In a previous class period, we all broke down a blog posted by Linda Raftree on her blog “Wait…What?” Exploring her website sparked my interest and I came to find many interesting things about Linda Raftree. First of all the logistics; Linda has experience in a wide array of sectors from disaster response, youth engagement, translation, grant writing, development education and much much more. This life full of international development however, did not begin with a sure fire passion for the field. Linda received her degree from USC for anthropology. It was not until she moved to El Salvador with her husband that she by chance received her first job as a translator at a local NGO. After this she began moving up in the IDEV world, something she contributes to her listening and writing abilities along with her organization and efficiency in completing tasks. Since her initial job, she has had positions with UNICEF, Oxfam, Lutheran World Federation and Department, and currently Plan International. At Plan, her main focus is on youth, especially girls and ICT. Linda wants to help youth be at the “forefront of their own processes rather than have outsiders dictating what they are doing with their lives.”
Some of the best information I received from Linda over our email interview was her advice for aspiring IDEV professionals. Linda personally looks for individuals with good writing and interpersonal skills who also show a sense of respect, humility, humor, and a willingness to jump into things. One of her biggest pieces of advice is that we must allow ourselves to become invisible and be willing to lead from behind. Sometimes our best role is in being facilitator and not the owner of a development project. For ICT4D professionals specifically, her greatest piece of advice is that ICT is not always the best answer and should never be forced into a project.
Linda can be found all across the internet. Primarily this is through her personal blog “Wait…What?” which provides her take on all things Development and ICT happening in today’s world. She also has a prominent Twitter page that is worth checking out. Both of these resources give you a better glance into Linda Raftree’s personality but also has a wide variety of information about all thing ICT4D.