*New*: #PowerShifts Resources

May 2, 2019

     By Maria Faciolince     

Remember a month ago we told you about an exciting new project we’ve launched and asked all of you to suggest names for it? After many debates, confusion, over-thinking, we have it.

Because this exercise that FP2P is embarking on implies shifting the power of who’s talking, what we’re talking about, how we’re talking about it, and acknowledging all of this is in fact plural…we’re calling this new project Power Shifts. What do you think? 

Here’s Duncan and I talking a bit more about what we’ve started doing, and what we’re aiming towards: 

And as part of this Power Shifting, we think it deserves some more space on here too.

We know how much you enjoy Duncan’s weekly Links I Liked. It’s a place to find information that you might’ve missed in your Twitter scrolls and hours of surfing down the rabbit holes of the dev web. And it occasionally features pretty crazy stuff that’s happening in the world (like the latest pictures of superheroes in the Indonesian elections).

This is going to keep happening, don’t worry. But in addition, I (Maria) will be compiling content that you most probably won’t have stumbled upon – not because you don’t care about what real people have to say about the real issues they’re coping with, but because our crafted virtual echo chambers sometimes make it really hard to access circles of information we’re not part of.

This bi-weekly stream will offer a list of resources on a range of topics from voices around the world, interesting stories about how change (really) happens, initiatives worth checking out, and reflections for all of us to engage in. 

Sound good? If you stumble on something interesting that talks about shifting power and challenges assumptions about how change happens, let me know! You can tag me on twitter (maria_fm) or write me through our *new* contact form.


For this week, here are the top 6 #PowerShifts resources that I learned a lot from:

1. I found this read on decolonizing economics in Africa very compelling. “Rethinking economics for Africa is a duty”.

“There is no discussion about the role of the values, culture, history or psychology that shapes the decisions of individuals. Does this rational agent live in places where the group comes before the individual and where the principle of ubuntu, that you are through others, is valued? Without context, the teaching and production of knowledge is not rooted in the conditions we face, and there is a real risk of developing professional expertise that is inappropriate and potentially damaging.”

2.  “We must reimagine our cities by rejecting inequalities, unjust designs, and unsustainable growth, and redefine the urban agenda from the lens of the working poor, with participative planning at its heart”. Read this  interesting piece on a citizens’ charter of demands for inclusive and just urban development in India. You can find more information about their demands here.

3. Zimbabwean psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda trained grandmothers to support people with mental health conditions and talk about how to find solutions to their problems in a Friendship Bench. Dr Chibanda has plans for the bench to go global and stand as an example of South-to-North learning.

4. Check out the new LICCI initiative aiming to bring indigenous & local knowledge perspectives to climate change research and policy.

5. The Good, The Bad and The Jargon: A great piece on development jargon, and why we shouldn’t use it. Also on how language shapes policy.

6. Lastly, here are 12 development journalists to follow on social media, because it really matters who is telling the stories. “That’s why we challenge ourselves to think critically not only about what we cover but also whom we commission” – applies to Power Shifts too.

See you in a couple of weeks, and do please keep sending top links to share.


Top image photo: John McCann