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Showing posts from September, 2012

Links & Contents I Liked 44

Hello all,

Welcome to another weekly link review!

Guiding questions for this collection:
Who won the 'alternative Nobel Prize' this year?
Are immersions voluntourism for 'adults' and if so, does it matter?
Why does oil wealth always come with so many problems, e.g. in Africa?
Which new book on the PhD experience should you check out?
Should IR-scholars be the only academics involved in public discourses?
Are Development Studies facing the 'perils of law school'?

Enjoy!

Development
The 2012 Right Livelihood Award

A very inspiring way to start into the Link review...

Voluntourism: What You Need to Know Before Signing up
However, it is often difficult to know what you are in for. This post is not intended as a critique of ‘voluntourism’. There are already many out there. Instead, I want to offer a guide for readers who are looking to have similar experiences. Volunteering is activity that should be pursued regularly, but not without a critical understanding of why you are doi…

Links & Contents I Liked 43

Hello all,
This is one of those weeks where scrolling all the way down to an excellent speech by Makerere professor Mahmood Mamdani on the state of research at the university and an excellent documentary on capitalism and creative spaces may offer great intellectual rewards...but don't miss excellent pieces on volunteering challenges, a very sad story about illegal ivory trade and the question whether consultancy work can help to fund your long-term research strategy-especially in the context of underfunded academic systems in the global South.

Enjoy the reading, thinking and writing!

New on aidnography
How the EU is creating the need for humanitarian volunteers
The EU wants to spend 239 million Euros (about US$ 312 million) on 10,000 humanitarian volunteers that will be sent to the field from 2014 to 2020 'to volunteer worldwide in humanitarian operations'. Why? Because the project is 'meeting the need for humanitarian volunteers' as the promotional video explains

Deve…

How the EU is creating the need for humanitarian volunteers

We as academics and bloggers often criticise small projects, organisations or individual initiatives. But one of the unique strategic skills that only people in large aid organisation seem to posses is thinking in big numbers: The EU wants to spend 239 million Euros (about US$ 312 million) on 10,000 humanitarian volunteers that will be sent to the field from 2014 to 2020 'to volunteer worldwide in humanitarian operations'. Why? Because the project is 'meeting the need for humanitarian volunteers' as the promotional video explains. Finally, all these desperate claims of local communities affected by humanitarian catastrophes to please, please send European volunteers will find an open ear; also, after long and successful lobbying work, 10,000 young Europeans, many potentially affected by under- or unemployment in their home countries will be able to work for little money volunteer (I could not find details about how much they get paid) alongside proper EU experts that o…

Links & Contents I Liked 42

Hello all,

A nice selection of good reads found its way on this week's list: We start with three contributions on capitalism and development: The pitfalls of the 'Green Economy', privatising entire cities in Honduras & outsourcing jobs to Kenya; but the second part features more uplifting, even entertaining material before the third parts wraps up with some interesting career-related resources. Also, do check out the 'Academia' section on classroom disruptions and the GUARDIAN's development studies reading list!

Enjoy!

Development
The Dark Side of the “Green Economy”
One concern is that this new green economy is a form of “disaster capitalism”—a global effort to put the “services” of nature into the same hands that caused the global financial meltdown. And that seems like a very, very bad idea.
Increasingly, the evidence on the ground bears this out.
The reforestation plan in Mozambique has peasant farmers planting industrial monocultures of African palm for bio…

Links & Contents I Liked 41

Hello all,

In addition to two new blog posts quite a few interesting stories ended up on my link list this week. From great collections of resources for studying/reading development to immersions, everyday lives of aidworkers, networked organisations and some other links that made me wonder in the end whether I am/we are a bit self-absorbed sometimes in development land ;)! Anyway...

Enjoy, share and be happy!

New on aidnography
Reflections on #virtualapsa & using HangOut for academic events
Last week, a core group of participants of the original APSA panel 40-3 'Issues of and responses to Internet governance' decided to take advantage of modern technology and try out a virtual panel via Google Hangouts.
(...)
I just want to take the opportunity and share a few technological, practical and academic reflections on the event.

The role of graduate studies in the 'flawed development system'- a reply to Karen Attiah
As development students submit their theses and finish their…

The role of graduate studies in the 'flawed development system'- a reply to Karen Attiah

As development students submit their theses and finish their programs, Karen Attiah’s post ‘Who Gets to Criticize the International Aid System? Not Grad Students, Apparently’ is an interesting reminder about some of the core challenges that many new graduates are likely to face in the coming months. There has already been a debate on Karen’s initial post on AidSource last year, but I want to take the opportunity to share some thoughts on what Karen describes as her ‘original intent’ of her post:

The original intent of my first post was, “What role does academia and our pre-profressional schools play in this flawed system that we have?”
(...)
I would love to hear from “J” and those inside and outside of AidSource on how our schools are doing, preparing people for the world of international development, and how graduate programs could better prepare students for that life, or even further yet, how academia can improve the international development system as a whole. I want to address so…

Reflections on #virtualapsa2012 & using HangOut for academic events

Image
Last week, a core group of participants of the original APSA panel 40-3 'Issues of and responses to Internet governance' decided to take advantage of modern technology and try out a virtual panel via Google Hangouts.
We also broadcasted and recorded the HangOut on YouTube:


Also, make sure to check out Luke Perez' blog for more presentations from #virtualapsa!

I just want to take the opportunity and share a few technological, practical and academic reflections on the event.

First, I am definitely not suggesting that virtual meetings are a panacea or ‘the future’ for academic conferences, but getting 6 people from 3 countries, 2 continents and 4 different States in the US online at the same time was pretty amazing.
Second, for core academic exchanges, i.e. presenting research, talking to colleagues about that research and getting feedback on your research virtual meetings like HangOuts are a great start and definitely worth considering if you are planning a smaller conferenc…