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 …

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 …

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 …

(Re)Presenting, the expat aid worker!

“The expat aid worker’s life revolves fairly evenly about four poles: Sending life-saving emails; attending life-saving coordination meetings; diarrhoea; and bouncing around in white Toyota Land Cruisers.” – Blogger MoreAltitute, Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like Cultured. Resilient. Compassionate. All qualities of an aid worker, right? Insert admirable trait here. This …