Secret Aid Worker: It’s ok not to love this job all the time

„There is seemingly no space for such skepticism in this lifestyle. And I think that needs to change. Let’s face it, there are some really great aspects of being an aid worker – I have met some amazing people, seen places in the world I otherwise would not have, and, yes, the work is fascinating and meaningful. But there are the bad days.“

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Secret Aid Worker: an NGO Worker goes to the UN

„Despite its reputation, the UN is actually a collection of rather small players in a hardcore realist political game. Like the NGO sector, it functions on extremely limited resources on a tightrope of political and donor appeasement. Do either of us, the NGO sector or the UN, get the job done? The answer is probably no. But this self-declared dichotomy that our goals are somehow divergent from one another serves no one.“


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Secret aid worker: ‚the field‘

We need to reclaim the term fieldwork from the neo-colonial vocabulary that has polluted humanitarian discourse


„To most people outside the aid world, field is not a loaded word. It is an area of land or a branch of study or occupation. However, over the past few decades, with the growth of humanitarian and development sectors (and associated neo-colonial discourse), a new definition has been cultivated, and it makes me wince.“

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Unconscious bias in IC

The fascinating world of unconscious bias and development policy


„In the last few decades, groundbreaking work by psychologists and behavioural economists has exposed unconscious biases in the way we think. And as the World Bank’s 2015 World Development Report points out, development professionals are not immune to these biases. (…) How can we counter them in humanitarian work?“

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Why so few female peacekeepers?


„As atrocities mount in South Sudan, with reports of government and non-government soldiers killing and raping, the UK is preparing to send peacekeeping troops there. How will the UN peacekeeping summit, hosted this week in London, make maintaining peace and security more effective, in particular the protection of women and girls?“

Fiona Hodgson, from The Guardian.

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Road to 2030: International Youth Day

This year’s international youth day theme is: “On the road to 2030: Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable production and consumption”.


Francis Oko Armah (24 years old) speaks:

„The road itself is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on this road, there are 15 speed ramps, these ramps are the milestones we will celebrate on every international youth day and today is the first. On this same road, there are 169 road signs; these are the targets for the SDGs. If we miss the signs (targets), there are chances of road accidents or we miss our way to reaching a successful 2030. Do not forget the traffic lights we see on the roads, they are the indicators. They give us time to think over some of the imbalances on the road when it shows a red light! Why some roads are nicely tarred and others with potholes (…)“

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Death of a survey


For many years, the survey has been a tool of both choice and necessity for development. This has been partially driven by the high cost and specialized technical expertise required for alternative forms of data collection and visualization. The result is that decision-making based on big data and sentiment analysis has often been the purview of senior officials at major organizations — a top-down phenomenon we sometimes refer to as “Data for Superman.”
Yet the dynamics are changing. (…)

The data drawn from news aggregation and sentiment analysis is free, publicly accessible, and can serve as a valuable resource for health workers, journalists, and peace builders in the field.

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Secret Aid Worker: when your dream job ends in depression


When I left university as a young professional full of dreams and idealism, no job in the world sounded more exciting than being an aid worker. Travelling a lot, working with a team who come from all over the world and contributing to something meaningful seemed like the dream job. So after gaining some work experience in my home country, I was excited when one of the world’s biggest international aid organisations offered me a job as an adviser to a local NGO in Africa.