Please welcome Tom Murphy to the ONE Blog. He is the editor of international development blog A View from the Cave, cofounder of The Development and Aid World News Service, and deputy editor of PSI Healthy Lives Blog. We’re excited to share his video recommendations with you:
There are many big and small discussions about international aid. If you are like me, you enjoy the really wonky debates over whether the latest randomized control trial shows if a tested intervention shows measured improvement in people’s lives. Alas, not everyone enjoys spending their days reading studies and debating external validity.
So, I have come up with five videos for those of you who are interested in aid, want to learn more, but are not keen on reading academic papers. Hopefully, these videos provide a challenge and fulfill your desire to not only do good, but do it right.
“Africa is Poor and 5 other Aid Myths” – Simon Moss
Simon Moss is the co-founder of the advocacy group The Global Poverty Project. In his TEDxWarwick talk, Simon lists five aid myths. You will learn why Africa is not actually poor, there is enough food to feed the growing population around the world, and hear an argument why volunteering overseas may not do good.
“How to Write About Africa” – Binyavanga Wainaina
A satirical article written by Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina’s titled “How to Write About Africa” is a biting take on the way that Africa is portrayed in western media. He writes, “Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls, and eat things no other humans eat. Do not mention rice and beef and wheat; monkey-brain is an African’s cuisine of choice, along with goat, snake, worms and grubs and all manner of game meat. Make sure you show that you are able to eat such food without flinching, and describe how you learn to enjoy it—because you care.” The short piece gained popularity when Bono included it among other essays when he served as a special editor for Vogue. Actor Djimon Hounsou provides a reading of the piece where they change the title to “How Not to Write About Africa.” Though one word is added, the brilliance of making it a how to guide is why it is so powerful
“The Danger of the Single Story” – Chimamanda Adiche
We are “impressionable and vulnerable” when hearing a story, says Nigerian Chimmanda Adiche in her TED Global talk. “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story,” she says later. As we saw above, the portrayal of Africa has fallen into the trappings of the single story. Adiche discusses the times in her life that the single story established a set of assumptions for both herself and the people she met.
“Finding Answers in the Global Market” – Andrew Rugasira
Earlier this year, Rugasira, the founder and CEO of Good African Coffee, spoke at a conference in NYU. There, he discussed the role of entrepreneurship in his home country of Uganda. He explains how he got Good African Coffee going and explained how under-investment in African countries is one of the greatest challenges for entrepreneurs such as himself. Shortly after the talk, the New York Times Magazine profiled Rugasira. It’s well worth a read.
“Alex Presents: Commando” – Mama Hope
Straightforward and brilliant. Alex is a young boy in Tanzania. He is a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this video produced by the NGO Mama Hope, Alex narrates the Arnold 80′s classic Commando. The attention to detail and enthusiasm by Alex draws the viewer in. A child from rural Tanzania is not often associated with having seen American movies. The video is part of the organization’s “Stop the Pity” campaign. Poverty is an unimaginable struggle, but it does not strip away hope and joy.
I hope you find the videos equally interesting, informative, and challenging. There are plenty of other videos I would have loved to include in the mix, including Andrew Mwenda on foreign aid, Hans Rosling bringing data to life, and Daniella Papi explaining the reason ‘how’ matters in development as opposed to ‘why.’ Tell me your thoughts about the five here and what other videos that discuss aid should be seen by more people.
Like what you read? Follow Tom Murphy on Twitter at @viewfromthecave.