Via the Global Poverty blog (where you’ll see our own Dustin Wax has left the first comment), comes news of Worldwise development, a website which “aims to facilitate collaboration between development practitioners and anthropologists.” As they explain:

We believe that anthropologists have a lot to contribute to development work, but that their knowledge and skills are still underrepresented within the industry. The demand for anthropological expertise is growing, but links between the two fields are still weak. While an informal network faciliates collaboration between a small number of anthropologists and development practitioners, most anthropologists are still out of the reach of development agencies, especially academics and those currently conducting field research.

We aim to address these issues with two tools; an interactive map and a discussion forum. We envisage that the interactive map will formalise collaboration between anthropologists and development practitioners. Meanwhile the discussion forum will provide space for both anthropologists and development practitioners to debate the role of anthropology in development. By joining worldwise development you can be involved in shaping how anthropologists collaborate with development practitioners.

Seems like a great idea! I hope it succeeds in its goal. (NOTE: The website is not yet fully active. Right now it is just an announcement of what they plan to do after launch.) But even more than that, this is exactly the kind of thing I have long been arguing the AAA should be doing on-and-off the web…

(Thanks, again, to Ennis)

7 thoughts on “Dial-an-Anthropologist

  1. What troubles me about this site is that there are no names or institutions attached to it. I smell something phishy here, but may history prove me wrong.

  2. Apologies, history didn’t take long: it does say in the About section it’s “the brainchild of four former LSE students.”. My mistake.

  3. The interactive map doesn’t include any of the Micronesian island groups, and most of the Polynesian island groups are missing as well, so I’m hoping that will be remedied soon.

  4. Great site! I was very happy since I largely work in the development sector. I was rather disappointed that on must either own or be on track to own a PhD to be considered an anthropologist. I would go for a PhD if I wanted to teach, but I think that collecting MS degrees, certifications, methods, and one the job experience would be more relevant to filling the needs of developers.
    Why are we still holding onto this arcane model that no one else follows?

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