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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Over the next few months, I am switching focus to my fledgling agricultural startup, Raintree Farms. For the last six years I’ve been nipping at the heels of an idea I wanted to explore: how much of an impact can members of the diaspora make in their communities if they switched focus from simple remittances […]

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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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Last week I published a piece in the Guardian as part of the Global Development Professionals network. The piece was in response to Professor Calestous Juma’s call for “more, not fewer, governance prizes,” which he published in Kenya’s Daily Nation online magazine. In it, Juma argues in part that: It is true that some countries […]

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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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Great resource by Infodev (PDF) for African startups trying to understand where they fit into the investment chasm: Evidence suggests the existence of a financing gap for transactions worth up to $500,000, with more severe problems for ventures seeking up to $100,000. Problems in accessing finance are much less severe for transactions exceeding the $500,000 […]

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When digital altruism isn’t altruism: Responding to criticism about Facebook serving its own commercial interests under the guise of philanthropy, Zuckerberg says, "We’re doing Internet.org to serve our mission of connecting the world rather than trying to make a profit anytime soon. We could make much more money from advertising to rich people than we’d […]

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Ronald's radio from Project Diaspora on Vimeo. Almost 3 years ago, Ida Horner and myself held the second Villages in Action conference in my village of Kikube. I brought along a HD video camera and put it in the hands of my little brother and my nephew. After the conference, I mass downloaded all the […]

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Ethan Zuckerman’s thoughts on Global Voices turning 10: Global Voices started as a project that rounded up blog posts from around the world, when possible organizing them into themed stories illustrating an aspect of the social media conversation in a country or region. Over time, we began offering citizen media perspectives on breaking news through […]

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