Posts categorized under Development

03 April 2011 ~ 4 Comments

To Hell with Good Intentions (my imaginary conversation with Ivan Illich)

Oh how I wish that I had heard Ivan Illich give this speech in 1968. I imagine myself as one of the students about to be sent off to Mexico to “volunteer”, eager to “help the poor people”, smiling proudly as I shine in my own self-worth. And then I imagine hearing him start out [...]

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28 March 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Earning the right to leave your money in a country

Whenever a group of people visit me in Cambodia and want to learn about responsible development, we usually go visit RDIC, an organization working with a variety of rural applicable technologies in the areas of water, health, agriculture, and more. Whenever we’re there, I’m always struck when one of the managers, John, says one of [...]

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23 March 2011 ~ 8 Comments

Giving away one bednet doesn’t “save one life”…. sorry!

Ahh, bednets. NGOs sell the idea of giving things away by equating each thing we give away to “the poor”, like a bednet, as equal to “saving a life”. If only it were that easy…. This week a fascinating group of visiting students told us about a campaign that had happened in their school to [...]

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03 January 2011 ~ 8 Comments

Guidelines for Writing About “Development Issues”

Over the course of the last five years we have jotted down many rules and given presentations internally at PEPY about our writing guidelines.  I spent the better part of the day today locating them and compiling them, and they have a lot of the same themes. Here are a selection of the Do’s and [...]

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27 October 2010 ~ 7 Comments

Investing in People

We want to know that our money went to “the right place”. We have been taught to be fearful that our donations might aid corruption or not be used in the way we had intended. As such, it’s easier for us to build buildings than invest time in people through things like trainings & education [...]

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11 September 2010 ~ 2 Comments

How do I know if I’m going to add value in my volunteer placement?

Last week I wrote a blog post complaining about volunteer sending organizations trying to “sell” their 17 year old volunteers to NGO organizations.  I then got a very well thought out response from 16 year old Naya Herman who is considering volunteering abroad and so I decided to answer her two questions in two new [...]

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05 August 2010 ~ 31 Comments

How do YOU define “Responsible Travel”?

I recently wrote a piece about PEPY Tours on World Nomad’s website.  I am reposting it below as it relates to a lot of the themes of this blog: Responsible Giving, voluntourism, Cambodia, etc Fast Five Profile: PEPY Tours One of the PEPY riders on her bike for Cambodian based PEPY Tours 1. Who are [...]

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