For fear of reprisal, some aid bloggers prefer to withhold their identities when talking about the realities of their work.
Non-governmental organizations operating in the development sector are “(typically) incredibly intolerant of diverse opinion internally,” according to J, author of the aid blog, “Tales From The Hood.”
“If you don’t toe the party line of your employing NGOs paradigm on… whatever, or if you simply express an opinion contrary to the happy in-house propaganda, you can be in for a world of hurt,” J told Dennis Whittle, chief executive officer of GlobalGiving, in an interview published in The Huffington Post.
A worst-case scenario of having his identity revealed may involve choosing between ending his employment or taking down his blog, said J, who more recently worked with the tsunami response in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and post-quake efforts in Haiti.
Asked if his blogging has changed his employer’s attitude, J said “incrementally.”
“There seems to be a growing awareness of the power of blogs and social media overall. I have not talked to very many people with the power to make actual decisions around this on behalf of large INGOs [international non-governmental organizations] who were able to envision anything very far beyond the sort of marketing and flag-waving possibilities,” he explained.