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Latest job opportunities (May 12, 2010)

by Michael Keizer on May 12, 2010

[Image: Job opportunities by Coffeechica. Some rights reserved.]


Continue Reading 0 comments }Aid and aid work, Logistics, Public health

Latest job opportunities (November 10, 2009)

by Michael Keizer on November 10, 2009


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The new pirate threat: germs

by Michael Keizer on March 5, 2009

If you are interested in logistics, health, and aid, the United States Naval Institute (USNI) blog is a wonder. Really.

The more-or-less recent attention in military circles for soft power means that the USNI is also more and more interested in how the Navy can be involved in aid, in order to win hearts and minds (force multipliers[1], anyone?). Of course, the US Navy is also one of the biggest logistics operations in the world (hey, logistics originally is a military science). So of course the USNI can be a source of fascinating stuff about the two.

One of those little gems was published a couple of weeks back. As the Navy is actively involved in catching those elusive Somalian pirates, some people are getting worried what an outbreak of e.g. MDR-TB, brought across by captured pirates, could do on a closely-packed military vessel. The stuff of nightmares, apparently, and they even quote MSF to support that. Luckily a commenter makes clear that TB is not that easy to transmit, but still…

My first posting ever on this blog was about the threat to aid (and hence to population health) posed by Somalian pirates. Apparently that threat goes further than that, and Navy sailors can be threatened by more than bullets.

(Picture: Arrrgh! | Pirates by Joriel “Joz” Jimenez. Some rights reserved.)


[1] I find it curious that nobody noticed that Powell used the term ‘force multipliers’ routinely — he even had a personal rule: “[p]erpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” So his description of aid organisations as force multipliers might actually have been a lot less meaningful than it has been described. Still not a smart thing to say, though.


Continue Reading 1 comment }Aid and aid work, Logistics, Public health, The light(er) side

Pirates on the win

by Michael Keizer on February 6, 2009

Piracy has been a major problem for aid logistics around the Horn of Africa for some time now. Probably the most publicised case in recent years is the hijacking of the Faina, which carried a huge arms cache to an as yet unclear destination.

Although I am obviously very happy that the crew can now safely go home, I am also a bit worried what this will mean for future shipments. The message to the pirates seems to be that, how ever high the profile, you can get away with a high-sea hijack and expect to paid handsomely — and that will not do anything to prevent attacks on aid ships at all. To quote Noah Shachtman: “Score one — a big one — for the pirates of Somalia.”

Update (20 April 2009): It looks like my first-ever blog post signaled a big upswing in interest for pirates. For more information see my post on sense and nonsense of the current attention for piracy.


Continue Reading 1 comment }Aid and aid work, Logistics