Africa

In Defence of the #Kony12 Campaign (guest blog)

The Invisible Children Kony campaign has succeeded in one important thing. It has sparked a global debate about the best way to mobilise support for human rights action. With brilliant use of film and online social networks it has created a viral phenomenon that has generated huge publicity for the target of bringing the Ugandan war lord to justice. But critics […]

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Who Is To Blame When Africa Starves: media, governments or NGOs?

A report from Oxfam and Save The Children on the East African food crisis shows that thousands of lives could have been saved if aid organisations had acted earlier. This was not a sudden disaster and yet not enough was done to prevent it escalating: Early signs of an oncoming food crisis were clear many months before the emergency reached […]

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The Power of Information: New Technologies for Philanthropy and Development (conference notes)

You don’t usually get this many smart suits at a development conference, but Indigo Trust‘s The Power of Information: New Technologies for Philanthropy and Development at trendy Kings Place was seeking to bring together money, technology and the developing world. These are some notes written live during the day.

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A Virtual Civil Society?

If you walk down the corridors of most development organisations you will see the words ‘civil society’ on many of the name-plates screwed to the office doors. Comforting words engraved on nice solid plaques. But what does it mean? This is not an academic debate. I used to think that civil society meant all the non-commercial, non-governmental organisations that live […]

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Social media and democratic governance: the next decade (Wilton Park paper)

These are the notes for a presentation I gave as part of the Wilton Park conference on ‘media, social media and democratic governance’. This has been an extraordinary period for news and also for the way that news is created and consumed. I think that we see some substantial trends emerging are more than passing fads or exceptional circumstances. I […]

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