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Showing posts from August, 2013

Links & Contents I Liked 89

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Hello all,

This week's link review has turned into a compilation of really good critical material on how to challenge conventional development assumptions: Why awards do harm, why travel doesn't educate, why volunteering can be consumerist, why donating old shoes is *still* a bad idea, why giving a dollar for school fees is not ending dependency and why relying on traditional media for policy influence is not always necessary...plus, some reading suggestions and not-a-picture-of-a-Kony-handbag...

Enjoy!

New on aidnography
What giant robotic mining trucks have to do with development
On development, robots, big technology & complexity - all in about 700 words ;)!

Development


If you are a development-hammer many things will eventually look like nails ;)! But seriously, no one in your design team made the 'Kony' link?!

Analysis: What future for private sector involvement in humanitarianism?
But interest is growing from both sides: humanitarians are eager for diverse sources …

What giant robotic mining trucks have to do with development

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When I came across this fascinating piece on robotic mining trucks in Australia the connection to development was not self-evident right away.
But the longer I thought about it and the more appealing it seemed to write a blog post with ‘giant robotic mining trucks’ in the title, some interesting connections to the aid industry appeared. In fact, the article probably says more about technology, complexity and development than you would normally think, even if the aim of the article is to highlight the potential military use of the technology:
Iron mines are where mega-bots like these trucks are finding a home, but the Pentagon is also interested in the technologyI want to highlight three issues that I find particularly interesting and worth sharing/discussing:

1. Development and the rise of ‘big technology’
2. Development, complexity and the need for humans
3. Development and capacity building in other sectors & industries

Development and the rise of ‘big technology’
The…

Links & Contents I Liked 88

Hello all,

It's link-time again! From the Öresund region straight to Uganda's tech sector, Rwanda's interference in Congo and Ben Affleck's 'better celebrity activism'. There's also a practical view on open aid and the question remains whether development offers what David Graeber calls 'bullshit jobs'. Great open access initiatives, a long essay on MOOCs and 'digital taylorism' and reflections on social networking in academia round off this week's review!

Enjoy!

New on aidnography
Why you should attend the Örecomm Festival in Denmark & Sweden this September
This year's theme is Memory on Trial: Media, Citizenship and Social Justice, but the scope of the festival is much broader and a real treat for ethnographically inclined colleagues, including a workshop with top-notch anthropologists on Methods of Analysis in Ethnographic Studies of Mediated Memories as well as the screening of the award winning film 'The Act of Killing'

D…

Why you should attend the Örecomm Festival in Denmark & Sweden this September

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Dear all,

There are only a few days left to register for the forthcoming Örecomm festivalthat will take place in Roskilde (DK), Malmö (SWE) & Copenhagen (DK) from 13-16 September.

This year's theme is Memory on Trial: Media, Citizenship and Social Justice, but the scope of the festival is much broader and a real treat for ethnographically inclined colleagues.

Check out the half-day workshop on Methods of Analysis in Ethnographic Studies of Mediated Memories:
Conducted by the Media|Ethnography Group in cooperation with Annette Markham and Jo Tacchi, this workshop brings together different perspectives on methods of analysis in ethnographic communication research. Through panel presentations and round-table discussions the aim is to  contribute to the existing debates with perspectives on how ethnographic processes of analysis may respond to the ever-changing empirical field of communicationAnd do browse through the impressive 46-page long festival program!
It is not entirely fair…

Links & Contents I Liked 87

Hello all,

As I am traveling for a few days this week's link review is a bit shorter than usual, but still tries to manage to represent bigger debates through handy articles and postings, featuring humanitarian standards, NGO-academia collaborations, developing country middle class frustrations, how the Bank may get politics wrong once again, reflective practice through keeping a journal, anthropology & empire and the non-death of Humanities in a neoliberal age.

Enjoy!

New on aidnography
Reader career question 01: Eradicating poverty with a PhD and/or UN job?
One of the numerous advantages of the blog is that I do receive interesting career- and study-related questions from readers around the globe.
With their permission I will publicize some of the queries and share my nuggets of wisdom from my response...comments and further questions welcome!

Development
Standards for humanitarian aid to be unified, simplified One big issue the three bodies working on the standard are grappling w…

Reader career question 01: Eradicating poverty with a PhD and/or UN job?

One of the numerous advantages of the blog is that I do receive interesting career- and study-related questions from readers around the globe.
With their permission I will publicize some of the queries and share my nuggets of wisdom from my response...comments and further questions welcome!
I would be grateful if you can advise me on my dilemma.

I’m (from a Middle Eastern country) 33 years old banker with excellent experiences in investment banking and credit risk. I have always been disturbed by the extreme inequality and poverty in the underdeveloped world but unfortunately I haven’t had any opportunity to join a development agency. I looked for a connecting point where my professional experience in the financial sector and my interest in development can meet. So I earned an MSc in Development Finance (…) in 2012. I enjoyed the debates on the development very much and I produced excellent essays during my study. Again, the degree hasn’t helped me to find a development career. So I’m …

Links & Contents I Liked 86

Hello all,

There's the factual (elections in Zimbabwe, innovation in Kampala & more new publications), there's the critical (Are Canadian diplomats pampered? Are charity CEOs overpaid? Are RCTs overrated? Is Qatar really a wonderful place for academics?) and there's the uplifting (Why you should be less aid-cynical and why you need to be kind in your life-great graduation speech!) -- in other words: All the things you have come to expect from the weekly link review ;)!

Enjoy!

Development
Zimbabwe’s elections 2013: more confusion, more uncertainty
The political uncertainty that these elections have delivered means that, sadly once again, the immediate future is in the balance. Whoever individual Zimbabweans voted for, the final overall outcome may not be what anyone wanted – which was peace and stability. As a friend commented on the phone from Gwanda just now: "It's trouble again". Let's hope that a spirit of accommodation and compromise prevails. Ian Sco…

Links & Contents I Liked 85

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Hello all,

Welcome to this week's 'field edition' of the link review, including German reality TV in Africa, taking children on field research and my own reflection on 'the field' as a site/place/space of contestation and struggle; Peacekeeping and organized crime, Nepal's deadly roads and responses to Peter Buffet's article round off the development section. The anthro and academia sections feature free access to classic anthropological research articles, job interview experiences, the question whether a university would have saved Detroit & a new initiative that challenges the holy grail of journal impact factor.

Enjoy!

New on aidnography
‘The field’ is where inequality persists–a reply to ‘Send them to the field!’
In my understanding of 21st century aid work, development research and anthropology we need to re-caliber our understanding of ‘the field’ to understand and challenge inequalities, (hidden) power dynamics and structural issues of the aid indust…