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#8 Links Expat Aid Workers Like

April 6, 2012

Where to start, where to start. So many good links this week. Well, certainly we will not be starting with The Sequel to THAT Film. Though if anyone’s watched it, let us know if we should spend the 20 minutes on it… or maybe watch this instead (HT @texasinafrica)….

And then ponder this Al Jazeera piece on the Subjectivity of Slacktivism by  @sarahkendzior and this one on Why the Hipster Gen-Y Africa Movement Must Evolve (HT @kalsoom82).

And then get in on this sweet gig: DATS Hats (HT @meowtree)

If you’re still jonesing for more, celebrate Oxfam’s awesome Great Bra Hunt.

Wronging Rights thinks perhaps the Great Bra Hunt is an April Fools Joke…

Unfortunately our inside contacts confirm that no, not a joke, a real campaign.

Already convinced that viral videos and used brassieres are not the ideal path toward effective development support? There was plenty of academic stuff out this week on aid effectiveness…

More on the white man’s burden from Charles Kenny….

The phenomenon of “Shareholder Humanitarianism: “Under the twin banners of accountability and transparency we have seen increasing numbers of donors and other financing agents implement more complex reporting and accounting guidelines, significantly increasing the administrative burden on NGOs and other humanitarian actors. These organizations are then placed in the position of having to divert finances from the field to the back office in order to meet the new requirements. At the same time, “overhead” remains a dirty word, and donors expect to see less, not more of it. The end result is a series of increasingly complex finance and accounting gymnastics that adds nothing to the humanitarians’ real bottom line: helping people.” (HT @JPBervoets)

Yet another “sad result on aid effectiveness,” indicates that “aid has actually widened the gap between the rich and the poor.” (HT @owenbarder)

4 lessons about effective aid that both DFID and House of Lords appear to have over-looked. (HT @IDS_UK)

Alas, none of the above may even matter, considering this Guardian article noting that the golden era for aid is now over… 

In other news, Duncan Green of Oxfam UK (whose scholarly opinion on the aforementioned Great Bra Hunt we’re dying to hear) asks why NGOs find blogging so hard…. “NGOs need to think about the bloggers not the blog. Blogs need human faces and personality, which seems to go against an instinctive corporate urge to suppress ego, promote the Oxfam brand and speak anonymously in ‘the Oxfam voice’. According to in-house blogging guru Eddy Lambert, this doesn’t work: ‘‘We have no evidence that people want to develop relationships with ‘brands’. It’s people, problems and ideas every time. However much we may wish otherwise, we struggle (as do others) when we place our brand at the centre and obsess over style/tone of voice etc.’

On a side note, we’re happy to hear Duncan’s decided he needs to start using Twitter and look forward to some engaging banter in short form.

For some in-depth thought and commentary from a broader set of aid workers who blog or want to blog or are afraid that blogging will cost them their careers, we suggest checking out the continuing discussion on “has being critical or controversial in an online setting negatively affected your employability?” over at Aid Source.

Other good Aid Source discussions this week:

How do you deal with cynicism in aid? and the related Does the Aid World benefit from cynicism?

Making aid marketing better (including discussions just starting off on NGO photography ethics and poverty tourism)

Professionalizing the Humanitarian Aid Sector – Is certification for Aid Workers inevitable?

And finally, we leave you with some Texts from Hillary Clinton.

Happy Weekend!

One Comment leave one →
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