Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Only use steady hands...

Hello readers!

In the spirit of Disasterjunkie DJ's emergency ipod, I thought this song "I'm a bomb" by Natasha Bedingfield might be a suitable theme tune for this blog (health and freedom warning - probably best not to hum or sing this tune at airport security or checkpoints...just sayin').

Here it is accompanied by a video montage containing some classy pieces from Dr Who (no not the World Health Organisation, sigh,  the Time Lord).

Look out for the nifty device in the boardroom, could come in handy in field coordination meetings or at HQ for that matter.....strategic planning anyone? Anyone?

Enjoy, oh yeah and stay safe people!

Cooking in Crisis - 2

Feeling a trifle naughty but can't wait until R&R?

Then try some Frolic custard!

Top tip: add some cocoa powder and serve over banana.....lovely!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Disasterjunkie jargonbuster 1 - Stakeholder analysis

For all you humanitarians out there I'm sure you have come across this term aplenty in assessments and project proposal writing but it can be confusing. So let's break it down into its parts. According to the Oxford online dictionary

Stake - a stake is a strong wooden or metal post with a point at one end, driven into the ground to support a plant, form part of a fence, mark a boundary etc

Holder -  a person that holds something

Analysis -  a detailed examination of the elements or structure of something 

So if we put them together we can possibly deduce that stakeholder analysis means a detailed examination of a person holding a wooden stake. And then we ask, who would be interested in carrying out such an examination? Evidence based on popular culture would lead us to conclude there is one significant target group - VAMPIRES (see Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries, and my favourite True Blood).

Therefore a stakeholder analysis is in fact a vampire-led risk assessment

Techniques a vampire or group of vampires could use in conducting a risk assessment might include direct observation as seen below

or semi structured interviews with key informants, ideally in an informal setting as observed here

As a noticeably discriminated-against group it understandable why vampires would want and need to conduct risk assessments considering the blatant provocative slogans inciting hatred against them

As yet there is no International Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Vampires but perhaps in future this might reach the agenda of the United Nations so that vampires everywhere will be protected and they can claim their rights. 

In the unlikely event of an apocalypse

Hellooooo readers!!

Yes I'm still here on the planet despite the flurry of apocalyptic talk in the media following the revelation from Harold Camping that the world was going to end on 21st May 2011. Is anyone else out there? By the time 6pm on Saturday came round I thought perhaps I was in a parallel universe but no, reality reigns...or does it? I digress, but has anyone seen Harold? Was he raptured?...or ruptured by media hype?

Anyway the apocalypse, now there's an interesting topic for humanitarians for we see a fair deal of apocalyptic situations in many regions of the world, wouldn't you say? One need go no further than to mention the Heart of Darkness for an interesting example on which the film Apocalypse Now  is based. I'm sure many of us have had our Colonel Kurtz moments here and there probably in the same country Joseph Conrad's book is set in.

From a disaster risk reduction perspective, I wonder how one prepares for an apocalypse? Well hang on to your hats folks because the Centre for Disease Control has come up with a handy brief for, wait for it, wait for it that very likely event of....


What would you do if there was an outbreak of zombies? (no I don't mean in coordination meetings....sigh). Read the brief and be prepared. It is never too late.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

How not to use interpreters

In her inimitable style Catherine Tate teaches us how not to use an interpreter to build cross-cultural relationships. I wonder whether the UN ever has these problems?

Cooking in Crisis - 1

"I say, isn't plumpy nut marvellous?"

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Well Blogger Me!

Welcome to the b.b.c.  - that is the acronym for blonde bombshell in crises, not to be confused with a much loved national media institution from Old Blighty and I wouldn't want to be so presumptious as to hint that I could, quite easily, be mistaken for a national treasure....

Why b.b.c?

  • Blonde - I am blonde in appearance but not blonde of mind
  • Bombshell - I am working on this bit but suffice to say that I have seen a fair few of these in the odd war zone here and there
  • in Crises - I am a humanitarian aid worker by profession in perpetual motion to various humanitarian crises and natural disaster emergencies around the world

And to blog or not to blog?

That is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the pings and......sorry, a bit distracted there.  I'm blogging for light relief, taking a slightly tongue in cheek and irreverent view of the eccentricities of humanitarians (myself included) and the humanitarian world we orbit around in the hope that it will make you smile and take some well-earned cyber R&R.

You are welcome to join me on this journey to security clearance required but remember to pack your flak jacket.


Sarah xx