If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me tweet and retweeting frantically about the Development Aid Project Title Jargonator.
— Andrew Zubiri (@jadz) August 25, 2018
I’ve always wanted to learn how to code, signing in and later dropping out of online courses faster than you can click that like button. I was waiting for my next contract to come through this mid-summer, and what better way to spend my down time than pick-up a new skill and resolve to get serious with computer coding.
It’s been at the back-burner of personal projects in my Google Keep ideas list for a while. It was sparked by a few news articles criticizing the use of jargons in the development world, and the Silicon Valley Job Title Generator. I wanted to create something similar just to poke fun at the work that we do.
The database of words isn’t really a problem. Since I started work in an NGO, the government, and international organizations, I’ve amassed a huge amount of arcane words, for better or worse. And with my current work on reviewing strategy documents, it’s like receiving an unlimited source of donor funds. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
I released it to the wild two weeks ago, posting it on a Facebook Group and hustled for retweets from more popular development professionals, including…
As if we need the help https://t.co/Jmu4xwU8ud
— Chris Blattman (@cblatts) August 20, 2018
This is one for the @DrunkWB fans! Anyone want to do an impact assessment for…
Establishing Labor Commitments in Fishing Communities? https://t.co/17s28Tllu2
— Ryan Briggs (@ryancbriggs) August 23, 2018
Meanwhile, some actually found it quite useful, and wished I had made it earlier:
— Rakesh Rajani (@rakeshrajani) August 25, 2018
— Nimra Azhar (@nimraazh) August 20, 2018
It even got a nod from the Innovations for Poverty Action:
— IPA (@poverty_action) August 24, 2018
I’m glad many found it funny. Some also found the resulting titles from the randomized buzzwords way too real:
— Justin Sandefur (@JustinSandefur) August 24, 2018
The website is a parody of the development aid sector, what with our penchant for meandering language and buzzwords. It is supposed to entertain and hopefully facilitate reflection of a well-meaning industry that has recently become a target for criticism because of how words become discombobulating and get lost in translation. The website is a lampoon that started lampooning itself, the titles generated therein blurring the line between parody and reality.
On the brighter side, sharing the website on Twitter aided the discovery of almost a hundred people whom I wouldn’t have followed had they not liked or retweeted my post. Not bad for a little side project that uses language and technology for a little ribbing, and ultimately, finding out that the joke is on me.
Don’t forget to generate your own project title!