30 September 2010
Follow Susana Morán, a journalist in Ecuador is live tweeting (in Spanish) from Quito. And follow this piece for updates.
As of 5:00PM EST, the front-page of CNN looks like this:
If you look really closely, you will see that the second story on the left hand side under “Latest News” says, “Ecuador emergency amid ‘coup attempts’”
It will link you to this story with the following video:
I am surprised to read all of these comments talking about how horrible these photos are of these children. When you say I am sure this child laughs and plays like other kids, there may be some truth to that, but just as often these children are hidden away in back rooms and even abandoned as they are viewed as cursed. This is a classic case of thinking the entire world thinks like the Western world, which could not be further from the truth. Smile Train is in incredible organization that provides free surgery for kids born with cleft lip/palate in other countries.
28 September 2010
To get you up to speed, Shawn says:
Many of the aid bloggers who have commented on my previous post (where I talk about charity overhead) insist that aid recipients don’t care whether overhead is covered by donations or through separate and distinct funding. This couldn’t be further from my experience.My comments to Shawn:
When local villagers learn of the approach I’m doing they love it. Not only do they love it but they also compare it to more traditional forms of giving outside of the NGO-system. I wish I got a dime every time some villager, off-camera and just barely in earshot, would be talking to another saying (in Bengali) “for the first time, donations have been spent wisely”.
At the same time, I don’t deny that all the studies on aid recipient satisfaction may have no data on attitudes towards overhead (and whether or not overhead should be collected and raised separately). What I can say, as a sociologist, is that studies can overlook things. This is especially true depending on who’s counting.
24 September 2010
The summit has been a mirage. The promises look good from a distance, but the details are hard to see, and when the world’s poorest people most need help, pledges could still vanish into thin air.They are dead on with their assessment.
But this had to be the best moment of the week. It comes from Director of Greenpeace International Dr. Kumi Nadoo who opens with the following statement:
If done well, this could be a wonderful film. The story of Mzee Joseph Maruge going to school at the age of 84 after Kenya began free primary education is compelling and inspiring. The trailer looks good, but you know what they say about books and covers.
23 September 2010
A special thanks to David Week for challenging me and pointing out where I was wrong.
22 September 2010
and you will eventually get burned.
The Metro (UK) reports that Bono is ‘under fire’ for the allocation of funds by One.
The non-profit One campaign received almost £9.6million in donations in 2008 but handed over only £118,000 to good causes.One responded to the criticism by pointing out that they are an advocacy organization, not an aid organization. This is entirely true, and the money donated is going to be used for things like lobbying and require more (dare I say?) overhead costs. The problem is that they advertise themselves as an aid organization.
Figures show that the group also spent more than £5.1million on executive and staff salaries.
Goal: Addressing MDG Number 3
Kimberly Perry, Director, Girl Up
- Position young girls to raise funds, awareness and advocate for global issues
- Want to invite more Americans into the conversation – decided to focus on young girls
- Study they did found that girls do in fact give (clothes and their own money)
- Girls said that they did not have a direct invitation to participate in global issues
- Use social networks to share facts
- Most American teens dont want to stand out – safer
Who is entitled to tell someone's story? Am I qualified enough, do I know the nuances of a culture? Am I more qualified than an Ethiopian to discuss abortion in Ethiopia because if my reach?Great questions that should be addressed.
As Russell struggled with the answer to her own questions, Baron affirmed her work by saying that asking those questions was what qualified her for the work. I tend to agree with Baron, but was disappointed that the discussions about the questions posed by Russell were not pursued. It is vital to the work of documentarians to know, understand and answer questions that are around the idea of if and how a story should be presented. It is easy to show something that leaves you feeling guilty:
Last night, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of the people that I often cite here. However, it is a conversation that I had with Lina Srivastava that has caused me to think more about the ethics of sharing photos. In discussing my exchange and post with Smile Train, Lina told me a story of how a professional photo was published and she was disappointed in the choice made. She connected it to the people featured in advertisements who do not even get to see the final image and how it is used.
As I chewed further on her ideas, I began to think of how much control we have over our own images. Take Facebook for example. If someone posts a photo, you can untag yourself if you do not want it to be linked to your profile. If you dislike the photo enough you can request that the person take it down and there is even recourse to file a request for the removal of the photo on Facebook. You may also, something I personally do, choose to not have your profile like to photos that have been tagged of you.
We will look at pictures immediately after they are taken to see if we look good and decide if it should be retaken, deleted, saved, posted to Facebook and so on. There are a lot of controls that we can exert over this process. If we feel that we have been misrepresented, we can add a comment. So, what about the people who do not see how their images are used? What about the family who has a slew of pictures taken with them going about their daily lives and the images chosen to be shared by a photographer or organization or editor are ones of the family looking sad and depressed. Where is there ability to untag the picture? Who can they notify when they are unhappy with how they are being represented?
21 September 2010
Steve Cockburn – International Campaign Coordinator, End World Poverty
Current trends mean that we will not halve the proportion of ppl with access to sanitation will not be met in Sub-Saharan Africa till 23rd Century.
Need to do what works to meet MGDs not what is popular (ironic?)
Look to how the money will actually be put to use tomorrow when all the big announcements are made.
- Craig David – Musician
- Lucy Chesire – TB/HIV patient and activist from Eldoret, Kenya
- Lee Reichman – Academic authority on TB
Much of the discussion involved two points. First, lack of access to adequate drugs and second, stigmas that exist in communities in regards to TB. The lack of access point, unpacked, hit on a lot of causes. Reichman noted that TB is an “un-sexy” disease. While HIV/AIDS and malaria get all of the attention,
20 September 2010
You can learn more about the Digital Medial Lounge and the agenda here.
15 September 2010
I kinda agree with both sides, but ultimately think Scott Gilmore is closer to the truth. Budgets (and actual expenditure) are pretty fundamental to evaluating any project. They indicate the allocation of resources and give a clue to value-for-money. I get frustrated any time I am presented with project information without the finances. It suggests people have something to hide. So notwithstanding the fact that it was USAID who appear to have redacted the project budgets, I sympathise with Till Bruckner.Read the rest of the post here.
Since I was so kindly linked by the author, I want to be able to make sure that this gets as much exposure as possible since it provides a good analysis of the issue and adds to the debate featured here.
13 September 2010
You do great work, but please consider the removal of this picture:
11 September 2010
Given the lack of a transparent minerals supply chain, American consumers have no way to ensure that their purchases are not financing armed groups that regularly commit atrocities, including mass rape.My first thought is to question how this will not have a negative impact on the miners livelihoods. While the videos that Enough shows for this campaign do not address this issue at all, they do have a special page for answering questions that can be found after a little looking around (it is not on their separate site for the Congo campaign, but on the regular Enough site; tricky tricky.)
Their answer is:
10 September 2010
Yes, I had to go there (honestly, how could I not?). Because it is the best song by U2, the one that made them huge when performed at Live Aid (above), and an apt word/song for Bono and his wife’s failure. The Wall Street Journal reports today:
Five years ago, U2 front man Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, founded fashion brand Edun with the lofty mission of revitalizing apparel manufacturing in sub-Saharan Africa.
But when Edun designer Sharon Wauchob unveils her new vision for the label Saturday, most of the clothes on the runway—some featuring African touches like beads from Kenya—will be produced in China.
What is worse is the fact that Saundra predicted this a year ago:
While making and selling handicrafts overseas seems like a great way to bring livelihoods to rural areas, it is fraught with problems. Having seen many handicraft projects developed after the tsunami, and having been asked to advise on a handicraft cooperative trying to sell to both tourists and abroad, I’m wary of this type of project because of the numerous problems that have to be overcome for it to be successful and sustainable.
And to sum it up, she puts it best by saying today:
Bono’s failure highlights the fact that good intentions, money, and fame are all not enough to ensure a successful development project.
Bono, you did a bad job. It is not easy work. Sorry to use your best tune against you, but I had to.
In order to make things a bit better, enjoy the song and jump to 7:30 for the iconic dance.
09 September 2010
What interested me was that the back and forth was not really connecting, but I think that it is something which needs to be teased out a bit more. I would like to present what I have gathered to be the two competing ideas of Transparency. Show what they say is the strength of their camp and add what the other perceives to be a weakness. From there, I hope for comments and ideas to fill in where I might have missed something and, more importantly, begin to weigh in on how they see the two competing ideas.
07 September 2010
I read this:
And thought of this:
The image of Soros in the RSA animated talk “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce” by Slavoj Zizek destroying with one hand and building with the other.
01 September 2010
The following updates have taken place since the original post:
Aug 26 - Lova Rakotomalala post
Aug 27 - Counterpart Int'l response
Aug 28 - TI Georgia supports Bruckner
Aug 28 - TI comments
Sept 1 - CARE comments
I feel the need to post these updates for two reasons. First, when I post this it will be automatically sent out and I feel that I should draw attention to the fact that this is an ever evolving discussion. Second, I am super busy and want to have a new post of sorts when I am unable to be producing anything significant this week.
I am planning on a follow up to this discussion that tries to root out how people see transparency. It appears that differing opinions on definition, use, what is appropriate and other things are at the core of this discussion. I want to try to define arguments from both sides and then open it up to the opinion of others.
A View From The Cave by Tom Murphy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.