Saturday Morning Reading #19

I’ve had a lot of busy weekends recently getting up to all sorts. However, last week while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro I promised myself I’d get going again. So, without further ado, here’s your Saturday morning reading…

1. Volunteering: The paradox at the beginning of an aid career | Development Intern – Jennifer Ambrose
“You can’t get a “professional” job until you’ve gained experience by doing something the industry considers ineffective and antithetical to its actual goals. It’s a classic case of “you need experience to get experience,” and volunteer opportunities allow people to fill in that gap.”
I’ve thought about this a lot. We all have to start somewhere. That why I like the approach of Learning Service and admitting that we’re volunteering to learn as much as serve.

2. 9 networking tips for field-based global development professionals | Development Crossroads – Shana Montesol Johnson
A useful reminder (for me at least) that not all networking happens in London!
E.g. Reframe how you define networking, don’t underestimate the power of Skype, make the most of home leave

3. Nine Tips For Using Twitter To Tap Into The #Globadev Community | Development Intern – @Gemmcneil
A second post from the excellent Development Intern. Nine seems to be the magic list number this week! Twitter has been a really helpful tool for me to chat to some really great people. It’s quite satisfying when your favourite bloggers recognise you in real life due to Twitter. It’s a great leveller and gets you in the conversation.
So… Get your profile right, don’t just retweet, live tweet and don’t be afraid to engage.

4. Putting Politics Back Into Development | Stanford Social Innovation Review – Michael Bear Kleinman
“Understanding that systemic change flows from political change means accepting that we must be, at times, peripheral players. It also means accepting that technical expertise is necessary but never sufficient; it only truly succeeds when the political stars align. Long-lasting change happens only with the support of those in power, and no amount of technical advice will change their basic political calculations.”

5. Are we doomed to repeat every North-South development mistake globally like #SWEDOW? | Aidnography
“The small story from Malaysia or the recent NGO industry mockumentary from Kenya are probably signs of a bigger trend: Are we doomed to repeat development’s mistakes in a changing global landscape of development, charity or professionalism?”
“But will capitalism be the only and dominant driving force for ‘development’? In the medium term the answer is very likely ‘yes’ and that probably means that we will see quite a few repetitions of mistakes ranging from mega-projects, to rent-seeking natural resources states and short-sighted governance.”

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