I almost didn’t do it this year. But in the end Tom Murphy and Lina Srivistava talked me into it. And there’s been so much great #SWEDOW in the ambient aid environment this year, that it’d be a real shame to let it all go uncelebrated.


Announcing the hottest new thing in the aid blogosphere, guaranteed to get at least 30 hits. Which is practically the same thing as viral in a crowd that is forever ‘too busy to read blogs’ – I’m pleased to announce this year’s Best In #SWEDOW competition, a celebration of bad aid, also known as:


Here’s some remedial coursework for those new to the #SWEDOW conversation:

“#SWEDOW” – the original post, where the term comes from, what it means.

“The Best in #SWEDOW” – the first Best in #SWEDOW competition.

“The Best in #SWEDOW 2012” – the winners of the most recent #SWEDOW competition.


The details of this year’s competition:

  • Deadline for entries is 31 December, 2012, 11:59 PM, EST.
  • No limit on entries per person.
  • Sorry – no prizes this year. This year’s competitors will be doing it all for the fame and glory. And maybe the warm feeling of having made the world better.
  • To enter, send email talesfromethehood@gmail(dot)com (be sure to spell it correctly). Include any relevant URLs in their entirety (no tinyurls or bit.lys please).


“Classic” – Entrants in this category will find examples of classic, old-school #SWEDOW. Stuff someone doesn’t want or need any longer but can’t just throw away or recycle. Doesn’t have to be used. Those surplus new silicone breast implants sent to Haiti after the earthquake? Yeah, those count, too.

Eeeeww! – Winners in this category will go for the “ick!” factor. Recycled soap, harvested human hair… you get the picture.

“Rubbernecking delay on the information superhighway” – Those wishing to score in this category will enter examples of bad aid marketing. Really, really bad aid marketing, preferably of the sort that ‘goes viral’ or something. The less information about what the org being marketed actually does available on the website, the better. The less clear the link between the product/service/appeal being marketed, and life somehow becoming better for, you know, poor people, the higher the score.

“Technicality” – bad technology, cringe-worthy innovations, irrelevant inventions… all for the greater good. To score high in this category, the tech/gadget/invention/innovation has to be promoted in superlative terms, yet require a healthy imagination (and perhaps a sense of irony) to see beneficaries actually, you know, using it.

“just KIDDING!” – A brand new category this year dedicated to satire. This one goes to the best fake aid.  Too many examples to mention… just don’t mistakenly compete in this category inappropriately (*cough* #KONY2012 *cough cough*)

Happy #SWEDOW hunting!

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  1. SWEDOW submission from WhyDev


    “I pair of shoes + 1 gold coin = 1 life changed”.

    From About page:

    ‘“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi”

    It is estimated that 300 million children globally do not own a pair of shoes.

    Today, The Butterfly Movement collect gently worn and new shoes for children, women and men in need around the world both in Australia and abroad, who are disadvantaged because they do not own shoes. Shoes create health and opportunities including schooling, employment and sport.

    The original goal for the inaugural appeal which ran from September 24 until December 24, 2011 was for 10,000 pairs of shoes to be donated over the three month period. The support and interest in the shoe drive saw more than 54,000 pairs of shoes donated from all states and territories in Australia. Today, in total across the two shoe drives more than 70,000 pairs of shoes have been donated and distributed to people in need’.

  2. I think the prize for the best fake aid should undoubtedly go to the Radi-Aid campaign – A call on Africa to donating some heat to freezing Norway citizens. Listen to the awesome campaign song!

  1. #SWEDOW2012 | Global Health Hub: news and blogosphere aggregator

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