Information is beautiful

CPWF Mekong Communications Coordinator Terry Clayton reviews a recent publication and finds it—beautiful. When was the last time you pick ed up a beautiful book? I don’t mean a book with beautiful pictures, there are lots of those. I mean a book so beautifully laid out and illustrated that it seduces eye and mind into [...]

Are you ready for the nexus?

In development circles, everything is suddenly a nexus. Nexus approach. Nexus perspective. The A-B-C Nexus. Welcome to the new buzz word. According to my trusted Oxford, nexus means: 1. connection; a connection or link associating two or more people or things.2. connected group; a group of series of connected people or things.3. center; the center [...]

Hydro Power and Chauvinism a Bad Mix

Apparently all that is required these days to be lauded as a “strategic thinker” is an opinion and a good supply of scary adjectives. I have both and I will employ them on deconstructing the esteemed Professor Brahma Chellaney’s recent newspaper article “Regional ties threatened by China’s dam drive“. I will argue the article is chauvinistic, [...]

ON AWARENESS AND ITS RAISING

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of having my awareness raised. It seems every other paper, report or project proposal I pick up is invoking “awareness raising” as rationale, output, outcome or impact and sometimes all four at the same time. Can awareness raising really be all those things, or is it just [...]

More or Less Connected

The more connected you are, the less you are connecting. I am at a conference. I am so busy rephrasing what the speakers are saying into 144 characters that I am not really listening to what they say. If I’m not Tweeting, I’m checking my email because of course there is a wireless Internet connection. [...]

Schrödinger’s Bus

How the act of searching for a bus to Chiang Mai collapses the waveform and causes a bus to exist. We had two young Swedish women come to visit us at the farm. Josephine was the girlfriend of the son of a good friend of mine, and Linda her travelling companion. They had both been [...]

Let 10,000 Adaptation Projects Bloom

There is ample evidence to convince many that climate change is well underway. Reducing greenhouse gases remains important, but we had best start thinking harder about how we will adapt to the coming changes. Published in Issues magazine: Issues 94: March 2011, Climate Change Adaptation.http://issues.control.com.au/Issues2011/bi94.shtml  Public awareness of adaptation, as opposed to mitigation, is only [...]

Why ‘marketing’ is the wrong metaphor for development communication

Summary The widespread use of the marketing metaphor in development communication may be limiting the impact of research for development. It reflects a deficit model of communication that denies agency to the people with whom we wish to communicate; it contributes to the further commodification of science and the further undermining of public trust; and [...]

If Writers Were Cars

If Writers Were Cars Everyone knows how to rent a car. You start with why you need one. In town for a couple of days on business? You probably want something small and easy to park. Taking the family to the beach for the weekend? A station wagon or SUV will do nicely. Cleaning out [...]

The Myth of Insufficient Information

Pick any topic. It could be as broad as “conservation” or as specific as the reproductive cycle of Viverricula indica. Chances are good that at the next meeting or workshop you attend or in the next report you read, you will hear or read a claim that “we have insufficient information” on the subject and [...]