Twitter thread: Commodifying Humanitarian Sentiments? The Black Box of The For-Profit and Non-Profit Partnership
This twitter thread @CoCoResearch breaks down the highlights of our special issue in World Development journal "Commodifying Humanitarian Sentiments? The Black Box of The For-Profit and Non-Profit Partnership". In her intro @MFOlwig shows how the papers of the SI open the "black box" of partnerships , showing how global management strategies flatten local diversity and strip politics out of humanitarianism, highlighting the need for more local accountability. With a diverse set of case studies, the SI examines these partnerships for example on the role of vacation "good doing", Starbucks partnerships in Eastern Congo, "sisterhood partnerships" and IKEA's refugee camp shelters. The SI also aims to understand why this is through the examination of the role of SDGs and "sustainability superheroes", and suggests alternative forms of moving forward through new forms of measuring success of these partnerships. The SI concludes that the profit motive that arises when you commodify care and compassion, expands inequality and perpetuates hierarchies.
Find the full, GIF-rich, twitter thread here.
Twitter thread: Why are humanitarian sentiments profitable and what does that mean for global development?
"We must look beyond their photogenic, feel-good sentiments and delve into the devilish details of partnership outcomes and the unequal power relationships they reify, expand and deepen."
In his twitter thread @mikegoodman56 collects the highlights of their conclusion with @BrandAid_World and @rohawkins, of the World Development Special Issue "Commodifying Humanitarian Sentiments? The Black Box of The For-Profit and Non-Profit Partnership" where they argue that the commodification of care and compassion expands inequality and perpetuates hierarchies.
To have a read of the best quotes from the conclusion, access the full thread here.
Twitter thread: 'Buonisti' within the Italian humanitarian context
In a Twitter thread, Maha Rafi Atal highlights some of the main findings from the working paper 'The Institutional Context of Humanitarian Helping in Contemporary Italy' with Adriano Pedrana and Lisa Ann Richey. In the thread she points out the specific particularities of humanitarianism in Italy and how the country's historical and institutional context shape the local configurations of development aid as well as how donors and receivers are perceived today.
To learn more about the links between Italian humanitarian past and its current manifestations, head to the twitter thread here.
You can also access the working paper here, for a detailed examination of the history of Italian cooperation in Humanitarian helping and its role in better understanding most recent trends in Italian humanitarianism.
Commentary: Lessons from the Early Days of "Covid-Branding"
Among many things, corona virus disrupted fieldwork at Commodifying Compassion, and so researchers Lisa Richey and Maha Rafi Atal turned their attention to analysing trends in early Covid Branding. The research was picked up at Forbes magazine and their insights were shared. The core message? That not every time is the right time for real-time marketing.
Commentary: Imagining Africa as the Market for Profiting from Whiteness
Lisa Richey wrote a commentary for the academic blog The Disorder of Things. The piece was part of a symposium on Clive Gabay’s Imagining Africa: Whiteness and the Western Gaze (2018) where the researchers Lisa Tilley, Toussaint Nothias and Gabay, the author himself, also contributed. In her commentary, Lisa Richey engages with the book's themes of Whiteness, Afropolitanism and international relations of Africa.
The commentary and the rest of the symposium can be read here.
Twitter thread: Crowdfunding or taxes?
In a Twitter thread, Commodifying Compassion engaged with a recent column in the Wall Street Journal, which proposed an elaborate system for crowdfunding 'good' causes such as health care. The column inspired a series of humorous
comments from Twitter users pointing out the similarity between this 'innovative idea' and the well-known concept of taxes. However, Italy has for years had a unique model for financing non-profits, religious organizations and political parties through taxes, combining the regular tax system with elements of crowdfunding. The researchers of Commodifying Compassion are currently working on a paper about these programs and the implications they have for how private companies interact with humanitarian causes in Italy compared to other places.
Blog post: Can ‘humanitarian humour’ and satire improve the images that volunteer-tourists upload on social media?
In a recent post on The Humanitarian News Research Network website, Carolina Are presents main points from Lisa Richey's new research article co-authored by Kaylan C. Schwarz: Humanitarian humor, digilantism, and the dilemmas of representing volunteer tourism on social media (2019). The post features visuals from the online campaigns described in the research article such as "Humanitarians of Tinder" and "Barbie Saviour". The blog post can be read here.
Interview: Can humanitarian causes be both marketable and ethical?
An interview with Lisa Richey was published on the AidEx blog AidExVoices. In the blog post, Lisa Richey shared her perspectives on the issue of Commodifying Compassion, and reflected on the question of how we as consumers and citizens can think critically about the promises of Brand Aid and "win-for-all" products or services.
Blog Post: The Rise of Caring Capitalism in the Humanitarian Space
Alexandra Budabin wrote a blog post, which summarizes the insights and discussions from the two panels organized by the CoCo project at the 2019 International Studies Association Annual Convention. The blog post was published on the Human Rights blog by University of Dayton.
Read the blog post here.