What sort of trade campaigns do we need around Brexit?

Duncan Green - August 18, 2016

Not all conference calls are as terrible as the one depicted in ‘a conference call in real life’. Had a really good one yesterday with Oxfam/Exfam trade wonks on the impact of Brexit on Britain’s trade relations. Here’s my take. Around the early 2000s, I spent about 7 years as a trade wonk, first at CAFOD and then at DFID. Highlights includewandering through the tear gassed …

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How can Academics and NGOs work together? Some smart new ideas

Duncan Green - August 16, 2016

Just finished ‘Interaction’, a thought-provoking report on ‘How can academics and the third sector work together to influence policy and practice’. Written by Mark Shucksmith for the Carnegie UK Trust, the report has some good research and new suggestions on a hoary old topic. First up, a striking stat that underlines the imbalance in size and resources between academia and the third sector (voluntary organizations, …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - August 15, 2016

Olympics slot: Simones rock (Biles and Manuel) If you like a nice Cork accent, listen up to Ireland’s O’Donovan brothers in the rowing (they ended up winning silver) Brilliant Dani Rodrik piece questioning the demands for global governance: he thinks we should be sceptical, except where truly global public goods are at stake (eg climate change), but elsewhere it can do more harm than good Six steps for academics …

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Is this the right moment to reboot the Aid, Trade and Private Sector agenda?

Duncan Green - August 12, 2016

Oxfam’s private sector adviser Erinch Sahan thinks the times are ripe for a paradigm shift  In a former life (i.e. six years ago), I worked as a development adviser to Australia’s trade negotiators. Back then, we development types were suspicious and hostile – we feared that rich countries would divert aid to pursue a narrow interpretation of their national interests. Now, from TPP to the UK’s …

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Where are the gaps in the way we campaign?

Duncan Green - August 11, 2016

The summer is a time for relaxed chats in my Brixton office. This week it was with a seasoned NGO campaigner who’s been on a break, and wondering about re-entry into the UK/global development and environment campaign scene at the research-y end. Where are the gaps and potential niches that a bright, reflective, experienced campaigner-turned-researcher could help to fill? Here’s a few that came up, inevitably …

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A successful project to wean southern civil society organizations off aid

Duncan Green - August 10, 2016

I’ve previously lamented the aid industry’s lack of interest in building up the domestic fundraising capacity of local organizations and suggested we need a ‘Fundraisers Without Borders’. Turns out something along those lines is already happening. A note in a recent edition of Development in Practice by Robert Wiggers of the Dutch Wild Geese Foundation (WGF) describes its Action for Children (AfC) programme in four …

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How can global companies (positively) influence development? Engaging with Unilever

Duncan Green - August 9, 2016

Oxfam works with lots of big private companies, but in the (frequent) discussions about the role of private sector in development, our relationship with one (very big) name keeps cropping up. Unilever. We’ve done a ‘poverty footprint’ study of Unilever’s impact in Indonesia, and more recently have engaged with it on its labour practices in Vietnam. Unilever is also one of the targets in our …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - August 8, 2016

Top billboard, top hashtag – #ActualMuslims set the record straight in Chicago [h/t Hussain Khamani] What’s to be done with Oxfam? Thoughtful reflection on the current state of existential self-questioning in the INGOs. Uwe Gneiting of Oxfam America responds. Fascinating. 10 Africans from all walks of life describe their digital days Excellent piece on power of networked campaigning [h/t Jamie Pett] Why not actually draw …

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How do you make aid programmes truly adaptive? New lessons from Bangladesh and Cambodia

Duncan Green - August 5, 2016

Following on from yesterday’s post on adaptive aid, a guest piece from Lisa Denney (left), Daniel Harris (middle)and Leni Wild (right), all of ODI (sorry layout’s gone so weird – it’s cos there’s so many of them…..) A swelling chorus of the development community has been advocating for more flexible and adaptive programming that can respond to the twists and turns of political reform processes. They argue that in order …

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