Hiring domestic workers is a routine part of the expat development lifestyle. Whether working for the United Nations, governmental aid agencies, or NGOs such as Oxfam, Save the Children, or World Vision, expatriate aid workers in the developing world employ maids, nannies, security guards, gardeners and chauffeurs. Though nearly every expat aid worker in the developing world has local people working within the intimate sphere of their homes, these relationships are seldom, if ever, discussed in analyses of the development paradigm and its praxis.
Aid and the Help: International Development and the Transnational Extraction of Care (Stanford University Press, 2023) by Dr. Dinah Hannaford addresses this major lacuna through an ethnographic analysis of the intersection of development work and domestic work. Examining the reproductive labor cheaply purchased by aid workers posted overseas opens the opportunity to assess the multiple ways that the ostensibly "giving" industry of development can be an extractive industry as well.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.