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.

International development blogs

My Google alerts have been good to me. I have been heartened to discover more and more blogs which touch on international development in interesting ways. You may have seen my blog roll expanding; I’m trying to create something like a comprehensive list. Check it out and explore.

Here are a few highlights:

NGO blogs

Oxfam and Refugees International both have great organization blogs, which showcase deep topical knowledge and passionate writing. Medecins sans Frontieres has a whole compendium of personal accounts by aid workers. Project HOPE has a blog all about (and by) their field volunteers, which would be a great resource for someone who wanted the nitty-gritty about medical volunteering.

Individual blogs

Vasco Pyjama has amazing, amazing posts about life abroad doing international development work. She is the real thing; full of insight on the work she does and with a wry and engaging voice. Chris Blattman is a famous development economist (insofar as there is such a thing) and one of my personal heroes. The Road to the Horizon, by Peter Casier, is dense with interesting information, personal observations, and lovely storytelling.