Reframing the volunteer experience

“When you mention you volunteered abroad, people very wrongly start to treat you as if you were some kind of martyr… It’s also very hard to untangle your positive feelings about being overseas and the potential career benefits (these assignments do look great on CVs) from an assessment of the …

Stories are only magical if they make you (re)act

I was a kid who loved books deeply and stayed up late reading in bed with a flashlight.  While growing up, I became more and more convinced  that good stories have the ability to enhance understanding, empathy, to let the reader virtually live other lives, know places far away and …

Re:thinking development with UCT: The choice is yours

I wrote in one of my earlier posts about the non-profit GiveDirectly, and particularly its Uncondititional Cash Transfer (UCT) programs in Kenya and Uganda. I praised these efforts because of the way they enable individuals to make their own choices. Recipients receive access to funds through mobile phones, and are …

How to tell a good story

As discussed in an earlier blog post, new media has changed the way we communicate with each other and how we consume information; our expectations of receiving information packaged in an attractive way have certainly increased. In the digital space where hundreds of stories are unfolding continually, you need to …

On the world’s first public digital meeting of female foreign ministers

“Without women there will be less development and less sustainable peace” Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström made a name for herself – and her government – when she announced, in 2014, the world’s first ‘feminist foreign policy’. Coverage of this ‘feminist government’ consistently appear on international publications, and the foreign minister is …

Retelling Africa…starting from a tweet

In the summer of 2015 Siyanda Mohutsiwa, a 22-year-old Mathematics student based in Botswana, launched a tweet which was going to become viral: “If Africa was a bar, what would your country be drinking or doing?”. Siyanda started the ball rolling and the question soon became a hashtag (#IfAfricaWasABar) and …

The murky waters of UCT skepticism

Giving money with no strings attached is, obviously, in itself an interesting proposition, but it’s also one that raises a number of questions about the politics of development. Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCTs), which is the more formal term, challenges the way development has been working for the past… well, actually, …

Redefining dating: the humanitarians of Tinder

Looking for a date? Forget dazzling them with your wits, a photo of you posing with local children in Kenya or helping to build a school in Vietnam may serve as a better tactic. Popular dating app Tinder is all about first impressions – users’ profiles contain only photos and …

Re:branding the Swedish image

Lately a fierce debate regarding the negative international representation/depiction of Sweden has dominated Swedish media. The negative reports on Sweden in international media started long before Trump´s “you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden” speech in Florida two weeks ago (the latest news that put Sweden on the …

Reveal yourself: the trend of anonymous blogging

“They have a following because their readers know that they are speaking the truth. But their employers could not tolerate the truth, so these bloggers have to remain in the closet.” – Dennis Whittle, Huffington Post. Blogging is popular among development professionals from a variety of backgrounds. A study by …