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 …

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 …

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, …

A few lessons from Swedish Digital Diplomacy

In my recent blog post, I complained, at some length, about the continuing use of ‘the field’ in development speak. One of the criticisms raised concerned the fact that ‘the field’ fails to describe development as a process occurring as much in the global metropolises as in rural settings. So, …

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’ …