The downside to modernization – in this case the village moving from fossil fuel burning as an energy source to solar-powered everything – is that you lose some long-held traditions. The village used to be a place where, just the mere thought of it, made you calm and at peace. You expected a sea of […]

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Secret aid worker blogging for the Guardian: This uncomfortable taboo is rarely discussed among socially progressive NGO workers. As aid workers, we assure ourselves that we are “here to help” the people in our host countries. We call it a “post” or an “assignment”, as if we’re on a special secret mission, and forget that […]

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High-level policies aren’t his only frustration. Ruge has also called out celebrity-led charities, like actor Ashton Kutcher’s 2009 campaign against malaria, which had him racing CNN for a million Twitter followers. The Hollywood star promised to buy 10,000 bed nets if he won. In response, Ruge wrote on his blog, “Celebrity stunts of altruism are […]

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Guardian: Why are foodies turning their backs on Fairtrade? “When you get to the bottom of it, [the Fairtrade scheme] is kind of neo-imperialistic,” he says. “It’s something we impose on them.” He’s thinking particularly of the pressure for producers to form groups, usually co-operatives, in order to join. “Can you imagine what British farmers would […]

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My second op-ed of 2015 is a fuller rundown of my thoughts on post-2015 development agenda. Sadly, Financial Times’ BeyondBRICS blog has it hidden behind a registration wall. If you are patient enough to register (you can do so easily by logging in with Twitter) and read it, I’d appreciate your feedback. After decades of […]

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On October 18th, Western Union’s foundation arm announced a plan to mobilize support for the ebola response in West Africa: The Western Union Foundation is making a grant of US$25,000 to the International Medical Corps to support the organization’s response actions, which includes teams of trainers traveling in affected areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia to increase the […]

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For almost 3 weeks now, Africa Responds – an initiative we started to promote and support Africa’s efforts in the ebola crisis – has been holding a weekly Twitter discussion on wide-ranging topics around the ebola outbreak. This week we tackle how the crisis has been covered in traditional Western media and the conversations happening […]

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About a month ago, my colleague Solome Lemma and I started looking at the international response campaigns to ebola in West Africa and got to wondering why all the attention was on international governments and NGOs. Very little of Africa’s front line efforts to stop the spread of ebola is visible in Western Media and […]

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