8 thoughts on “The return of expert analysis, 1 million t-shirts edition

  1. Jane Reitsma

    April 27, 2010 at 11:25pm

    This is brilliant. Thank you for the much needed chuckle.

  2. Amanda M

    April 28, 2010 at 4:00am

    Thanks for the laugh! My post about the initiative reiterates what you so eloquently illustrated. http://bit.ly/9aCOGH

  3. Jason Sadler

    April 28, 2010 at 4:09pm

    I love that spent this much time looking at my website. Thanks for a good laugh.

  4. farzine

    April 28, 2010 at 6:34pm

    Truly pathetic, and not the guy with the T-shirts guy. What is pathetic is this blog. A bunch of academic critics with really very little ideas for themselves. Like many of the people getting into this guy. I get the impression you guys also have never really worked in the field and are equally as ignorant. Turn your sights on something a bit more challenging to poke fun at. It is to easy to mack someone who is genuine and is actually trying to respond to the criticism.

  5. Matt

    April 28, 2010 at 8:28pm

    Farzine – I’m sorry if you feel that way. If you actually read through the blog, I think you’d find the odd original ideas here and there. My “crayon analysis” isn’t meant to be taken too seriously, it’s a bit of fun as a substitute for rehashing old arguments (in kind aid has been discussed quite a bit already).

    Both Ranil and I have been “in the field” – I lived and worked in Malawi for two years and have traveled a fair bit around South and East Africa. I recently spent two months doing field work in and out of the slums of Dar es Salaam and expect to return there soon. Ranil has also lived and worked in Malawi, Zanzibar, and traveled extensively around the continent. This doesn’t make us experts on anything, but perhaps gives us just the slightest bit of permission to write critical – if sometimes quite silly – posts.

  6. Ranil Dissanayake

    April 29, 2010 at 7:18am

    farzine – how often have you read the blog? I don’t really want to make defences: if you can’t find any interesting ideas on the blog, try some of the places on the blogroll.

    Matt’s pointed out that we’ve both worked in the field, in my case for five years and counting now (and in a couple of places he hasn’t mentioned), but if our experiences don’t make much of an impression, other bloggers have more experience than that: Texas in Africa has experience of Rwanda and the Congo, Alanna Shaikh seems to have a long history of working in other parts of the world than Africa as well, Laura from Good Intentions are Not Enough was working in affected areas after the Tsunami, the Roving Bandit is in Southern Sudan, Owen Barder in Ethiopia, Chris Blattman has done heaps of fieldwork in Liberia….

    I think you’ll find that none of them would endorse the one million t-shirts idea. Wonderful intention, to help – but if you have a profession, something you know about, perhaps you’ll understand that someone who wants to help might not always choose a good way to do so. Wanting to fix a computer does not make one qualified to do so, for example. So it’s great if he’ll respond to criticism – and I’ll reserve further comment until I see how.

  7. Dennis Bours

    April 30, 2010 at 4:19am

    Oh my dear Lord,

    This is just one of the worst ideas I have heard for a long time. It perhaps had some place in development ideas of the ’80s and early ’90s. But come on…

    I myself work in humanitarian logistics and supply chaining and would not know where to start on the total lack of support for this initiative…

    Dennis Bours

  8. Avery B.

    May 26, 2010 at 4:58am

    hahaha. FUNNY! but, jason is it?, its a good idea with good intentions but there are more urgent needs in Africa than shirts. with the effort it took you to get people to donate t-shirts, you could have helped with something truely important.

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