We profiled 50 Cent’s visit to Somalia and Kenya in last week’s Links Expat Aid Workers Like, and to our delight, received this heartfelt poem from EAW M&E specialist Elliot Seeger…
An Open Letter to Fiddy from An Aidworker Fan
I’ve liked you since you first signed with Eminem
Even copped the vinyl of ‘Many Men’
Not only concerned with getting paid
But dabbling in humanitarian aid
Hip-hop needs to rise above the beef
And focus on emergency relief
Now that your record sales exceed 10 million
Perhaps you and I could feed a billion
I really dig your hood philanthropy
But don’t end up like ‘Three Cups of Tea’
Invest in some solid M&E
Don’t pull a Greg in Afghanistan
Let me design your monitoring plan
We should be together like Em’ and Stan
Give me a job and I’ll follow ya
To famine afflicted Somalia
Don’t lose heart due to the haters
I’ll create them SMART indicators
And you can find me in a Hub
Countin’ lots of stuff
If you need some quick stats
Homie, I can make them up
So if you want compliance, I’m the best
All references available upon request
Meanwhile, This is Africa asks: Celebrities and Charity for Africa: Who’s really profiting?
The ‘what people think I do/what I really do” meme hits EAW-land. (HT @alexevansuk at Global Development)
Valentine’s Day brings us #DevelopmentValentines. Hilariously apt.
A book folks are talking about: Behind the Beautiful Forevers* by Katherine Boo.
@ianbirrell writes about the (kind of tired) topic of journalists and aid accountability. “Aid workers know they are not saints; privately, they admit the shortcomings of their trade. They accept that billions have been wasted on failed ideas and flawed projects, and acknowledge that huge sums still go missing or are misspent. These concerns find increasingly strong echoes across the developing world. A swelling chorus of economists, politicians and pundits argue that western aid policies are patronising, destructive and outdated. They say big donations fuel corruption and undermine the accountability of governments, which come to rely on handouts from abroad rather than the support of taxpayers at home. Countries are made to seem helpless supplicants by endless pictures of children with distended bellies and flies in their eyes, undermining tourism and trade.” Birrell concludes that ” It should be the job of journalists to ask the toughest questions, however uncomfortable, not to hop on planes at the behest of powerful institutions.” What do you think about Birrell’s take? Discuss on AidSource.
And @cynan_sez reminds us that pretty much anyone who actually works in the aid sector and has their wits about them has thought about aid accountability and related issues. He asks what would happen if INGOs “Didn’t arse about so much we delivered the tools and seeds a month after prime planting period and whined about how (all too predictably) the grant disbursement was late or (like it always is) recruitment was harrrd. Didn’t pat ourselves on the back when we finally got around to scaling up for the food crisis as it was plateauing or winding down, but attributing the credit where the marketers felt it was due. Didn’t blame the donors, the rains, the roads – though those can be real problems – but instead managed that risk and structurally addressed our utterly addressable internal halfarsedness.”
And in case you missed it, AidSource goes live! Check out the Teamhouse Kitchen and the Foodies Group this week for some fantastic recipes! And don’t miss the Collective Wisdom group for ideas on how to make your very own free-standing mosquito net.
*corrected title 20/2/2012