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#12 Links Expat Aid Workers Like

May 18, 2012

It’s Friday, and I have a few minutes, so am getting right down to business of getting y’all some links.

One bit of news that no self-respecting, Harlequin Romance loving, disaster working, self-mocking EAW will want to miss is Tales from the Hood’s announcement that Disastrous Passion as a complete, downloadable e-book is coming out!

“Will Jim-Bob figure out that aid is a profession, not a hobby? Will Randy and Artemis ever succeed in hooking up?? And most important of all, what will become of Mary-Anne and Jean-Philippe???”

 We shall soon find out….

But what about those family types who are not off gallivanting in Haiti, having all kinds of sordid affairs? Elisa throws us a few questions on AidSource related to families in the humanitarian sector. And no, the idea of ‘families’ in this line of work is not a joke, she says.

Unlike the significant wealth of material that exists for missionary families, military families, and corporate expatriate families – other globally mobile or frequently separated families – the humanitarian literature on the subject of families is scarce. Regardless of whether the focus is on national or expatriate staff, little research has been done on the experiences, challenges, or needs of families in the humanitarian sector

In other AidSource News, check out our new Pinterest page (and blame Tales for it. I have no clear idea what the purpose of Pinterest is, but I’m very glad to know we are there :))

You can also listen to Alanna’s podcast on the Chronicle of Philanthropy where she talks about connectivity and social networks, check out some of her latest projects or read her new e-book “What’s Killing Us: A practical guide to understanding our biggest global health problems.”

@dalgoso reviews it here.

The book consists of ten short chapters that each describe the basic facts about a different global health problem. Writing for a nonspecialist audience, Shaikh lays out why we should worry about each problem and what can be done to address it. The result is a fantastic primer on global health issues for an outsider to the field. I especially appreciated the tie-ins with other development issues: weak healthcare systems and climate change both earned their own chapters.

Also recommended: Alanna’s most recent post on Bill Easterly and the Culture of Nice in the aid world:

Development and aid work is mired in a culture of nice, and that culture keeps bad work from being eliminated and good work from getting better. We’re too nice to call a bad project a bad project. When we criticize, we criticize in abstractions. No one has any problem identifying bad products as bad – Vista, for example – but no one will ever call a bad program bad. If you look at my post on NGOs that do harm, you’ll only see anonymous comments about unnamed projects. We’re addicted to nice.

For all those stuck being nice, you can live vicariously through Africa is a Country who takes down a sappy video by a starry-eyed violinist, feed bag purses as high fashion for do-gooders (modeled by none other than Lauren Bush) and live tweets a reading of the NY Times’ article on rebranding Africa (again) through high fashion.

The Onion comes in with their take on The Ongoing Africa which is plaguing the region (of Africa). Ouch. (HT @viewfromthecave)

“At this point, we are unable to keep up with the flood of victims from the continuing Africa,” said World Health Organization director-general Margaret Chan, who called the current Africa the “most urgent and devastating”humanitarian disaster of our time. “By our count, this catastrophic Africa has killed more than 100 million individuals over the past 10 years, and we’re seeing thousands more—many of them helpless infants and children—succumbing to Africa by the day.”

“And unfortunately,” Chan added, “the merciless Africa shows no signs of abating.”

Africa, which affects upwards of 40 million new residents annually, has only grown more deadly over the years. According to WHO figures, many of the afflicted die from Africa or Africa-related complications before they even reach the age of 5.

For those wishing to help, we bring you our pick for meaningful campaign of the week (clearly needed, given the questions it is raising). (HT @jlundine and @meowtree)

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