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 …

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 …

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 …

Re:thinking ‘the field’ – or just getting rid of it?

Development is a funny thing: an attempt at global solidarity, and yet, too often, a controversial case of Western hubris. Part of this tension can be found hidden in representations of development. A case in point is the continuing, and unfortunate, use of ‘the field’ in development speak. ‘The field’ …

(Re)spice up your blog!

In recent years, many organisations started to use blogs and social media to communicate with their stakeholders [1], often using these tools in quite traditional ways. Official blogs [1] tend to maintain a coherent narrative of policy, best practice and positive news, rarely admitting complex challenges.  But what if organisations …