Media & News
March 29, 2014
What a busy week. Brendan was interviewed by Devex about mental health, well-being and aid work. When aid workers ask for help — still a sign of weakness?
March 27, 2014
Brendan and Allison are over at Humanosphere highlighting the peer support pilot program we ran in 2012. Humanitarian aid worker, aid thyself.
March 22, 2014
Raising awareness about peer support networks, the WhyDev team have been spreading the word far and wide. Weh wrote a guest post for Jennifer Lentfer’s How Matters about helping yourself, and Brendan and Allison are over Guardian Global Development Professional Network on the value of peer networks in the sector.
February 28, 2014
Weh Yeoh was recently featured in Belgian magazine, n’GO. You can read the issue if you speak French.
February 12, 2014
Brendan Rigby will be part of a fantastic panel at Melbourne’s Transitions Film Festival. The international première of WEB will be screened before a Q&A on the revolutionary power of the Internet. Come along!
November 18, 2013
August 21, 2013
A great documentary from UNICEF and Barcelona FC, called L’euip ideal, features footballer Puyol and our own Brendan Rigby. It is in Catalan, but is worth watching just for the amazing footage. It follows a day in the life of 6 young Ghanaians and is beautifully shot. You can watch the full video here.
August 14, 2013
WhyDev Director, Brendan Rigby, can be found on the Guardian’s Development Professional Network calling for a shift in the narrative around advocacy and foreign aid in Australia. Join the debate.
June 25, 2013
The final evaluation report for WhyDev’s Peer Coaching Pilot Program has been published and is publicly available. You can download and read the report here.
A snapshot of the Pilot Program and results:
- 312 aid workers from around the world participated and were matched with a peer coach.
- The average peer coach is a female expat aid worker, aged 26-35 years-old, has a postgraduate Masters degree and less than 5 years of work experience in international development.
- 73 participants responded to the evaluation survey.
- Overall, 43% of respondents were satisfied with the pilot program and 28% indicated that they were unsatisfied.
- When asked what the ONE significant thing they got out of the peer coaching sessions, respondents indicated a range of benefits from validation, reflexive practice and clarification to having a ‘new colleague’, expectation management and feeling less stressed and isolated.
June 14, 2013
Brendan Rigby was invited to be on the Guardian’s Development Professional Network panel to discuss getting ahead in a development career. You can find a summary of the panelists’ thoughts here, and below are Brendan’s main reflections:
“Expect a volatile career trajectory: Speaking for the next generation of aid and development workers, I think this will be something we have to come to terms with. There are very few linear career paths in aid and development, particularly in such a fast-changing global economy. We have to hustle, fight and keep searching for those opportunities. This is going to put increasing pressure on us when we settle down, marry, start a family, and so on. How are our partners and families going to fit into this volatile career path? It is a tough one that even I am dealing with, as my partner works in Beijing with an international development agency and we’ve had to spend a lot of time apart as I pursue opportunities elsewhere.
Don’t dismiss internships: I think internships are a necessary evil, and a rite of passage that many must go through. It is a good way to get experience with an organisation that you want to work for in the future. And, sometimes, paid work may come from your performance if funding permits.
Avoid getting stuck in admin roles: I always advise people to get technical. That is, get a technical expertise – education, economics, health, law, finance, and so on. Become that expert. Do your time outside of the aid world, in the public and private sectors. That experience will count for much. Then, try to move into the sector you want to work in, even if the role is not the one you want. It’s important to build that sector expertise and experience as that is what recruiters I think are looking for generally. And, just network like crazy! You never know where opportunities will come from. You may have to apply for more than 50 jobs, but it will come.
Peer relationship can be just as valuable as mentorships (often difficult to arrange). WhyDev has developed a peer-to-peer coaching programme to level the playing field and take a different approach to mentoring.”
May 13, 2013
Watch WhyDev’s Brendan Rigby speak at this year’s AYAD ‘Youth 4 Human Rights’ forum in Melbourne.
March 6, 2013
WhyDev’s Brendan Rigby will be a guest speaker at this year’s AYAD Forum in Melbourne, Australia. This year’s theme is ‘Youth 4 Human Rights’, and Brendan will be speaking on education with three other fantastic guest speakers. If you are in Melbourne on 9th April, come along to this free event and engage!
January 8, 2013
Between 10 and 40% of those suffering from severe mental disabilities are chained up or locked in cages, yet there are just 35 trained psychiatrists and 45 psychiatric nurses catering for the whole of Cambodia. A great article on an often overlooked issue – mental health in poor countries. The story in Cambodia AsiaLIFE features some nice quotes from Weh Yeoh on how WhyDev is hoping to make a difference.
Read the full story here.
October 29, 2012
UNICEF Australia has begun to publish a series of children’s photographs from northern Ghana. Brendan Rigby facilitated this project as part of participatory research he conducted while working with UNICEF Ghana. You can check out the children’s photographs here:
September 24, 2012:
Brendan Rigby’s article “Voluntourism: What You Need to Know Before Signing Up” appeared on the JetSet Times. Read it over at their website.
August 9, 2012:
Weh Yeoh, WhyDev Business Development Manager and Co-founder, was recently featured in the Everyday Ambassador with his post “Change Yourself to Change the World.” Check it out over at the Everyday Ambassador website.
July 18, 2012:
“jersey, sure” was featured in Busted Coverage. The tumblr documents Ghanians wearing NFL jerseys. Says Brendan:
This is a photo essay on discarded and donated National Football League (NFL) jerseys and the people that (re)purchased them. These photographs were taken in and around Ghana in 2012. Each photo was taken with the consent and permission of each person/s. Copies of the photographs were also given to each person/s.
Read more at Busted Coverage’s website.
July 9, 2012:
We have launched our new site and welcomed Daniel Drake on board as our Web Developer! You can read about these changes and others soon to come on our blog.
June 20, 2012:
Weh Yeoh and WhyDev’s peer coaching initiative were recently featured in the Phnom Penh Post.
Every one has bad days in the office, but when you’re based hundreds of miles from the nearest big town and thousands of miles from friends and family, how do you share your troubles and let off steam?
The creators of whydev, an internet resource for aid and development staff, believe their new online peer coaching initiative will help tackle high burn-out rates among workers based abroad – staff who are often faced with the challenges of remote locations, high-stress situations and unfamiliar cultures.
Weh Yeoh, the co-founder of whydev, says he first realised the potential of peer coaching when he was working in a remote part of China last year.
“It was very isolating, and I was frustrated that I had no one to bounce my ideas off,” he says.
“I made my own network when I set up the whydev website as a discussion forum, and now the idea is to create a short cut for other people who are in my situation.
“We want to do the hard work for them by putting them in touch with people who can relate to what they’re going through.”
Read the full story here.