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had to sit through a most boring meeting suffering from all the ills of donor lead development. being optimistic I had my note taking application open and ready here is a glimpse of what my notes say

  • is the universal declaration of human rights relevant on any level that other than law
  • we operate on the assumption that the media monopoly will remain as is forever. the very reality of citizen journalism, lower costs of running satellite channels, new players in the global media market are not registered at all and no effort is spent on trying to imagine the future of the media landscape
  • the quality over quantity helix is one of those ideas that are never challanged, even though it is always promoted as a radical idea that goes contrary to common belief.
  • IMO quality and quantity are not always separate questions and quantity should never be ignored. I'm amazed that democratically minded people would disregard reach and scale in the same breath they use to promote elections
  • as usual start with a list with no coherent theme or reason, call it brainstorming then ask people to reduce the list and then claim that we reached some form of collective wisdom in the process woooooooooooot
  • people need to know their rights? what does that mean? are you supposed to teach them about rights that don't actually exist in the hope that they might fight for them? or practical rights that they somehow don't know about so they can immediatly benefit.
  • do people need to learn and acquire a sense of justice? or is it ingrained in them from the start.
  • main trouble with exchange and media projects is the small scale. the web shows us amazing examples of community initiatives ability to reach a huge audience yet we are still stuck designing projects that affect a few individuals and somehow assuming that our efforts can balance the effect of mass media.
  • using wikipedia as an example of how one can change the world on a large scale doesn't work with NGO people, they either don't know what wikipedia is, dismiss it as irrelevant or can't see the similarity between wikipedia and their own work.
  • when we say we'll work with community leaders or youth leaders or key people how the fuck do we identify these key people in the first place. and why can't people see the self fulfilling traps they create.
  • most people working in the development field have no idea what they are doing or why they are doing it. dont bother to think why the others are involved and what they are trying to achieve including colleagues, partners and donors. a shared set of goals and values is assumed even if it's vague
  • development bullshit talk is painful
  • lots of these activities make perfect sense for individual development, I'm very skeptical about their broader effects though.
  • at least in annosoor we had no pretense that there was more to it than personal development
  • anyone that does alot of meta speak is a total nasab
  • buzzword galore anything from intercultural dialog to the 5th estate.
  • why would you make an european project focused on young people when there are no young people in europe to begin with?
  • the pilot project syndrome, where pilots are not evaluated with the possibility of failure and learning and with no prospects of recreating in larger scale.

Comments

"we operate on the assumption that the media monopoly will remain as is forever. the very reality of citizen journalism, lower costs of running satellite channels, new players in the global media market are not registered at all and no effort is spent on trying to imagine the future of the media landscape"

-"Citizen journalists" are allowed to exist only through using tools provided by big media monopoly, such as Google's Blogger and YouTube.

- Big media outlets started incorporating the "citizen journalists'" tools. Many newspapers moderate blogs, many mainstream journalists blog, the idea of "mojo journalism" is taking off.

What are the odds that the collective efforts are capable of producing a content that is as sophisticated and reasonably accurate to compete with the CNN or the New York times for example?

man u stopped writing totally i wonder why. only ur wife write here from time to time. u were not that good one, but at least u were saying something to encurage me to think. but now u r dead!!! ya alla mosh moshkilah! but u should at least say good bye to the people who used to come here to read u. Ahmed

NGOitisi! Absolutely and totally in agreement. This post made my day. Development speak irks me to no end, and not just because of its implementational drawbacks, but also because of its intrinsic inability to challenge the roots of any given problem. Poverty? Why, MICROCREDIT of course! What about the system that caused that in the first place? What about the structural adjustment programs imposed by the IMF and the World Bank that forced so many people into poverty in the first place? Where was "development" then? It's band-aid for cancer is what it is. Ba3dein don't get me started on donor-driven funding agendas. Or for that matter, on the legitimacy of the very system that perpetuates western soft power through the ubiquitous NGO-project-program-management-funding industry. How did we even end up here? We are no longer able to imagine any medium for social change outside of institutionalized organizations where our first concern is "where do we get funding from?" It's the death of creativity and passion. *Rant over*