There are few fixtures of the aid industry as romantic as “the field.” No other grail is so fervently sought among bright-eyed, hopeful students and newbies as the field. Yet J. argues this is a damaging concept, and further that the field doesn’t even exist.
Most development workers spend their time in city centres packed with other expats. Alison Rabe makes the case that this perpetuates concentration of power in city centres, that it deprives development workers of the experiences they wanted, and that it is just less efficient. Her solution? Send them to the field!
Everyone from Hillary Clinton to three year-old Isabelle Cullen is on Twitter, and Brendan Rigby thinks you should be too. He explains how Twitter can help you advance your development career by highlighting your superpowers, as long as you avoid pitfalls like tweeting your junk.
Are you a fox or a hedgehog? A George Clooney or Sonic? Are development workers better off being one or the other? Rowan Emslie unpacks what it means to be both, and suggests that one is better than the other in the aid and development sector.
When did you do something that required you to be tough, resourceful, hungry and committed? Brendan Rigby describes how tapping into our inner Beast can make us better humanitarian workers.
Tired questions like “How was [insert country here]?” often receive tired answers. Tanya Cothran explains how better, more thoughtful questions can encourage genuine conversation with both personal and professional benefits.
It his first post for WhyDev, writer, aid worker and brewer of beer, J. (of Tales from the Hood), gives somes much needed advice to those working in aid/development: get a life and be a good person.
You’re either going to love this post or hate it. You’re either going to see it as nothing more than an extended rant, or you’ll think it makes a valid point or two. Either way, Weh Yeoh hopes that it makes you reflect before you update your Facebook status.
People In Aid recently published their latest report on ‘The State of HR in International Humanitarian and Development Organisations’ for 2013. Tobias Denskus and Brendan Rigby break down the report and discuss what the most pressing needs are for HR in the aid/development sector is for 2013.
To kick off the new year, and to get those of you starting out in development to think ahead, here are 8 things Rachel Kurzyp wishes she knew before she started working in development (number 9 being WhyDev of course!).
Social media is increasingly being treated as though it were a traditional publishing platform, particularly by NGOs. However, most organisations have not seriously considered how their staff are using social media and what the consequences are of blogging and tweeting. Rowen Emslie breaks it down from a legal perspective, arguing that it is time for NGO staff to learn about libel and the responsible use of social media.
Love in the humanitarian field is a tough game. Finding that ‘special someone’ can be a bit trickier for aid workers. We know that there are at least 52 reasons to date an aid worker, but where are they and how can you find them? Is it actually hard or just bruised egos? Erin and Brendan explore what it takes to find love in the aid world and ask readers to participate in a ground-breaking survey to reveal the world’s hot-spots for finding love.
Aid and development is about doing practical work that has real world consequences, making experience a valuable asset for aid workers. So where in development is a formal qualification truly necessary? When does education truly trump experience? Greg Pellechi explores these questions in his first post for WhyDev.
Do you feel constrained, bored or disillusioned with your job in development? Whatever dissatisfaction you’re feeling, it can be traced back to three needs for autonomy, mastery and purpose. Drawing on Daniel Pink’s book “Drive,” Allison Smith examines how you can meet these needs and rekindle the love for your job in development.
Anthony Persaud reflects on the his recent work-related travels and realises that he is finally where he planned to be four years ago. But, now that he has a paid job in a niche and a growing specialisation, how is his health and well-being affected? Is development what he imagined it would be or is the reality harshly different? Whatever the case, Anthony decides that he would not want it any other way.
As part of a blog link-up on dreams with over 20 other bloggers from around the world, Allison shares her thoughts on how her dreams have found her, and what she’s learned from others living their dreams. Are you living your dream in aid and development?
Back in February 2012, we announced that we’re starting a peer coaching matching service, in partnership with Shana Montesol Johnson of Development Crossroads. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response, with over 300 people telling us that they wanted to sign up. In order to get this project up and running as quickly as possible, and in the most comprehensive and professional manner, we think that we need a little seed funding to start it off. This is where we need your help.