Disillusioned with Development?

This past weekend, I finished reading “Fatboy and the Dancing Ladies” and ended up grappling with the dynamics within development as a career and as a discipline (you can read the review of the book in my “Cozy Nook of Books” page). I ended up having a few great conversations with Jessica, who is an experienced expat of sub-Saharan Africa, about development and what personality traits it takes to be personally and professionally satisfied pursuing a career in aid/development. She forwarded this article to me and this is largely what our conversation entailed. I can’t say that I identify with the ‘profile’ of the aid expat, but I have experienced some similar attitudes towards adventure and ‘expanding my horizons’. I don’t think that this is a bad thing either, but my thoughts about development are in the process of being seriously rethought. Hopefully things will be a bit more clear after my time in Kenya, in the meantime I will enjoy exploring the intricacies of aid in East Africa.

This is the article that addresses what I discovered for myself this weekend. Sorry you have to copy and paste it. I can’t get my links to work 😦 Not blog literate yet…

http://talesfromethehood.com/2011/03/13/dear-students-1/

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2 thoughts on “Disillusioned with Development?

  1. Hi Mere!
    Loving your blog (and my camera-less self really loves the pics!)

    If you’re looking for some good intro resources to the world of relief/aid and development, I highly recommend these 3 blog posts (from 3 of the best blogs on the fields) as key intros (ie. things that are important for practitioners, more moreover things that practitioners wish the PUBLIC was more aware of):

    1) “What’s the difference between relief and development?” from Blood and Milk
    The two are often conflated, but there are v. important distinctions between them.
    http://bloodandmilk.org/2009/08/04/may-2008-whats-the-difference-between-relief-and-development/

    2) “Beggars can’t be choosers – but are they really beggars?” from Good Intentions are not Enough
    Short post on 5 truths about humanitarian aid that aid workers wish the public was more aware of (or, why sending our old t-shirts to ‘Africa’ is not only unhelpful, but potentially harmful).
    http://goodintents.org/common-aid-problems/beggars-cant-be-choosers

    3) “Humanitarian Aid 101” from Tales from the Hood
    List of some of J’s core posts, which together provide a great overview of some of the realities of the field of humanitarian aid.
    http://talesfromethehood.com/humanitarian-aid-101/

    Enjoy!
    Sam x

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