Conflict and Security

Great new 110 page guide to humanitarian campaigning

Duncan Green - July 6, 2016

Just been browsing through a brilliant new Oxfam guide to humanitarian campaigning. A treasure trove of 110 pages crammed full of wisdom, experience and 32 case studies on everything from addressing tribal conflicts in Pakistan to gender responsive work with Syrian refugees to influencing Australia’s humanitarian policy. And no sign of an executive summary. Sigh. To be fair, it would be very hard to summarize, …

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After the Summit: What next for humanitarianism?

Duncan Green - June 16, 2016

Here’s this week’s vlog – still trying to sort out a better camera and sound, sorry! Spent a fascinating morning recently, discussing the state of humanitarian response with a bunch of fairly senior people from inside ‘the system’ – UN, donors, INGOs etc. It was Chatham House Rule, so that’s as much as I can tell you about the event, but the good news is …

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European Governments’ treatment of refugees is doing long term damage to international law

Duncan Green - June 15, 2016

Maya Mailer (@mayamailer), Oxfam’s Head of Humanitarian Policy & Campaigns, reflects on a recent visit to Greece on the day it launches Stand As One, a big new campaign on refugee rights I visited some of Europe’s refugee camps recently. Oxfam was founded in 1942 to help civilians that were starving in Nazi-occupied Greece, and now, more than 70 years later, we are once again active on …

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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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