mabroda September 25th, 2009
Greetings colleagues! It has been a wonderful two sessions with you all. I have left each time with a sense of awe at the depth and perspective we are able to explore the issues of poverty across the globe based on our composition as a group. It is also very exciting to feel the passion that each of you bring to the discussion. What an enriching experience!
Jim and Jennifer will be providing the readings for our next meeting, but I wanted to also provide some additional materials that have helped me to make sense of and contextualize the readings from last session (an maybe help with the readings for our next session as well). We had a lot of conversation regarding the problem of “we vs. them” when trying to articulate the issue of poverty, as well as discussion on the nature of what “developing” meant when trying to identify countries in need. I found two interesting presentations done by Hans Rosling that helped me to “see” what we were reading and put it in historical context. I would suggest watching the videos in order. The first proposes a change in mindset, while the second looks more specifically at poverty. For me, it is so interesting to see how we can use technology to not just interpret data, but use it to tell a compelling story. Hans’ programs are so helpful in seeing the multiple dimensions of global development.
For those interested, Gapminder (Hans’ data program) is actually a Web 2.0 tool.
I found two other videos by Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of Acumen Fund, as an attempt add a personal voice to the issue of poverty (as noted by Stephanie during our first session), as well as a tie-in to a conversation I had with Ibra last session regarding the need for local involvement and direction when providing support and aid to those in need.
One last video I found also provided a more personal account of poverty issues, in particular living in the slums – A Slum Insight. ”A slum insight is a video developed by Gapminder in collaboration with UN-Habitat and ITC for the UN Habitat conference World Urban Forum III , Vancouver, Canada. “
Finally, I would recommend visiting AmericanPoverty.org, “…an organization of photojournalists commited to poverty alleviation in the United States.” These photojournalists are committed to making the invisible, visible. Their site contains a number of moving photo essays on poverty in our own country, with an emphasis on children.