her (Barbara Bush’s) passion for service certainly echoes widely in her generation. Dr. Paul Farmer, the globe-trotting co-founder of Partners in Health, emailed me from Rwanda (where he was working with Global Health Corps fellows) to say that when he was going into medical school there was little interest in global health. Now young people are passionate about getting involved.
“Looks from my vantage point that the ‘me generation’ (mine) has been replaced by a millennial generation much more focused on others,” he wrote.
Particularly Kristof’s point about the millennial generation…

Links & Contents I Liked 151

Hi all,

This week’s regular link review (after last week’s ‘anniversary post’) focuses on the core themes of the blog, development, humanitarian and philanthropical topics. 
We start with a new NGO survey on fraud reporting and fundraising spending, join Laura Seay and Alex De Waal for a great interview on good & bad ways of engaging in international conflicts, look at Australian mining bad practices in Africa, and are once more reminded that inspirational images, resilience discourses and philanthrocapitalism often empower individuals rather than pushing for social change. Wayan Vota on while most online communities fails, UNICEF celebrates 25 years of research on children’s issues and Ben Parker reflects on aid worker sacrifice, personal danger & more.
Finally, an Adobe ethnographer tells his story creating a user-centered Photoshop and my friend Michael Krona shares his thoughts on looking into the abyss of ISIS propaganda as part of his research.

Have a critical reading &…

What the German government thinks a “Strategic Partnership for a ‘Digital Africa’” should look like

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It was coincidence that the #HackingTeam story broke while I was drafting this post.
In one way, these two posts are very much unrelated, but in other ways there is a narrative that binds them together: While ‘digital development’, ICT4D and ICT4Bad happen right here and now, the German ministry for development cooperation (BMZ) presents a policy document entitled Strategic Partnership for a ‘Digital Africa
that is much more a contribution to development discourse bullshit bingo than to innovative digital strategies.

I don’t know whether the fact that the document’s generic language could be used for pretty much any development topic, the one-sided embracement of ‘the private sector’ or the blatant ignorance of ‘digital development’ in Africa are the most striking aspects of this policy document, but it is a very revealing example of how a traditional bilateral agency thinks about ICT4D.

‘Digital Africa’ presumably starts with assembling IT hardware...

The world of words of the BMZ
For s…

Links & Contents I Liked 150 (!!)

Hi all,

Right in the middle of some kind of summer break, aidnography celebrates another link-related benchmark-welcome to link review #150!
What I wrote in late 2013 to acknowledge link review #100 is still quite accurate:
100 weekly link reviews later: Why I still like curating #globaldev content
As work at ComDev has become a bit more demanding my link reviews have become a bit less frequent and regular-but I think I have found some kind of content post-link review ratio that works for most readers.
Once again, thank you for enriching my digital world-and thank you for sharing, liking & tweeting which is always appreciated!

Enjoy!

This week's review is packed with great readings, starting with the ghost schools & ghost clinics of Afghanistan, Canada’s charity audit attack reaches the UN; new data on the precarious new global middle class; #DevPix; the limits of 'effective altruism'; yes, there is a 'social impact cruise'! How do plan your career in #globaldev; …

Why the #HackingTeam hack should be a wake-up call for the #globaldev community

You may have seen the #HackingTeam hack story emerging in your networks and thought it to be some strange, fringe tech-hack whatever issue…think again!

As first insights from the hacked data are shared and discussed it becomes clear that this is going to be a one of 2015’s biggest stories for the ICT4D, open data and development community.
Italy’s Hacking Team, which makes surveillance software used by governments to police the web, appeared to be the victim of hacking on a grand scale itself on Monday.
The Milan-based company, which describes itself as a maker of lawful interception software used by police and intelligence services worldwide, has been accused by anti-surveillance campaigners of selling snooping tools to governments with poor human rights records.
(…)
Those listed included police agencies in several European countries, the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States, as well as police and state security organizations in countries with records of…

Links & Contents I Liked 149

Hi all,

Who do anthropologists think they are?! was my question last week.
This week we have new links on the humanitarian economy, a growing number of children out of schools, social media and social change in Uganda plus the need for a development Wikileaks?
The beautiful essay Everything is yours, Everything is not yours is this week's must read.
New research on how young people de-link celebrities from social inequalities, how indicators shape the world of knowing, the fact that only 0.45% science PhDs will ever become professors, how open access and Wikipedia change the impact of public science & how to write a blogpost on your research article tie the research, digital lives and academia sections together!

Enjoy!

New from aidnography
Who do anthropologists think they are?!
When I came across the claim that "Ethnographers give voice to people who aren’t necessarily otherwise heard" I felt compelled to share a few reflections on anthropology and academia.
In a highl…