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‘No more data “blah blah”. This is about empowerment.

“Data can empower vulnerable people by making their needs visible to decision-makers.”   This is what many advocates for data for development have been saying for years.  The logic is that with visibility comes pressure for policies that respond to the needs, and a tool to elicit accountability for failure to deliver  on promises. After …

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Love will win

Last night, two men tried to rape me.  I saved myself by yelling in broken Tetum:  “I work for the police!  Next to the Commander General of PNTL (Policia Nacional de Timor Leste)!” So I escaped.  Looking like I’d been visited by The Dementors.  Feeling upset, relieved, and furious.  And thinking, in the words of Ani DiFranco,“f*ck you”.   Timor Leste is …

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Unity or division – A letter to Scotland (Independent newspaper)

Dear fellow Scots, Greetings! My name is Lucy.  I am an international civil servant who returned to Scotland for the referendum. When divisions are so hardened that proponents do not listen to one another, facts and analysis don’t matter.  All that will be heard is what cannot be refuted: people’s experiences and beliefs.  Please allow me …

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Battlefield – The David Rattray Memorial Prize

Reconciliation is the path that lies between the battlefield and a peaceful society in which freedom is possible.   Just fifteen years ago, fractured by war and institutionalised oppression, South Africa began its journey.  Today, it bears witness to a miracle: communities bitterly divided regionally, ethnically and linguistically have become a nation.   They did so by …

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