What made her do the right thing?

Which development interventions worked and which didn’t? Sometimes it’s hard to know when the intervention wasn’t intended. I’m puzzled by what’s behind the behaviour. The attitude, social pressure, and control.

I walk to my office every morning. I pass walls of maize and waves of legume farms. After the primary school, if I walk slow, I get to my office after 7 minutes after leaving my place. I can almost listen to 2 songs while I’m walking. It’s refreshing and effective at the same time for blocking children’s enthusiastic calls for attention that’s repeated every morning.

Continue reading “What made her do the right thing?”

Let’s be clear about ownership in development

We left the last construction process for the community to finish.” Someone told me when I asked why the construction for a hand pump was not completed. That was a year ago. The pump itself was working but the gutter was left undone. So if someone uses the pump, the water was to roam about and make a huge pool where mosquitos can thrive and fly. There was a lock which kept people from using the pump without contributing their share. I asked, “so does the community have any plan to finish anytime soon?” “No, they said they don’t have money to buy cements and pebbles,” he answered. “Then what’s our plan?” I asked. He said, “we wait until they show their ownership.” I was new and was still learning from my successor’s work without my successor present, so I didn’t say more.

Continue reading “Let’s be clear about ownership in development”

Locked out: the nationality and border

Trump administration banned the entry of people with certain nationalities. It’s discriminatory. But what did I do when it happened in front of my own eyes?

This particular time when people with proper visa were reported to be stuck in the airport due to the travel ban, I wanted to write about the story that I find equally silly.

Continue reading “Locked out: the nationality and border”

Aren’t we appropriating music?

You can’t believe how much I love looking appropriate. Especially when it comes to listening to music. I appropriate to impress.

While I was working on office party planning ahead of Christmas day, I decided to buy a set of speaker so that we music lovers can listen to music as loud as our sing-along noise. A few days later, I set up the new speaker on my desk for a test run. Even for a test run, my music selection process isn’t usually quite simple. I consider several factors like emotion, audience, occasion, and so on. This time I chose from my playlists songs that involve bouncy beats such as dancehall and reggaeton that give African-y vibes.

Continue reading “Aren’t we appropriating music?”

Choice: The question of women’s rights voice

Wearing religious veil is either encouraged or discouraged. There’s no ground for the middle. But the real problem is not about the attire. It’s the choice. Choice to make free decisions no matter how noble or stupid they are.

In 2010, France passed the bill that bans face coverings such as masks, balaclavas, helmets, niqab, and burqa and it came in effective by 2011. It imposes a fine of 150 euros on an individual wearing a face cover and 15,000 euros on anyone who forces others to wear one. It didn’t come with no backfire, as expected. The public including supporters of human rights such as Amnesty International condemned the bill, saying it is the violation of freedom of expression of women who wear the face covers.

Continue reading “Choice: The question of women’s rights voice”

Development links

How to design a survey for estimating returns to education? Do returns to education depend on how and who you ask? Yes. Turns out short questionnaires do lead to biased estimates of returns to education. Even thought who responds ,self or proxy, did not make significant difference, the level of biased estimates differed between education level.

Experiments on TOMS shoes. It doesn’t affect local shoes market negatively but it doesn’t seem to have much impact on poor children either. Important thing is, TOMS wanted the results to be published.

Beneath the number

Couple of boys belly downed on the side road near the entrance of the biggest shopping centre in the city. I tried to look at what they were doing in that position. They were sipping water from the ground with their face down so as not to get their hands dirty. That didn’t shock me though.

As I entered the shopping centre parking lot, however, I got shocked by the number of expensive heavy cars with different organisations’ names on them. Prices of cars are not the problem. But it’s the myriad of NGOs and institutions in the city where drinking black water from the ground still happens.

insecurity and integration

It seems to make sense that poor integration brings insecurity. Personally, on the contrary, I think insecurity brings poor integration, not vice versa.

The integration dynamic caused by push factors such as discrimination, I think have distinctive outcomes, compared to when it’s driven by natural needs. Mainly because the former one starts by dividing and labelling each “group” but the latter ones are rather categorised by the purposes.

Continue reading “insecurity and integration”

Thoughts on good-hearted

Long story short, I hate good-hearted people.

I don’t know if it’s universal. But I have a bone to pick with the so called good-hearted people. Being kind and modest became a norm and a virtue in our society, as if it is the default set of proper human being. However, the rosy and lousy expectation that kindness is the superior of all qualities is just wrong.

Continue reading “Thoughts on good-hearted”