Posts Tagged ‘Links


Read These – July Edition

Recommended reading:

  • Joshua Silver’s self-adjusting glasses for Africa.
  • Owen Barder: When we say that a quarter of the people in the developing world are living on less than $1.25 a day, we mean that they are living on the equivalent of what $1.25 would buy you in America.  Not what it would buy you in Mali.
  • The mercator projection (one of many, but the standard option of displaying a 3D globe as a 2D map) can also distort the true size of Africa.
  • Lifelens: an iPhone app that can help detect malaria.
  • The World Bank is opening up its most valuable resource - it’s data.
  • 6 months of breast milk is the best way for babies to get nutrients (and free), but many mistakenly believe that it  isn’t enough, and that, on a hot day, a child needs water as well.
  • Community-led sanitation by Robert Chambers to battle against the 2.6 billion people today who lack improved sanitation and the 1.1 billion defecate in the open.
  • Simpsons quotes for aid agencies.
  • Mosquitoes love beer drinkers.
  • Amazing infographic on Groupon deal data.

Read These – June Edition

Recommended reading:

  • Remember The Bah Bah Bah Song?  It took home video of the week honors over at
  • NYT reports on US involvement in setting up “shadow” internet and cell networks. We’ve experienced similar outages here during protests.
  • How to reduce default on microfinance loans? Follow-up more often. Borrowers that met weekly with their lenders were three and a half times less likely to default on their loan than those who met monthly. My colleague and I are planning on doing just that with our borrowers here.
  • Nicholas Kristof: If we want to get more kids in school around the world, what could make more sense than building schools? How about deworming kids and doing more randomized controlled trials to see what really works.
  • Groupon just announced it’s IPO. My favorite part? “After selling out on our original mission of saving the world to start hawking coupons, in order to live with ourselves, we vowed to make Groupon a service that people love using.”
  • International workers love to talk about poop.
  • Development career advice from
  • Check out this virtual SLR simulator and see what you can do with all of those manual settings on your camera.

Read These – May Edition

Recommended reading:


Protests, Continued

Burkina Faso has stayed in the international spotlight these last couple of days with another round military protests erupting in Ouagadougou. Here’s the BBC on the initial protests with its follow-up on the president’s decision to dissolve the government. Reuters has this overview of the situation, and United Press International speculates here.

PM update: Some Ouaga merchants strike back.

I’m back at site in the East, and away from most of the activity.


Read These – April Edition

Recommended reading:


Civil and Military Unrest: Media Reports

If you haven’t noticed, Burkina Faso has been making the international news lately, sadly not for positive reasons. Three separate incidents over the past six weeks have resulted in civil and military unrest.

First, in late February student protests erupted in many cities over alleged police brutality. Some protests were peaceful, but others involved the destruction of governmental buildings. Schools have been closed for much of the last month. Then, two separate military protests broke out; the first on March 23rd in Ouagadougou, and then the second from March 28th-30th in multiple regional capitals. See a first hand report from an American in Fada N’gourma here. The Burkinabe government has issued a country-wide curfew, and the US embassy has recommended US citizens abide by a dusk-to-dawn curfew. On April 1st, the AFP reported that Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore met armed forces representatives and announced the “crisis is over”.

I am safe, and have come into the capital to wait until things simmer down a bit.


Read These – March Edition

Recommended reading:

  • Dave’s continued on the ground coverage of the events going on in Ouagadougou. See here, here, and here.
  • And on the other side, why don’t African’ts protest more?
  • AidWatch’s post on the controversy surrounding sending those pre-printed Super Bowl Championship shirts of the losing team to Africa. A roundup of tweets on the subject by Shotgun Shack here.
  • How real time crisis maps (and the volunteers making them from thousands of miles away) are changing humanitarian relief.
  • This paper, that finds, “…a strong relationship between the extent of civil conflict in a player’s home country and his propensity to behave violently on the soccer field.” Via Chris Blattman.
  • Peace Corps Senegal volunteers recognized for their help in malaria prevention.
  • Stuff Ex-Pats Like, nails it with this one, especially considering my grand travel plans post Peace Corps.

News Flash: Protests

I just wanted to keep everyone in the loop with the current on-goings in Burkina. Students are protesting and have burned down several police stations and other government buildings throughout the country in response to alleged police brutality. I’ll post links to articles and update this post as I find them.  I’ve just learned that text messaging has been turned off.

*Update* Texting is up and running again.

An on the ground report by a former PCV living in Ouagadougou.

  1. Global Dashboard
  2. RFI
  4. NY Times
  5. MSNBC
  6. and this update
  7. Washington Post

Updates From my Stage

As I’ve mentioned, I’m one 30 trainees here in PC BF, and guess what, a lot of them have blogs too! I haven’t had time to peruse them basically at all (though I hope to soon), but be sure to check these sites out if you want to see what my fellow stagaires have to say about this whole Peace Corps experience. I suspect many are wittier, write more often, and are better photo (or even video!) uploaders than I am, so surely you’ll be entertained. Also, maybe I show up in some of their writings/photos/videos?  Either way, here’s how you can keep up with my stage:

Kailey –
Anna –
Haley D. –
Emily F. –
Anne –
Christie –
Cindy –
Alicia –
JK –
Chad/Tana –
Puja –
Bridget –
Laura –
Haley S. –
Jess –
Lindsy –
Kate –


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Burkina Faso


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The opinions on this blog are only those of the author, and and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.