International development on Twitter, Part 1

Ten people to follow on Twitter if you’re interested in international development. Not the top ten, necessarily – there are too many great people on Twitter for me to make that claim. But ten microbloggers who consistently engage my attention with interesting ideas:

Glenna Gordon
Glenna Gordon is a journalist, photographer, and author of the Scarlett Lion blog, currently living in Uganda. Her writing, and the links she posts, offer beautifully written insight into Uganda, with a solid dose of cynicism and wry humor.

Sample tweet: Supermodel risks TB and Genocide by visitng Rwanda: Monika Schnarre, who considers herself a supermo..

Why you should follow: For links to photos and articles on Uganda, Africa, and development which you wouldn’t have found on your own.

Chris Albon@chrisalbon
Chris Albon is author of the amazing War and Health blog, and posts a great series of links on war and conflict.

Sample tweet: For the past 2 weeks I’ve been writing post on armed groups potentially exploiting Ushahidi. This is what I mean:

Why you should follow: For links to a huge range of articles and resources on conflict in general and conflict and health. He’s obsessed with the intersection of war and health, and obsessed people make great reading.

Vasco Pyjama
Vasco Pyjama
is an aid worker who’s been everywhere, including Somalia and Afghanistan.

Sample tweet: Documenting lessons learnt and writing up methodologies. At first I thought I had indigestion. Now I realise it’s heartache.

Why you should follow: For a self-aware, intelligent, first-person perspective on aid work and its discontents.

Glenn Strachan@glennstrachan
Glenn Strachan travels the planet supporting ICT for development. He blogs as well as using Twitter.

Sample tweet: Right now I am trying to assemble a list of the top 30 organisations worldwide doing work specifically in ICT4D. There is no list.

Maneno @maneno
The twitter account of, which is devoted to making African voices heard.

Sample tweet: Toivo Asheeke’s latest post on his Maneno blog, “A Brief Case Study of A Successful African Country” (Namibia)

Why you should follow: To keep your news sources broad and deep.

I’ve got five more profiles coming up in my next post: @maratraingle, @chriswaterguy, @nadodi, @guaravanomics, and @joncamfield. Who am I missing? Tell me in the comments.

(photo credit: FunnyBiz)
Chosen because I love graphs.

What to read for insight

I’ve got a lot of blogs in my RSS reader. 166, to be precise. And I treat it like an email inbox, and I keep up with it. They’re smart blogs, and I love the feeling of learning new stuff all the time. Sometimes, though, I want to step out of the familiar blog comfort zone. You need a little randomness to generate new ideas. You need synergy. This is what I read to find that:

Trackernews – It’s still in beta, but I am already impressed. It is a human-curated news and information site specifically designed to help readers make new connections.

Silobreaker – Another aggregator site designed to inspire insight. It’s intended to break down the walls between different disciplines and broaden your perspective. I really like the Network search function.

Worldchanging – Styled as an online magazine, it features articles and blog posts on a range of topics, withing a general theme of achieving positive change. It’s a combination of aggregated content from other places and original writing.

ChangeThis – ChangeThis is made up of manifestos, mostly related to marketing and business. All original content.

PlusNews – HIV-related news from all over the world. Original content, written by journalists for PlusNews. HIV/AIDS is a multi-faceted problem, with a multitude of causes and responses. In many ways, it’s a microcosm of most of the challenges facing the world. Think about HIV and you’re thinking about everything.

Edited to add: Commenters Ryan and Peter have added some excellent sources. Take a look.

(photo credit: StrangrThanCandy)
Chosen because I really had no idea what to illustrate this entry with, and it’s a cool looking picture. I think it looks kind of like a world map.