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Showing posts from February, 2016

Resilience: Locally Owned or Locally Grown?

In a recent article, I highlighted an issue that I feel needs more discussion and examination. I was writing about development jargon and the topic of resilience came up. In the article, I noted that I had recently learned that the concept of resilience was understood differently at the community level in a country which my husband had just returned from. In Vanuatu, communities viewed resilience as something built on local knowledge and historical practice, whereas the ‘resilience’ that was being pushed by development partners was heavily reliant on foreign practice and knowledge, which the communities felt would make them more dependent on foreign assistance in order to ‘be resilient’ to issues such as climate change in the long term. It was a very interesting issue that prompted me to begin investigating further into definitions and understanding of resilience, and the difference between those that need it and those that promote it.

Development Jargon: the Undermining of Accountability to Stakeholders?

The other day, I realized I've been in the business of development and conflict management for 13 years. If you include my time doing human rights research and advocacy, its 15 going on 16 years. Which I think is just enough time for me to credibly admit that most of us arewinging it most of the rest of the time, and happily confident in what we're saying about 20 minutes a week. Since moving into the blogosphere and thus taking a step back from daily meetings and face to face interactions with actual people in the same field, I have found that my confidence in the arguments that I make in my writing is increasing. With considerable reflection, I have concluded that a key contributing factor is the fact that I am not listening to jargon and therefore not spouting it to my audience. Over time, my readership has gone up and I like to think this is partly because I use actual words - words that mean something to the average person, and that have meaning to me.