Saturday Morning Reading #49

Here’s your Saturday morning reading on Wiki Development, principles for doing development education differently, why microfinance isn’t dead, a special report on Nigeria and why Oskar Schindler was the greatest aid worker of all times.
Ever found yourself having to Google multiple sources in order to find out how to do your job in the sector? Wish there was a place to bring all this information together? The concept of WikiDevelopment is to create an online platform that serves as a hub for knowledge sharing in the international development sector, inspiring a more open industry that encourages more efficient and effective development and social impact worldwide. There is precedent to a certain extent – with websites like Eldis and others touching on what could be, but not realising the potential for a really useful innovation in the sector.
The team are currently doing market research and would love to hear some more feedback from those working in NGOs especially. The survey should only take 5-10 mins. It looks like its a project worth keeping tabs on so check out the survey and their website.
2. Teaching the next generation of development professionals | Dave Algoso and Cauam Ferreira Cardoso – Devex
Learn this stuff and you’ll be on the cutting edge of the profession!
Principles for doing development education differently:
1. Development work is multidisciplinary and multidimensional.
2. Exposure is a fundamental part of learning and — just as importantly — unlearning.
3. Understanding identity, privilege and personal biases matter.
4. Adaptive development takes adaptive management.
5. Development work demands individual self-care and personal resilience.
3. Taylor Swift, Zombies, and why Microfinance isn’t evil | Maria May – 59 minutes of development
Microfinance is dead. All hail microfinance.
Recent studies showed that micro-credit did not have a significant impact on well-being. However, while it does not lift people out of poverty,”it does afford people more freedom in their choices (e.g., of occupation) and the possibility of being more self-reliant” This is the same conclusion I came to with group from UCL when looking at rural cooperatives in Northern Ethiopia during my masters course field trip. In addition, the studies were looking at microcredit as opposed to the many other parts of the microfinance universe and other studies have found a significant impact in some circumstances.
4. Nigeria – Opportunity knocks | The Economist
In this week’s Special Report, the Economist suggests that, having consistently failed to live up to its huge potential, Nigeria now has a rare chance to turn itself round. It includes articles on the diaspora, the election, diversifying away from oil and keeping the peace.
“If you haven’t looked hard at the life of Oskar Schindler, then maybe you should. It will help next time your brain begins to freeze at a donor conference or when you wake up in the middle of the night and your cot is soaking with sweat and you think, this is totally impossible.”
I’m sold… The book he mentioned is now ready to read on my Kindle.

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