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Read the latest International Development study and training news. This news section covers study and training news, as well as more practice oriented news items. If you have an announcement to make or would like to post a news story, please feel free to send it to us at: TheEditors@Studying-Development.org.
News and Views
Beleaguered Wolfowitz seeks out African support
Practice News
Written by Joshua Wanyama, AfricanPath.com   
Tuesday, 17 April 2007

When one is in deep trouble, chances are you will seek your allies and hope their backing will get you through the storm. This seems to be the strategy World Bank’s president Paul Wolfowitz seems to be employing in trying to get past the pay scandal that has undermined his leadership and might ultimately cost him his job.

Last week, a story broke where Wolfowitz had allegedly pushed for a pay raise for his girlfriend Shaha Riza when she was assigned to the US State Department against her will in 2005. She was kept in the bank’s payroll with an extraordinary package including a 50% raise.  

Wolfowitz denied the charges but admitted involvement stating he was protecting the bank’s interests by preventing Riza from suing the World Bank. On Friday, the bank’s board released some incriminating documents contradicting Wolfowitz claim.

This scandal comes at an interesting time as the 180 country finance ministers are in Washington for the annual spring World Bank meeting. Delegates are holding a flurry of meetings with World Bank officials providing advice on the best course to follow. Wolfowitz has reached out to the African finance ministers who have benefited the most from his reign when he took over the World Bank in 2005.

Read the full article: Beleaguered Wolfowitz seeks out African support

Cracks under surface of the £5bn Labour mission for world’s poor
Practice News
Written by Bronwen Maddox, The Times, UK   
Thursday, 22 March 2007

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Department for International Development, one of Tony Blair’s first and most dramatic moves to shake up Britain’s Government.

To supporters of the overseas aid agency it underpins Britain’s claim to be a leader in helping the world’s poor, unsullied by national or commercial interest.“There is no doubt in my mind that aid works,” Hilary Benn, the Secretary for International Development, told The Times.

“I think if you ask people around the world about [the department], about Britain’s role in development, then people will acknowledge us as one of the leaders.”

But to its critics, it is a sop to idealistic campaigners to whom Labour partly owed its May 1997 election victory, and who it is now nervous of losing through their anger over Iraq. They argue that it spends money without accountability; that it lacks the staff and know-how to spend it well; and that its budget, which Mr Blair and Gordon Brown have promised will rise for six years, comes at the cost of traditional expertise in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Armed Forces.

Read the full article: Cracks under surface of the £5bn Labour mission for world’s poor

College students: broaden your horizons
Study News
Contributed by Josh Schellenberg, Oregon Daily Emerald, USA   
Saturday, 10 March 2007

Apathy toward global issues critically affects college campuses across the nation. Since catalyzing civil rights and anti-war movements in the 1960's, many college campuses have evolved into passive atmospheres where students are often unaware of important issues, such as global poverty, climate change and globalization. Due to the complexity and scale of these problems, many students feel powerless to make a difference.

Students attempt to expand their understanding of global issues by studying abroad in developed countries while spending social time among fellow Americans. This all-too-common experience fails to deliver an understanding of the factors that result in poverty for almost half of the world's population.

According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), the top five study abroad destinations last year were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Australia. While learning in these angelic destinations is very appealing, it fails to actively engage students where their passion and energy is needed most. This perpetuation of Western nations sharing knowledge, resources, and privilege does little for the one billion people who cannot read or write. Without students seeing the reality of the developing world, is there truly any wonder why they suffer from apathy?

read the full article: College students: broaden your horizons 

Preventing Incompetent Development
Practice News
Contributed by Jed Meline, The National Interest   
Tuesday, 06 February 2007
AIDS prevention is the same in Kansas City and Kampala. Urban planning in Chicago is no different than in Shanghai. Justice system reform is the same in Boston and Baghdad.

Of course not—but for many people it’s easy to assume that American solutions can simply be transferred overseas. This is due in no small part to the fact that there are no commonly respected standards for individuals practicing international development and relief. Under-qualified practitioners have in some cases led to poor development projects, inept use of foreign assistance resources, and the overall detriment of international development as a field. Lawyers have standards established by the American Bar Association, midwives the American Association of Nurse Midwives, physicians, engineers, realtors, even air- conditioning contractors are licensed and have professional associations. All one needs to be “qualified” as an international development practitioner is a passport.

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International Aid Work a Deadly Profession
Practice News
Written by Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service   
Saturday, 11 November 2006
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 10 (IPS) - The United Nations says that international aid work is one of the world's most hazardous professions, in which humanitarian workers are constantly threatened with -- or victims of -- kidnappings, harassment, detention and deadly violence.

A U.N. study, currently before the 192-member General Assembly, points out that hundreds of aid workers and U.N. humanitarian personnel continue to face risks in some of the world's major trouble spots, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Israel and Haiti.

"By any measure," says U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, "international aid work is a dangerous profession."

A comparison of on-the-job death rates in the top 10 most hazardous civilian occupations would place aid workers at number five after loggers (92.4 per 100,000 workers), pilots (92.4), fishermen (86.4) and structural iron and steel workers (47.0), according to the U.S. Department of Labour.

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