Trade

Tackling Inequality is a game changer for business and private sector development (which is why most of them are ignoring it)

Duncan Green - March 31, 2016

Oxfam’s private sector adviser Erinch Sahan is thinking through the implications of inequality for the businesses he interacts with Mention inequality to a business audience and one of two things happens. They recoil in discomfort, or reinterpret the term – as social sustainability or doing more business with people living in poverty. Same goes for the private sector development professionals in the aid community (e.g. …

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What did trade campaigns achieve? Plus reinventing Robert Chambers & changing aid narratives: some Berlin conversations

Duncan Green - March 24, 2016

Had a really interesting couple of days in Berlin last week, at the invitation of the German government aid agency, GIZ. Also spent time with the impressive policy and campaigns wonks at Oxfam Germany. Here’s a few of the topics that came up. What did all that trade campaigning achieve? From the late 90s to 2005, when I was working on economic policy for CAFOD, …

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Industrial Policy meets Doing Development Differently: an evening at SOAS

Duncan Green - March 17, 2016

It’s always interesting when a neglected issue suddenly resurfaces in multiple locations. That’s been happening with industrial policy – in particular the role of governments in developing their manufacturing industries. ActionAid has a new report out, arguing that promoting manufacturing through industrial policy is essential if countries want to generate decent work and tackling inequality. Then I went to a packed SOAS event on ‘Smart …

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Book Review: What can Activists learn from the AIDS Drugs Movement?

Duncan Green - March 10, 2016

Still catching up with reviews from my holiday reading – Alex de Waal’s new book (already reviewed) and AIDS Drugs for All, which came highly recommended. (I also read and enjoyed Marlon James and Elena Ferrante – I’m not completely sad/obsessive, honest.) AIDS Drugs for All is a forensic account of ‘a heroic effort on the part of social activists, policy entrepreneurs and sympathetic corporate …

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From Sweatshops to Switzerland, the women in Myanmar behind the billionaires’ fortunes

Duncan Green - March 4, 2016

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Global Campaigns reflects on a recent visit The young garment factory workers share a tiny room in a wooden shack, spotlessly clean, with pictures of Myanmar pop stars beside a photo of their parents back in the village. But there is no escaping the smell of the open drain outside. The three sisters and their cousin all work in factories …

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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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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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The Paradox of Britain’s role in Yemen’s unfolding disaster. Guest post by Mark Goldring

Duncan Green - September 11, 2015

While all eyes are on Syria, a humanitarian disaster is fast unfolding in Yemen, and the UK government’s role is ambiguous. Here Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, explains why it is challenging the government on the ‘paradox’ of the UK’s approach and introduces a new report, released today. Twenty one million people in Yemen are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. This year the …

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What difference do remittances and migration make back home?

Duncan Green - September 8, 2015

Reading the Economist cover to cover is an illicit pleasure – it may be irritatingly smug and right wing, especially on anything about economic policy, but its coverage on international issues consistently goes way beyond standard news outlets. This week’s edition had everything from the changing face of Indian marriage to the spread of pedestrian and cycling schemes around the world to (for science geeks) …

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Unilever opens a can of worms on corporate human rights reporting

Duncan Green - August 12, 2015

This guest post comes from Rachel Wilshaw, Oxfam’s Ethical Trade Manager Hundreds of millions of people suffer from discrimination in the world of work. 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 a day. 34 nations present an ‘extreme’ risk of human rights violations. Nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labour. It’s an unusual opening statement for a corporate …

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