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Showing posts from September, 2015

Links & Contents I Liked 157

Hi all,

Today is/was a first as I prepared the link review just before co-teaching a class in our New Media & ICT4D course so I can use it as ‘reflective practice’ and discuss link curation as a tool both from a technological and content perspective.

Development news starts with a powerful speech on why Africa can’t entrepreneur itself out of poverty; it’s still difficult to track conflict minerals; aid effectiveness is also still difficult…there’s a special section on climate change and the mirage of consuming greener and better; the debate around sexual violence in aid work continue and there’s a very good long read on why the best war reporter quit his job. A new publication on men, masculinities & development is hot off the digital press.
Digital lives on how the Harper government in Canada destroys data; a great netnographic portrait of a digital prom queen; Wi-Fi in Africa and facebook’s dominance in digital publishing.
In Academia, we look how academics can subsidize the…

Trust.org’s Tom Esslemont and the pipe dream of overhead-free humanitarian aid

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When Tom Esslemont and the team at Trust.org send out a survey on how charities involved in the Nepal earthquake relief have spent their money, he must have already have his ‘EXCLUSIVE-Global charities accused of "misleading" public on Nepal quake aid’ headline in mind.
Because the responses he received from a range of global humanitarian organizations hardly justify a story with quite a misleading headline. 
In short, charities reported that they have spent around 15% of the donations on ‘overheads’, work through local partners and have not spent all the money three months after the quake. But Tom Esslemont takes the opportunity for some general charity-bashing and mixes in some convenient UN-bashing as well: Sixteen of the world's largest disaster relief charities have revealed to the Thomson Reuters Foundation that they are spending up to a sixth of funds designated for Nepal on their overheads rather than in disaster-hit areas, when they are using local charities to d…

Links & Contents I Liked 156

Hi all,

While our ComDev program is about to celebrate its 15th anniversary this week, there is also a lot of good food-for-reading available that deserves some of your attention:

In Development we are looking at disaster recovery and exclusion, the UN’s struggle with whistle blowers, Greenpeace decision to hire investigative journalists, how Grindr and global aidworkers had a positive impact on the LGBT community in the Philippines, more tips on how to communicate complex issues, CSR as good PR, and concise critique of global volunteers in Cambodia.
Digital lives on ‘quit lit’ and development opinion polling. And Academia looks at openness and copyright feat. Google books, EU copyright policy-making & ‘WikiGate’-the new Elsevier-Wkipedia partnership!

Enjoy!
New from aidnography

The Frontman-Bono (in the name of power) (book review)
Bono and celebrity humanitarianism are always a reflection of what we want such performances to be; they are a mirror for our hopes and wishes in the lim…

The Frontman-Bono (in the name of power) (book review)

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It is fair to say that Bono is one of the leading global celebrities involved in the aid industry and probably one of the founding fathers of modern, celebrity/musician engagement in international humanitarian and development issues.

Harry Browne dedicates a detailed and critical analysis of Bono as part of Verso Books’ ‘Counterblasts’ series.
Since I already reviewed a critical treatment of Jeff Sachs in that series, The Frontman-Bono (In the Name of Power) provides a good opportunity to reflect on celebrity engagement beyond the Irish pop cultural icon and front man of the band U2.

For readers of this blog and those who generally keep a critical eye on popular and public (re)presentations of development, Browne’s rationale behind his critical expose reads hardly surprising: For nearly three decades as a public figure (…) Bono has been (…) amplifying elite discourses, advocating ineffective solutions, patronizing the poor and kissing the arses of the rich and powerful. He has been ge…

Links & Contents I Liked 155

Hi all,

The first week of term was quite overwhelming-so the latest link review is a bit delayed. But this also means that plenty of interesting readings will be featured below!
Development news looks at new volunteering research with a Southern focus; the Clintons & Haiti; the limits of how the new BRICs bank challenges the system; the challenges of humanitarian biometrics; Oxfam embracing the ‘data revolution’; what lacking preparedness for the next Katrina says about development & technology; how Gasland changed public debates & action; the myths of ‘Effective Altruism’ is this week's must-read!
Our digital lives on data scientists and mommy bloggers’ disappearing income. Finally, some digital tools for reflective academic practice.

Enjoy!

New from aidnography

New research on vocationalization in international development studies educationThe latest published outcome of my fruitful research and writing partnership with Daniel Esser is a new article in Learning and Teach…