Favourite posts out of 100 PPSC blog posts

Last week we published our 100th post on the IDS Participation, Power and Social Change (PPSC) blog, which has now been running for just over 2 years. I’ve used this opportunity to ask my colleagues and students in the PPSC team at IDS about their most favourite post in the last two years. Here are the responses (sorted chronologically by time of the post):

Egypt: Growing anger with western opinion by Mariz TadrosRichard_Douglass200
Richard Douglas: ‘I like that this post’s focus is on issues that resound across the Middle East and it is a perspective that reflects a view that is not normally stated in the main stream media.’

Moving beyond the North-South ‘development-divide’  by Katy Oswald
Hamsini Ravi (student MA Participation, Power and Social Change): ‘As a student of Development, who’s spent a year dissecting, researching and reflecting on several questions of Hamsini Ravidevelopment with a diverse cohort, it is astonishing how much we stereotype and ‘box’, despite being thinking individuals. We like categories, we like looking at things as ‘black’ and ‘white’, because they make our lives and thoughts simpler. But Katy offered a pertinent perspective, and pushed me out of my comfort zone, and made me less lazy about labels like ‘first world’ or ‘developing’.’

Is this that time? (Será este aquele tempo?) – Images from Brazil, words for Sue_Schirmer200everywhere by akshay khanna, Luan Citele and Renan Otto
Sue Schirmer: ‘I like the idea of using creative arts (photography and poetry) to reflect on development issues.’

The crisis of Brazilian democracy, as seen from Mozambique by Alex Shankland
Jessica Kennedy (MA Participation, Power and Social Change Student): ‘Alex’ piece is Jessica Kennedy imagethe one I remember the best. Why? It was relevant, touching on something I was interested in, cared about, but felt I did not have enough of an understanding about – and related to other themes I was exploring, namely the apparent wave of ‘unruly’ popular protests happening this year. It was global, looking at Brazilian ‘manifestations’ from the view of a Brit trying to explain the nature of an entirely different type of riot to Mozambican colleagues. And it promised more – more blogs, more analysis and more reading.’

Jane_Stevens200States of Exception, a Tragedy in Unceasing Acts: Development Encounters by Patta Scott-Villiers
Jane Stevens: ‘Patta’s beautiful, poignant piece on her experiences in Palestine and Israel brought a place, a people, an almost impossible situation, alive in a way no other blog ever has. At once I was there, I could smell, feel and breathe it… and those ordinary, yet utterly extraordinary, people of both territories simply picked themselves up from the page in  front of me and moved around my office laughing, gesticulating, passionate… And I was left wondering how can they and we can move forward to somewhere better? And who are we to truly understand as we drift in and out of situations leaving behind, as Patta puts it, a “faint trail of idealism”?  Whilst the reality of the huge, complex, divisive tangle of it all settled in my head with a soft thud, this piece and the people in it left me feeling reflective, humbled and with eyes full of tears.’

Three things the crisis (should have) taught us about women’s empowerment by Stephen_Wood200Naomi Hossain
Stephen Wood: ‘I particularly enjoyed this piece from Naomi Hossain, which exploded a few myths around the presumption in development that paid employment amongst women is a straightforward stepping stone towards agency and independence. Her piece crystallised an increasingly loud critique of the aid industry’s dependence on
women’s unpaid care to take the strain of economic shocks and served as a rallying call for sustainable social protection for women and care-givers.’


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