ISIS is set to take the key town of Kobane, on the Turkish-Syrian border. Meanwhile, Turkey is garnering support for a buffer zone to protect displaced people.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems to be missing. Unsubstantiated rumours suggest he has gout, is under house arrest, fractured both ankles because of his weight or was tapped on the shoulder by Ban Ki-moon to negotiate a ceasefire between ISIS and the world.
Tragedy struck in Japan, as Mount Ontake erupted unexpectedly, killing at least 47 people so far. And two suicide blasts hit Kabul, killing eight Afghan soldiers, just two days after Ashraf Ghani was inaugurated as the country’s new President.
From t-shirts made of organic cotton to shoes made of old tires, ethical fashion is getting more trendy. But do these efforts to be responsible have an impact? Liza Moiseeva explains the fashion industry’s potential to make a difference, and its shortcomings.
How can aid workers sleep at night? Erol Yayboke continues the conversation on cognitive dissonance with advice on how to handle working in a flawed industry – and how we should be thinking about development work in the first place.
The week in globaldev
The problems with praising the female pilot who bombed ISIS | Vox
Committed to giving you last week’s globaldev news today
Peruvian writer Isabella Tanikumi is suing Disney for $250 million, claiming they stole her life story – the story from the movie Frozen.
Yes, she says a movie that features a talking snowman and a kingdom that’s trapped in winter was based on her life. Because she wrote a book about growing up in the mountains, and, you know, Frozen has mountains. And also, it has the same “feelings” as the book. We wonder if Tanikumi has a pet reindeer, too?
The week in news
Tragically, Soldiers of the Caliphate, an Algeria-based group loyal to ISIS, beheaded French hiker Herve Gourdel and released an all-too-familiar video online.
Despite intense scrutiny from human rights groups, Australia is set to sign a resettlement deal, which will send refugees seeking asylum to Cambodia.
This time last week, we were waiting to see if the world would have a new country – but Scotland voted to remain part of the U.K. (although Scots will be “incandescent” if London backs out on promises of increased sovereignty).
With the hype of the #IceBucketChallenge mostly over, Alison Rabe explains what it revealed about our narcissism and social media addiction – and how it’s not so different from voluntourism. Really, we’ll do anything for a good profile pic.
After submitting proposals for disability-focused projects, WhyDev Co-Founder Weh Yeoh has gotten too many rejections saying, “Disability is not our priority area.” In an open letter, he explains why it should be.
Being an aid worker often means living in countries with low life expectancies and high mortality rates. And that almost inevitably means losing friends and colleagues at some point. The Guerilla Researcher wants to start a conversation about coping with death in the field.
Committed to giving you last week’s globaldev news today
“The show will not go on until you stand up.”
“What? You’re in a wheelchair?”
Oops. That was Bound 2 be awkward.
That’s pretty much what went down at a Kanye West concert in Sydney last week, followed by media backlash known as Wheelchair-gate. Kanye lashed out against the criticism, saying, “I’m not going to make one of them Ben Affleck statements and shit,” “I’m a married Christian man with a family” and, “I’m not one of these dumbass artists that you’re used to.”
Tragically, ISIS has followed through on another threat, executing British aid worker David Haines and releasing a horrifyingly familiar video, followed by a new propaganda video of British photojournalist John Cantile. The group claims British citizen Alan Henning, who’d been volunteering on an aid convoy, will be the next victim if their demands aren’t met.
Ten Liberian government officials left the country and refused to return to help fight the Ebola outbreak. So President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf fired them all. Meanwhile, the U.S.-based NGO Samaritan’s Purse paid top dollar to evacuate two Ebola-stricken missionaries from the country, and Doctors Without Borders has rejected a multi-million dollar offer of cash to help fight the disease.
Most aid workers recognise the flaws in the sector – yet, we continue defending and working in the very industry we criticise. Is it cognitive dissonance, or something else? Chris Planicka and Chad Bissonnette share their perspectives.
Next time you’re at the ex-pat bar (or just a pub near your local Oxfam affiliate), try out one of our aid worker-approved pick-up lines. “Hey, girl. I’m Mr. Human Right. Someone said you were looking for me?”
The fourth episode of the MissionCreep podcast is out, bringing you fresh and frank voices in global development. Brendan Rigby, Carly Stephan and Weh Yeoh chat about all the arseholes in development, people’s perceptions of aid and the books aid workers are reading. Have a listen, then join the conversation in the comments or using the hashtag #MissionCreepDev.
This time, Weh wants to know why there are so many egotistical arseholes working in development (it’s not law, after all!). Plus, Carly responds to a bureaucrat who doubts the effectiveness of aid, and Brendan asks about aid workers’ reading lists.
Join the conversation! Let us know how you deal with the arseholes you encounter, and send us your book recommendations. Leave a comment here or on Facebook, e-mail us at info[AT]whydev.org, and use the hashtag #MissionCreepDev on Twitter. We’ll respond online or on the next episode of the podcast.
You can also listen to the podcast here or download it on iTunes (and a transcript is coming soon).
Book recommendations from the podcast: Thinking Fast and Slow, Made to Stick, Rohinton Mistry, The Power of Now, A New Earth, Daring Greatly, The Big Leap, Emergency Sex, Zen under Fire, You Are Not So Smart, Development as Freedom, The Bottom Billion and War, Guns & Votes.
Even with the advent of online dating services and Tinder, love in the field can be a battlefield. Isolation, gender imbalances and reruns have aid workers forlorn and looking for love. In all the wrong places. Dr. WhyDev is on hand to get you back on that horse with 52 pick-up lines that are sure to win the heart of any cynical aid worker.
Are you an orphanage? Because I want to give you kids.
You must be tired, because you’ve been running around the field all day.
Let me be your logframe of love.
The UN must be missing an M&E Officer, because you’ve been monitoring me all night.
Hey baby, I’m going to make you MDG #9 and give you 100%-access to my love.
This first date has been pretty successful so far. Now let’s bring it to scale.
Your presence here is having a significant effect on me.
Do you have foreign aid? Because I just fell into a poverty trap.
I thought robust started with an ‘r’. Why does mine start with ‘u’?
Do you live in a corn field? Because I’m stalking you.
My love for you is like diarrhea – I just can’t hold it in.
Are you a refugee? Because you must have fled from heaven.
Do you believe in love at first sight, or would you like me to conduct an RCT with treatment and control groups?
Hey, girl. I’m Mr. Human Right. Someone said you were looking for me?
Can I borrow a micro-kiss? I promise I’ll give it right back with a lot of interest.
I’m a disaster and need UN assistance right now. I need U. Now.
Do you have any Cambodian/Kenyan/Haitian in you? Would you like some?
Let me into your bed, and I’ll be your Haiyan all night long.
This ain’t no participatory process baby, you’re coming home with me right now.
I hope you’re not a monk ‘cos I’d love to go Tibet with you.
I don’t need no Viagra to build my capacity. I’ve got you.
You don’t need to worry about my sustainability. I can go all night.
What’s your favourite position when you’re out in the field? Reverse Consultant or Missionary? How about Emancipatory Style?
Are you taking malaria prophylaxis? ‘Cos you’ve been Doxycycline through my mind all night long.
Your body is a wonderland that I’m gonna need security clearance to evaluate.
Damn, girl. If being sexy was a crime, you’d be taken to the ICC.
Do you work for the World Food Programme? Because you got me starving for your attention.
I Ecua-dor you!
Do you have a staph infection, or are you just blushing since I walked in the room?
Are you Australian? Because you meet all of my koala-fications.
After one night with me, you’ll be going all Dambisa on me, screaming Moyo, Moyo, Moyo.
Hey baby, are you from the Red Cross? Because I’ve got some sexual health humanitarian needs.
Don’t worry, baby. The safe word is “Kony.”
Hey baby, come take a shower with me, so we can do some participatory M&E on our WASH practices.
There’s some serious flooding going on in the north of Thailand. I suggest we take shelter at my place and Bangkok.
Oh come on, don’t knock me back. That’s hardly following inclusive best practices.
I’d like to buy you some donuts, so we can see some real bottom-up development, if you know what I mean.
Let’s go back to my place so you can investigate my low hanging fruit (deliberately ambiguous if spoken by a man or woman).
Hey baby, you’re hitting all the right indicators. It’s time to take this to the field.
I’m not looking to put a ring on it, baby. I’m all about the low overhead.
You look like just the person to help me scale up what I’ve got going on down below.
I think about you at least 50 times per diem.
I couldn’t help but notice you at the shelter cluster meeting. Why don’t you take refuge at my place tonight?
From the bottom up and the top down, you got development in all the right places.
I hear there’s grant money out there for family planning. Let’s do a joint scoping mission.
We’d better call the disaster response team, because I think I just felt the earth shake beneath me.
Hey baby, I like my women like I like my anthropology. Thick and cultural.
You’re so hot, I’m declaring you a crisis zone!
Just like Bono, I want to push you closer and closer to The Edge.
I’d be great in a hostage situation. There’s a lot I can do with my hands tied behind my back.
We gotta stop with the whole Easterly-Sachs thing, and get more like Rigby-Yeoh.
UNAIDS, UNOCHA, UNHCR. There’s something missing from all of this. UN me.
We acknowledge that there was a discussion on AidSource in 2012 that managed about 10 pick-up lines. We are building on this participatory framework developed by our colleagues, and adding 52 more for testing, benchmarking and evaluating in the field.
Committed to giving you last week’s globaldev news today
Remember how sad you were when Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George, because it meant no more play-by-plays on the royal uterus? Good news! Prince William’s wife is pregnant again; an event that has already led to several breaking news stories, like these:
Age gap between the two royal babies will almost be the same as gap between Kate and Pippa
Expect the world’s most famous fetus to dominate the media until Kate’s due date in April 2015. And then, more of this.
The week in news
Since Pakistani authorities breached a strategic dyke in Punjab, over 700,000 villagers have been displaced by flooding. Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine reached a ceasefire, and Russian troops have mostly withdrawn.
TMZ released a new video showing professional football player Ray Rice punching his wife, which prompted the NFL to suspend him indefinitely. The news has triggered new discussion about abusive relationships, and sparked two viral hashtags: #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft.
In case your iPhone 5 can’t do enough, you want to wear your apps on your wrist, or you don’t like PayPal, Apple just unveiled several new products.
The third episode of the WhyDev podcast is out, featuring fresh and frank voices in global development. In this installment, Brendan Rigby, Carly Stephan and Laurie Phillips rehash the #IceBucketChallenge, create something called “Grope Aid” and ask about a little-known aid organisation. Join the conversation in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter using the hasthag #MissionCreepDev.
Communications in development means telling other people’s stories, but being accurate, fair and respectful in storytelling isn’t easy. Daniel Lombari talked to a variety of comms professionals about how they reach the sweet spot between complexity and simplicity.
Our co-founder, Weh Yeoh, has been making waves in Cambodia, working with some of the most vulnerable people. There are many areas that need attention across the world, but disability often seems to fall far behind. Weh is doing his best to bring basic health services to people with disabilities.
Please check out his 40-second video, explaining why this is important, and help him win this award.
You can vote for him by visiting his page and clicking the Like and/or Tweet button. The person with the most likes and tweets by 19th September will win the competition.
This week, we’re talking about how the #IceBucketChallenge could be applied to global development, plus a boob-squeezing fundraiser in Japan (boobs4dev?) and a surprisingly unknown aid group working in Syria. And Brendan achieves his goal of saying “balls,” “Sachs” and “Easterly” in the same sentence.
Use the hashtag #MissionCreepDev to respond to the podcast and ask your questions. You can also email us info[AT]why.org or post your questions on our Facebook page.
Be sure to send in your suggestions for a viral global development challenge (and your ideas for Grope Aid!), and let us know if you’ve heard anything about the White Helmets.
You can also listen to the podcast here or download it on iTunes (and a transcript will be out soon).