There are more aid workers with disabilities than you think

By Peter Fremlin

Not so long ago, I was wondering about the interaction between my disability and the career I’m starting in international development. I don’t feel discriminated against; on the contrary, I feel very privileged working in Bangladesh in an international position. Plus, I’m white, European and male, and I studied at some fancy universities. Continue reading There are more aid workers with disabilities than you think

The 1st Annual Primetime Devie Awards!

You know when you see it in action.

A development practitioner who excels at what they do.

This development practitioner is the first to admit that working in the sector is complex and doing meaningful work requires navigating this complexity. This practitioner isn’t afraid to advocate for change and try new things. They understand success is rare, and admit when work has failed. This practitioner knows their biggest contribution often involves stepping back and creating space for others. And they spend most of their time investing in their peers and colleagues. Continue reading The 1st Annual Primetime Devie Awards!

How to write so you won’t be ignored

This post originally appeared on Development Intern, and is re-printed here with permission.

This year, you will write something that almost nobody will read. You will probably write several things that nobody will read. Write with the assumption that no one wants to read what you’re writing: convince them that they should. Continue reading How to write so you won’t be ignored

Making development work for humanitarian response–and vice versa

By Marc DuBois

How many times have we seen this: a complex emergency with a decade or two of heavy humanitarian intervention (maybe some development organisations and peacekeeping forces as well), scores or even hundreds of millions of dollars spent by aid agencies, legions of expats trafficked through–and yet close to zero planned impact on local economic development or resilience? Sound like Eastern DRC? Haiti? South Sudan? Continue reading Making development work for humanitarian response–and vice versa

Disconnect to connect: Digital detox & workplace wellness

By Sally Bolton

When was the last time you lived without constant connection to the Internet?

For me, it was in 2011, working for Kopernik in the Oecusse enclave of Timor-Leste, one of the poorest regions of Southeast Asia. There was no Wi-Fi, no 3G and, much of the time, no electricity. If I needed Internet, I walked an hour to the Timor Telecom office, where it could take 30 minutes to open a single e-mail. Suffice to say, I learned to live without Internet. Continue reading Disconnect to connect: Digital detox & workplace wellness

Love, compromise & capitalism: A review of Honor among Thieves

Honor among Thieves is the latest novel from J., experienced aid worker and pseudonymous blogger and indie author. It follows American aid worker Mary-Anne on her personal and professional journeys in the aid world. In this book, part two in The Humanitarian Fiction Trilogy (following the prequel, Disastrous Passion, and part one, Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit), Mary-Anne is sent to Cambodia to conceive and monitor a development project in order to land a significant sponsorship deal for the fictional NGO World Aid Corps (WAC). Continue reading Love, compromise & capitalism: A review of Honor among Thieves

Why We Dev with J. (part 3): Let’s get personal

Last month (in honour of our 500th blog post!), we launched a new feature called Why We Dev, which gives you a chance to ask all your questions to a special guest.

This is J.
This is J.

Our first guest is J. (aka, Tales from the Hood), veteran aid worker, well-known pseudonymous blogger and indie author. Today’s post is the final installment of J.’s answers to your questions, focusing on his experiences and writing (see part 1 on volunteering and effective aid and part 2 on a bunch of other topics).

There seems to be two J.’s: the crusty, old-school “stop-reinventing-the-wheel” J., and the hopeful “there-must-be-a-better-way” J. If you were you, knowing what you know now but 20-odd years younger, which side of your personality would you nurture more, and why? Continue reading Why We Dev with J. (part 3): Let’s get personal

Why We Dev with J. (part 2): A development grab bag

Last month (in honour of our 500th blog post!), we launched a new feature called Why We Dev, which gives you a chance to ask all your questions to a special guest.

This is how J. sees himself.
This is how J. sees himself.

Our first guest is J. (aka, Tales from the Hood), veteran aid worker, well-known pseudonymous blogger and indie authorWe’re printing his answers to your questions this week, and part 2 features a grab bag of questions on different topics in development (see part 1 for his answers to other questions on volunteering and good aid practices).

If tech was going to save the world, which kind of tech do you think it would be?

Some kind of app that makes people utterly abandon the notion of trying to come up with tech that saves the world. Continue reading Why We Dev with J. (part 2): A development grab bag

Why We Dev with J. (part 1): Getting aid right

Last month (in honour of our 500th blog post!), we launched a new feature called Why We Dev, which gives you a chance to ask all your questions to a special guest.

J.'s avatar picture, a skeleton with a joker hat.
The best picture we have of J.

Our first guest is J. (aka, Tales from the Hood), veteran aid worker, well-known pseudonymous blogger and indie author. His answers to your questions will appear over the next three days, and part 1 focuses on questions related to volunteering and effective aid. Check back tomorrow for his answers to questions on a host of other topics.

We all know there’s lots of bad development (like voluntourism) out there. What’s something you think even the “best” in the aid sector are messing up these days? Continue reading Why We Dev with J. (part 1): Getting aid right

We need to stop telling people they’re doing development wrong

How many times have you read a blog post or attended an event, and thought, “They’re doing it wrong”?  Or seen yet another “volunteer overseas” ad and wanted to scream, “I’m so over voluntourism”? Has a friend told you they want to start an NGO, and you thought to yourself, “People should leave the world’s problems to the professionals”? Continue reading We need to stop telling people they’re doing development wrong

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