Development Stereotypes

As a Canadian intern one of my greatest assets is my ability to speak, read, write, and comprehend English; being able to work comfortably in English and represent SRD to the English speaking world are a few of the things I’m valued for here. What this means is that I’m often sent to workshops, training sessions, meetings, and – recently – policy development working groups where I’m expected to represent SRD and all of the Vietnamese NGOs that they represent. At these types of meetings, I have seen several stereotypes come into play many of which I’m fairly certain I’m supposed to remain silent about and pretend don’t happen…

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How do the real local champions tolerate us?

“How do the real local champions tolerate us, international ‘experts’ who rotate in and out of their countries and keep showing up – different faces, same stupid questions – like a bad penny? What do we mean when we talk about supporting local actors? And are we really ready to relinquish control, face our shortcomings and humbly listen?”

Marianne Elliott

Learning Vietnamese

Christian found a way to describe the actual challenges and difficulties our Vietnamese class has been facing and I think it’s a worthwhile read for everyone!

Venturing Vietnam

In the English language, tone of voice can play a surprisingly crucial role in determining the meaning of someone’s words.

As an English-speaker you are probably quite familiar with this, and you have definitely used the tone of your voice to inflict meaning beyond your English words. Tone is an exceptionally useful tool in verbal communication, as it can often subconsciously communicate a mood, opinion, or intention that words may be trying to conceal. Astoundingly, experts on non-verbal communication have discovered that as little as seven percent of communication is verbal: the rest lies within vocal sounds (thirty eight percent, including pitch, rhythm, and volume) and body movements (fifty five percent and mostly consisting of facial expressions.) I would personally consider tone to fall into the category of vocal sounds, as it shares similarities with pitch and can be influenced by volume, speed, and many other vocal characteristics. If you…

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