Thursday 25 November 2010

Simple Words about Complexity

In a helpful comment about my recent post "Donor Playgrounds and Unknowable Outcomes", my friend Hélène complains about jargon. Why do we use fancy words? One reason is that sometimes such elaborate terminology (= fancy words) is more accurate than simpler language - but only if everyone involved has the same understanding of the words used. Then, fancy words convey the impression that you know exactly what you are talking about. And finally, fancy words make harsh truths sound elegant and not too painful - especially if the one who reads/ listens does not understand what you mean. But then, what's the point in saying anything if it is not understood?

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Donor Playgrounds and Unknowable Outcomes

"Donor Playground Cambodia" is the title of a highly commendable paper Adam Fforde and Katrin Seidel have contributed to a conference on development policy, Thinking Ahead, organised by the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Berlin. A core theme of their paper: "the tensions created by the belief that development is both a known product of interventions guided by predictive knowledge, and the sense that, really, the future is unknowable".

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Resolution 1325 - 10th Anniversary

(Logo: Gunda Werner Institute, HBS)
After a decade of deafening silence around Resolution 1325, a flurry of activities has broken out to celebrate its 10th anniversary: New York, Brussels, Geneva, Vienna, Beirut and other attractive locations host international conferences. This year's 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence also plugs into the topic, with the theme "Structures of Violence: Defining the Intersections of Militarism and Violence against Women".