Saturday Morning Reading #32

Here’s your Saturday morning reading…

1. If annoying, talking down to or ‘othering’ people is a terrible way to influence them, why do we keep doing it? (research edition) | Duncan Green – From Poverty to Power

“Alienating your audience to this degree is a pretty terrible way to influence anyone […] I found it really hard to read and take in the messages of the paper through my cloud of irritation. […] And the experience of being on the receiving end in this case made me think about all the times NGOs (including me) dish it out in much the same way – to the World Bank, the IMF, the ‘private sector’, ‘banks’, ‘economists’.  I fear we do exactly the things I have just criticised the paper’s authors of doing – talking about ‘the private sector’ as though it’s one thing; saying ‘growth is all about people’ as though only NGOs get it; either not sending the paper to the target, or sending it two days before publication so there’s not time to revise it, however good their response.”

2. Doing Development Differently, 30 years ago | Arnaldo Pellini – Doing Development Differently

“By planning and implementing projects sequentially through experimental, pilot, demonstration, and replication phases, problems can be effectively disaggregated and alternative courses of action can evolve”
“It is the uncertainty and complexities of development policies that must become the major concern of development planners and project designers.”
“Ultimately, all plans are political statements and all attempts to implement them are political acts. The pretension that planners and administration are politically objectives or neutral is naive.”

Many of the ideas in the ideas in the Doing Different Differently manifesto have been around for thirty years of longer. So why haven’t they been implemented? I’m about to advocate for adaptive planning methods myself so maybe I’ll find out!

3. A new genre of NGO videos? | Social Media for Development

Videos that show problems in developing countries in a developed country context seem to grab people’s attention and spurring them on to action.

“The film includes a project manager for a project called “Cost control in maternity care.” which has been designed to streamline the work of midwives. The meter efficiently records all the requirements of a birth such as nitrous oxide, epidurals and consent. At the end of the process the baby is then tagged with a barcode so that the costs can be quickly calculated and a bill provided for the new parents.
At the end of the #BirthofInvoice video there is the opportunity to use an online tool to see what the cost would have been for the birth of your existing children.”

4. Humanitarian Star Wars: 15 signs your mission belongs in a galaxy far, far away | Global Development Professionals Network


Excellent work from Twitter-folk!

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