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Barriers to Development

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Article | 23 comments

Author: Kelly Rae Gazing out of the car window, I see picturesque lush rice paddies and farming families, as I travel through rural and remote areas of Battambang Province, Cambodia.  I see hundreds of bright red metal signs, marking the known positions of landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs). Others are there also, less clearly marked with crossed twigs, knotted grass or cans, but these temporary signs shift with the rain, wind and seasons. Others lie buried, the long lasting legacy of decades of civil and regional conflict in Cambodia. Kelly Rae Here in Battambang Province, community members have nicknamed a breed of cow, ‘the dying breed’, as so many have been killed from landmine and UXO explosions. This reference points to a significant barrier to sustainable development efforts within Cambodia. Remnants of the three decades of conflict in Cambodia are still littered throughout the nation and continue to cause fear and anxiety, kill and maim innocent civilians. The UN states that 12 per cent of Cambodian’s live in areas which are highly contaminated, making it one of the worst landmine and UXO affected countries in the world (UN 2010). To acknowledge this significant impediment to development, Cambodia added a ninth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to be achieved: ‘De-Mining, UXO and Victim Assistance’. In this...

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Meaningful Volunteering

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Essay | 27 comments

Are you a volunteer? Have you considered volunteering? Or do you manage volunteers within a development organisation? Volunteers don’t seek thanks for their efforts, but nonetheless a bit of recognition is always encouraging.  In this spirit the United Nations General Assembly instigated International Volunteer Day in 1985 to acknowledge volunteers on the 5th of December every year.  In 2009 it seemed that although some city councils and organisations celebrated the occasion, the day passed relatively quietly and is indicative of the general lack of visibility given to volunteers despite their valuable contribution within the Australian context, particularly in the areas of aid and development. The release of the 2009 ‘National Survey of Volunteer Issues ‘ by Volunteering Australia highlights that while volunteering in many cases is a rewarding experience, there are also times when it falls short of these expectations (Volunteering Australia 2009). And it is in this gap, it seems, that relatively simple improvements will make a substantial difference to the volunteer experience. Volunteering has the potential to be a rich, diverse and meaningful experience. Not only for those receiving the benefit, but also for those giving of their talents, energies, resources, and time. Simply put, volunteering represents an opportunity for volunteers to utilise and build skills, garner experience and foster confidence, in...

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What humility has to offer development practice

Posted by on Oct 25, 2014 in Article, Essay | 21 comments

Among the many core requirements of work in development, there is one that is rarely mentioned. It is not detailed as a requirement in job descriptions or person specifications. Few candidates are likely to mention this in interviews. It does not seem to be a focus of professional development. While there are many character traits important to development work, humility is a critical yet commonly overlooked element to the success of partnerships, programs and projects that aim to work...

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Smiles with the most to lose

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Environment, Essay, Photo | 23 comments

By Naomi Hogan and Steve Denshire Some countries around the world are feeling the effects of climate change more then others, yet most of us are unaware of these struggles. Australia is doing relatively well coping with the current effects of climate change, at least compared to some low lying island nations or communities reliant on the melt waters from glaciers. This was made amazingly clear at the Bolivian hosted World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights...

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On The Campaign Trail

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Article, Development in Practice, Video | 0 comments

“On the campaign trail” is a video profile of the contributors to ‘The Australian Development Review’, as launched in 2009. The film discusses their work, hopes and aspirations for a fairer, just and more sustainable future. Andrew Kaighin – Editor-in-Chief Pablo Brait – Former Associate Editor Amy Manuell (Johnstone) – Former Associate Editor On the Campaign Trail Produced by TheADR.com.au Directed by Dilan Gunawardana...

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Reflections on Development

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Development in Practice, Opinion | 10 comments

“My reflections on international development”, by Stephanie Moroney International development is an area that harbours feelings of confusion, passion and unknowing among those involved in its study and work. Development should be about making positive changes in the lives of those who do not have the means to help themselves, yet throughout the history of implemented development, a lot of harm has come with the good. Like some, I came to study development with enthusiasm and a sense of idealism...

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Kangaroos to Kalashnikovs

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in Development in Practice, Environment, Opinion | 11 comments

KANGAROOS TO KALASHNIKOVS: Visions of Mozambique through Australian Eyes By Benjamin Iaquinto. I noticed the electric fences from the bus. The current that surged through them had been reduced, with the dial now set to “Severe Harm” instead of “Death.” This generosity was in acknowledgement of the recent peace between South Africa and Mozambique. I was in Southern Africa for a field trip with Monash University. We were doing a third year geography unit called “Studies in Regional Sustainability.” It...

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