how change happens

Will Bill Gates’ chickens end African poverty?

Duncan Green - June 23, 2016

  Joseph Hanlon and Teresa Smart are unimpressed by a new initiative, but disappointingly avoid all the potential excruciating puns Bill Gates announced on 7 June that he is giving 100,000 chickens to the poor because chickens are “easy to take care of” and a woman with just five hens in Africa can make $1000 per year. For Mozambique where we work, this is remarkable …

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Jo Cox would have been 42 today. Here’s what she was like to work with.

Duncan Green - June 22, 2016

Today would have been Jo Cox’s 42nd birthday. Celebratory events are being held around the world with the hashtag #MoreinCommon, taken from her maiden speech in Parliament: ‘We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us’. My ex-boss Phil Bloomer, who worked with Jo for many years at Oxfam, gave this lovely tribute to an event in Oxford at the weekend. …

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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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Meetings with Remarkable Women: Shen Ye, Organic Activist and Chinese Rock Chick

Duncan Green - June 14, 2016

Last post from my recent visit to Beijing If promoting organic farming through Oxfam partner Beijing Farmers Markets sounds a bit worthy, Shen Ye is anything but – she’s one of the funniest people I’ve met in years and during a morning spent visiting farms on the outskirts of the City, was both fascinating and reduced me to repeated fits of giggles, with her mixture of …

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How Buddhist Tax Accountants and Whistle Blowers can change the world

Duncan Green - June 10, 2016

Max Lawson is back again (he seems to have more time to write now he’s Oxfam International’s policy guy on inequality) to discuss tax morality and a bizarre encounter with a Buddhist accountant A few years ago I went on a hiking holiday with a number of people I didn’t know, and ended up befriending a tax accountant.  He was a very nice man, who had been …

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Where have we got to on adaptive learning, thinking and working politically, doing development differently etc? Getting beyond the People’s Front of Judea

Duncan Green - June 9, 2016

Props to Dave Algoso (left) and Alan Hudson at Global Integrity for making the effort to compare and contrast 9 different initiatives that are all heading in roughly the right direction in reforming aid Aid, development, and governance practitioners increasingly recognize that change happens through iterative processes (trying, learning, adapting the approach taken, and trying again) as opposed to the linear assumptions that underpin much of …

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How does Change Happen in China?

Duncan Green - June 8, 2016

The honest answer is of course that I have no idea. Given China’s size, complexity, opacity and the language barrier created by being a non-mandarin speaker, a week of meetings and conversations can only leave a string of vague and often contradictory impressions. But here they are anyway: Is China’s development complex or complicated? The standard account of China’s extraordinary transformation is of a triumph …

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First inequality, now neoliberalism: how many statues are left to kick over outside the IMF?

Duncan Green - June 6, 2016

Max Lawson, now Oxfam International’s policy guy on inequality, shares his newfound love for an old foe Last week the IMF published an article in its magazine that caused a considerable stir around the world.  Entitled ‘Neoliberalism: oversold?’ the short piece by Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri, all from the Fund’s Research Department, questions whether the economic approach of neoliberalism has been taken …

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Community Philanthropy: it’s a thing, and you need to know about it

Duncan Green - June 2, 2016

  Guest post from Jenny Hodgson of the Global Fund for Community Foundations It’s almost always the same argument. Or excuse. Governments joining the accelerating global trend of restricting civil society at home like to claim that they are protecting their country against meddling “foreign powers”. No one has to like, or agree, with that point of view in order to take it seriously, and …

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