Thoughts from an agricultural development gal in Ghana

Development Digest – 01/04/11

One of my jobs when I was an intern at the EWB National Office in 2007 was to put together a weekly Development Digest to send out on a mailing list and myEWB. It was one of my favourite parts of the job, allowing me to keep up with international news and share the best stories with other people. This is something I like to do naturally and I’ve kept up the habit for the past few years. When other people on my team found out about it, they said I should start sharing these stories – so I did!

I’ve been putting out these weekly development digests to the Ghana team for about a month now. Right now they are a bit Ghana-centric (I have a Ghana news section, but not ones for Burkina, Zambia or Malawi, the other countries in which EWB is working). I also might be missing out on important world or Canada news stories (that’s the part I have a hard time keeping up with – so much news!). So I’d be interested in partnering with someone either in Canada or anywhere else to fill in the missing pieces, then share this with a wider audience each week (on myEWB or something). I am happy to provide the posts from development blogs and Ghana news, but would love help doing the rest! Let me know if you’re interested in sharing this task.

Alright, on to the good stuff! Unfortunately I didn’t send one out last week, so this one’s a long double-whammy – but I hope you enjoy it!

If you only have time to read 10 articles (2 weeks worth!), read the ones with the *star*.


Global news:

Japan: Dark days for the empire of the Sun –
Japan: The truth about the Fukushima “nuclear samurai” –
Japan food fears prompt import curbs –
Japan radiation fears slow recovery effort –
Aid to Libya must be impartial –
Yemen’s demonstrations: yet more cracking down –
Bahrain Shia leader says Saudi force must go –
Syria braces for mass demonstrations –
Libya intervention threatens the Arab Spring –
*Obama’s big risk: how his Libya gambit will end –

Africa news:

Heaviest ever floods in northern Namibia –
Senegal protests –

Cote D’Ivoire news:

Ivory Coast needs more humanitarian aid –
Ivory Coast’s descent into madness –
The other African war we were supposed to stop –
Does the ‘Obama Doctrine’ apply to the Ivory Coast? –
Is Cote D’Ivoire headed to genocide? –
*Ivory Coast fighters descend upon main city –
There will be a lot of breaking news about Cote D’Ivoire in the next few days, so keep watching!

Ghana news:

Really Oxfam? Really? (response to Oxfam report condemning NHIS I posted a couple weeks ago – worth reading the comments as well! –
RELATED: Really CGD? Really? The perils of attack blogs –
Doctors fear coming rains will fuel cholera –
Government urges restraint in response to acquital, discharge of alleged Na-Ya murderers –
RELATED: Jerry Rawlings speaks on Dagbon crisis –
Ghana border town braces for influx of Ivorian refugees –
*Shea nut more beneficial to Ghana than cocoa? –
Unknown number of nationals in Libya poses evacuation problems –

Canada news:

Canada watches its democracy erode –
*A trivial election in serious times –
Amnesty International says Canada no longer leads on human rights –
Canadian companies urged to look at the cost of doing business with despots –
Rocky relations between politicians, media must change: Ignatieff –
Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s transit plan wins provincial approval –
Greens file court challenge over debate snub –
*Be a smart voter – Canada needs you! –

Agriculture news:

*Sach’s outlook darkens on global food prospects –
Ghana govt under pressure to adopt GM crops –
The Ghana Grains Partnership –
Why world food prices may keep climbing –
Alternatives to the dominant agricultural model –
Envy holds back agricultural development –
Food companies share know-how in Africa –
*How we engineered the food crisis (pro-GM seeds) –
The importance of investing in women farmers –
Hidden hunger: how much can farming really improve people’s health? –
AGRA soil health project takes off in Northern Ghana –
AGRA tells gov’t to build trust with private sector –
Agricultural investment in Africa growing as world food prices rise –
Cocoa industry has ‘increasing concern’ over Ivory Coast unrest –
Boosting portfolio returns by long-term investment in agriculture –

Development thinking:

*Engagement pyramid –
Result! (analysis of results-based management) –
*Getting Better: Why global development is succeeding –
Does Twitter kill compassion? –
Hiding the real Africa: why NGOs prefer bad news –
Homeward Bound (using the African diaspora) –
African Ventures (investing in Africa) –
How to protect foreign aid? Improve it (more on Cash on Delivery) –
The asterisk is everything –
You choose –
Dear Students: Sacrifice (and why it shouldn’t be your reason for being an aid worker) –
Aid agencies must listen to the people they’re helping –
Aid – what is it good for (and at)? –
It’s the quality of management, stupid –
*The Circle(s) of Life –
Behavioural economics and RCTs: trumpeted, attacked and parried –
Diversity, community and knowledge management –
Evaluating Givewell by finding the best charity –
Madonna sued by charity workers over scrapped Malawi school –
Mission optimization: are aid workers up for it? –

EWB blog posts:

Untapped Markets: Sustainable Business? –
Jordan: Nagula Nkuku: The story of Charlie the chicken –
Don: Village stay –
Untapped Markets: Using local radio to stimulate rural agricultural markets –
Genevieve: Les 12 travaux d’Asterix –
Erin: Evaluating complexity –
Geneviève: 45km from Tanzania –
Robin: Another day in the life… –
Geneviève: To the blind man’s eye –
Untapped Markets: Often imitated, sometimes duplicated and always devastated –
Dan B: Management as a technology –
Geneviève: Will power –
Ben: Strategy Development in small meal sized chunks –
RELATED: Erin’s intro to Ben’s post (to redirect traffic and explain the exercise) –

And don’t forget our regular features:
Jo’s Zam-servations –
Ben’s Friday Flims –

Amusing and interesting things:

How to Load a Truck –
Aid Proverbs –
Amazon town bans tourists –
Which traits predict success? The importance of ‘grit’ –
The Men in Africa Not Doing That –
6 Socially Conscious Actions That Only Look Like They Help –
Fashion with an easy conscience –
Another good xkcd –
Damn you autocorrect (this website made me laugh so hard I cried!) –


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