Skip to content

#6 Links Expat Aid Workers Like

March 9, 2012

We were sidetracked this week from more important EAW-type things because we re-discovered Jason Russell, the man behind Invisible Children and the smash hit Kony2012. In his own words, “if Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Bono had a baby, I would be that baby.” It’s no wonder that the gap between marketing and program teams across the EAW World got about 6 miles wider over the past few days… If you were too busy doing actual work this week to watch Invisible Children’s masterpiece, we suggest watching it this weekend while playing The Definitive Kony2012 Drinking Game.

After watching it, you’ll want to get a campaign bracelet of course, so you’ll need to choose either


But wait, a bunch of mostly white folks in the US debating what should happen in Northern Uganda? How about some non-white folk and perhaps even some Africans (it doesn’t really matter if they are Northern Ugandan or not) involved in the debate…? The Interwebs never disappoints. There’s Teju Cole on American Sentimentality towards Africa and OkayAfrica (which strangely enough seems to be run by non Africans… correct us if we are wrong) who bring us Joseph Kony and the White Man’s Burden.

And what would the debate be without its own “Sh*t [     ] People Say” video? @whatsupafrica helps out with “Shit White People say after watching Kony 2012

[update: and this is just too plain funny not to add here: (HT @chrisalbon)]

Speaking of the White Man’s Burden, Jeffrey Sachs tells us how he’d run the World Bank, and Bill Easterly tells us how he would not run the World Bank….. If you don’t have time to read their rationales, check out our handy Sachs-Easterly flow chart to decide who you think should get the job (because as someone once said, there’s nothing more SEAWL than two old white guys in the US debating development approaches….)

Since Kony2012 eclipsed an important DAY. And we know EAWs love DAYS, here’s a couple of International Women’s Day articles to catch you up (you may need some fodder for IWD discussion in your office or your cluster meeting today in case there is someone important who is not talking about Kony 2012 and wants to talk about DAYS). Claire Melamed – who is a self-declared post-2015 world ponderer – reminds us that  poor and excluded women probably have more in common with the poor and excluded men they live with than with the wealthy middle-class women who run things (see: Gender is just one of many inequalities that generate poverty and exclusion).  Keshet Bachan says stop talking about women and start talking about gender and power. Unfortunately we were too busy drinking and watching Kony2012 and StopKony and STOPStopKony to read any other IWD posts….

Meanwhile, speaking of women, and speaking of women and blogging, and of women and snark, the ABBA2011 contest set off a bit of a debate. Duncan Green from FP2P says that less women comment in his comments thread… and goes on to say that women don’t snark publicly because they are busy doing important things (like quilting). Hmmmm. (Or wait, maybe he was being snarky?) We can think of a few examples (cough, cough Wronging Rights, Laurenist, Alanna Shaikhyours truly) of women aid and aid-related bloggers who enjoy snarking, but it’s perhaps true that there are not enough of us. Tom Murphy who runs the “admittedly flawed” contest responds with his own “Carefully Wading into Gender and Development Blogging” (wading into gender issues has to always, always, always be done ‘carefully’) and Tobias Denskus jumps in with “Is writing reflective blogs on development a girl’s thing? And if so, am I really a female blogger?” where he calls out Duncan for tackling “an interesting issue with surprisingly sexist contemplations.”

And that’s it for links today…. as always, if you’ve got something you think we need to link to, send it on over.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2012 2:43 pm

    Sure, poor excluded women have more in common w poor excluded men than they do w upper class women trying to liberate them. Problem is, the PEMen are also a major part of the PEWomen’s problems…beating the shit out of them, for instance, or drinking up the entire family income. Or sexually abusing female relatives. Minor detail. Having something in common doesn’t make someone your ally.

  2. Jon Custer permalink
    March 16, 2012 9:57 am

    Now wait a minute, as someone on the communications side, I also found this campaign appalling because it failed the basic purpose of any communications or marketing initiative, which is to motivate your target audience to take a desired action. “Awareness raising” is not an end unto itself! Though I guess it was probably a pretty effective fundraising tool for IC.

    I mean, imagine an advertising campaign for Coca-Cola or Nike where millions of people just repeatedly told each other how amazing Coke and Nike are, but nobody ever bought a soda or a shoe. It would be considered a massive failure.

    (Not to mention that whatever intended action IS actually [tenuously] implied by the campaign is extremely poorly thought-out and likely very harmful…)


  1. On ‘stopping’ war criminals, feminist leadership, and cricket | you can read me anything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: