Random highlights of a week in Tanzania (workshop dancing, hyenas v goats, cricket attack – that kind of thing)

May 27, 2011

Inspiring action on shit (getting rid of it) – guest post from Robert Chambers

May 27, 2011

Stuff Ex-pat Aid Workers Like; soap operas as change agents; gender traps; are crowdsourcing and cash transfers overrated?; wonderful waves: links I liked

May 27, 2011
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Varying degrees of off-message links for the weekend:

The Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like blog is like having a beer with a jaundiced aid worker after a crap day. It’s all cynicism and self-loathing (and some ferocious cartoons), with the commitment (one hopes) taken for granted. Highlights include a post on ‘facipulation’ (facilitation + manipulation), the dangers of dancing and ‘Knowing better about DSK‘. If your appetite for self-criticism is unsatisfied, you can always try Hand Relief International.  [h/t Matthew Lockwood]

Forget all those expensive projects, the best way to change poor people’s lives is via their soap operas

“Making women work for the market is not the same thing as making markets work for women” – thoughtful piece on the dangers of expediency for gender advocates

Crowdsourcing for social change in Africa – development breakthrough or just the latest silver bullet?

Indian hunger guru Jean Dreze defends public food distribution against the conditional cash transfer tidal wave

And in case this is all too difficult and/or negative, here’s a lovely ‘prayer for my daughter‘, from US comedian Tina Fey (h/t Chris Blattman).

Finallythis has nothing to do with development, but almost makes me regret giving up physics (my undergraduate subject). [h/t Grandiloquent Bloviator]

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the pendulum – loved it – but it is a system behaving in a complex way which would be very difficult to understand if the starting conditions were unseen. A bit like a development intervention when you don’t understand the antecedents?

    I might have guessed you had a science background – here’s an interesting riff on energy, complexity, life and everything:


    When’s Oxfam going to get serious about thermodynamics?
    (no need to publish this reply)

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