Lessons from OLPC

by David Week on 02 July 2013

The news, finally, is that OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) is falling apart. The news come via this post on OLPC News, which cites: multiple failures on project delivery poor evaluation results top staff leaving in droves. I thought OLPC would fall apart about two years ago. There were two flaws in its business model: It […]

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Over on “KM on a dollar a day” Ian Thorpe has posted an argument about The Perils of Fundraising. Though I agree with his arguments against poverty porn, I don’t agree with his solution: that fundraising “follow” mission. This is like companies who think that marketing follows product design, otherwise known as the myth of […]

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The “developing country” double standard

by David Week 14 April 2012

This is a guest post by three authors: Tom Murphy, Carol Gallo and myself. It came from a conversation. Carol put the words together reporting that conversation, below: Once upon a time, David Week read an article in The Washington Post which revealed that Washington lawmakers not only accepted donations from contributors with a stake […]

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QA4D

by David Week 20 November 2011

Okay: we don’t really need yet another of those cutesie “4D = for development” labels, but for a blog post heading, it’s acceptable. In my last post, Fad Surfing in the Development Boardroom, I took issue with those (and there are many) who think that “development” is completely dissociated from the rest of the world. […]

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Fad surfing in the development boardroom

by David Week 25 October 2011

This is a response to J’s post on Tales from the Hood, entitled: ”Fail“. The title of my post comes from a book I have on my shelf: “Fad Surfing in the Boardroom: Reclaiming the Courage to Manage in the Age of Instant Answers.” Note the subtitle, which proposes that the alternative to fad surfing is […]

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Reinventing the wheel (all over again)

by David Week 11 September 2011

Because I come to development from a professional background (architecture, and through architecture, project management) I’m familiar with a pre-existing knowledge base that lies outside that industry we call “development”. As a result, I often come across areas of development assistance which appear to me to be reinventions of the wheel—in complete apparent ignorance that […]

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Don’t knock aid

by David Week 7 September 2011

This post comes from a debate I became involved with on LinkedIn. You can find that debate here. Critiques vs knocking Critiquing aid is to take a specific aspect of aid practice which could be improved, showing comparatively that it could be better, analysing the problem, and proposing solutions. Knocking aid is to enter into […]

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The other SWEDOW

by David Week 18 August 2011

SWEDOW “SWEDOW” is an acroynm for: Stuff WE DOn’t Want. It was coined by @talesfromthhood, and has spread into the lexicon, to the point where it has its own wordspy entry. Up until five minutes ago, when I researched the term, I thought that the “we” in SWEDOW referred to the recipients, as in “please […]

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It’s the elites, stupid

by David Week 8 August 2011

Aid-bashing I’ve spent most of my professional life working in the Pacific and Asia, and have only recently been invited to participate in a couple of projects in Africa. As a result, I’ve started to pay more attention to what’s happening in Africa, and I’m astonished to see the aid-bashing seems to be a popular […]

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Three Cups of Skywalker

by David Week 6 August 2011

The furore around l’affaire Mortenson has died down. At its height, opinion and speculation filled the blogosphere. Some hoped Mortenson would make it through the flames. Some wrote of how he had inspired them to care. Others pointed out that his development model, based around school construction, was bad from day one; that anthropologists had […]

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The moral frame of development research

by David Week 22 July 2011

I’ve been reading a post by Tom Murphy entitled Aid’s God Complex and Bloggers Groupthink. Towards the end of the post, Tom says this: Critics of research will decry the wonky conversations that do not address the issues at hand. Some will say that things need to get done and it is a waste of resources […]

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The new colonial architecture

by David Week 15 June 2011

I saw today a picture of a school in Cambodia, designed by Finnish architects. It is very nice looking. It photographs very well. It will be picked up and circulated widely in the architectural press, online and off. Without doubt. You can see more here. In the comments box, I wrote this: This is artistically […]

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