Conflict and Security

When/Why do countries improve the management of their natural resources? New 4 country study

Duncan Green - May 24, 2016

Now I love Oxfam dearly but (you were expecting a ‘but’, right?) both as producers and consumers, we suffer from TL; DR syndrome (too long; didn’t read). Not only that but we don’t always make the most of executive summaries. Which is a shame, because some real gems often go unnoticed as a result. So allow me to pan through a recent 71 page Oxfam …

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If governments don’t tackle the causes of conflict and the refugee crisis, will the World Humanitarian Summit be a damp squib?

Duncan Green - April 22, 2016

Ed Cairns Oxfam’s humanitarian policy adviser, sets the scene for next month’s World Humanitarian Summit as we publish our curtain raiser for the event. After years of preparation, and a roller coaster of expectations plunging and soaring, it is almost upon us. One month from tomorrow, dozens of world leaders will gather in Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit. The UN has finalised the commitments …

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Just Give them the Money: why are cash transfers only 6% of humanitarian aid?

Duncan Green - March 3, 2016

Guest post from ODI’s Paul Harvey Giving people cash in emergencies makes sense and more of it is starting to happen.  A recent high level panel report found that cash should radically disrupt the humanitarian system and that it’s use should grow dramatically from the current guesstimate of 6% of humanitarian spend.  And the Secretary General’s report for the World Humanitarian Summit calls for using …

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Book Review: Alex de Waal, the Real Politics of the Horn of Africa

Duncan Green - March 1, 2016

There’s a balance to be struck in writing any non-fiction book. Narrative v information. How often do you return to the overarching storyline, the message of the book, the thing you want the reader to take away? How much information – facts, names, dates, events – do you include? Too much storyline, and the book feels flimsy. Too much information and the reader gets lost …

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Trying to promote reform in fragile and conflict states: some lessons from success and failure

Duncan Green - February 25, 2016

Reading the ODI’s prodigious output is starting to feel like a full time job. A lot of it is really top quality, even if their choice of titles is sometimes a bit bland. One example is ‘Change in Challenging Contexts’, a name that doesn’t exactly set the pulse racing – a shame, as it’s a fascinating set of papers. The papers (a 54 page whopper, …

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How to ensure increased aid to fragile/conflict states actually benefits poor people?

Duncan Green - December 18, 2015

Following the UK government’s announcement of an increase in spending on aid for fragile states, Ed Cairns, outlines Oxfam’s experience in fragile states and the potential lessons for the future. The announcement that the UK will spend 50% of its aid budget in fragile states was made in the aftermath of the terrible atrocities in Paris, Beirut and Bamako. But it’s also the latest step in development agencies …

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How will the Paris attacks affect the outcome of the Climate Change talks?

Duncan Green - November 30, 2015

When British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan was asked what he most feared in politics, he replied ‘Events, dear boy. Events’. The official sherpas and their political masters preparing for the global climate change talks in Paris, which start today, must be feeling much the same way, their already complicated task further beset by concerns over security, following the appalling attacks on Friday 13th. Beyond questions …

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What can violence/conflict people learn from the governance debate (and vice versa)? Report back on a day discussing new IDS research

Duncan Green - November 18, 2015

I recently spent a day among conflict wonks (a thoroughly charming and unscary group) to discuss IDS’ research programme on Addressing and Mitigating Violence. There are piles of case studies and thematic papers on the website (here’s a collection of abstracts); this seminar was part of bringing them all together into some kind of overarching narrative. The starting point for the programme was the World …

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5 times bigger than aid: important new research on drugs as a (missing) development issue

Duncan Green - November 6, 2015

A couple of years ago I reported on an excellent meeting at Christian Aid on drugs as a development issue. They have continued that work and today published an important new paper by Eric Gutierrez, ‘Drugs and Illicit Practices: assessing their impact on development and governance’. The paper argues that the illicit drug trade is a ‘major blind spot in development thinking’, and uses in-depth …

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‘Thanks, but the truth is I hate being a refugee’: a young Syrian introduces Oxfam’s new briefing

Duncan Green - October 7, 2015

  The arrival of tens of thousands of Syrians at Europe’s borders in recent weeks has been a sharp reminder of the tragedy engulfing the people of Syria. Today, Oxfam publishes its latest briefing on the country’s continuing conflict. Dima Salam (not her real name), a young Syrian refugee now working for Oxfam in the UK, introduces the new paper. Today Oxfam has published a …

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