Nobody seems to have figured out how to effectively utilize bloggers as partners. A few are getting close. Davies is right to be concerned with what impact these opportunities have on the organizations and the greater conversation. Without much planning, these trips can end up using up resources unnecessarily. I think that an effective partnership can be forged between NGOs and bloggers, but it must be done carefully. Money and time spent on visitors should ultimately be done if they can impact the most important people in all of this; the recipients of the interventions and aid seen by bloggers.
Source local bloggers (or even better, create new ones by encouraging students etc to write) and give them an uncensored platform – on organisation’s websites or newspapers – to reflect on their experiences, to blog, or to write op-eds and debate actively – and help them present their thoughts by giving inputs into language, style and grammar. This will call for greater engagement and creative thinking – but will be worth it, no doubt, even if its just a PR exercise. Even good work needs good publicity.