Thought Leadership and NGOs: What is it? How can we get better at it?

Duncan Green - April 21, 2016

Here’s today’s 2 minute vlog summary for the incurably lazy/visual The aid business specializes in baffling, slippery concepts, often adopted as the latest management fuzzwords (like buzzwords, but fuzzy). One recent example in Oxfam was a brainstorm on ‘thought leadership’ – What is it? Does Oxfam do it? Do we want to do more of it? If so, how can we do it better? My …

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Ricardo Fuentes wants you to apply for his job as Oxfam’s Head of Research – here’s why

Duncan Green - July 21, 2015

Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva  (@rivefuentes) is leaving and his  job as Head of Research at Oxfam GB is being advertised (deadline July 30). I’m inviting you to apply for a job whose highlights include: You get to exchange blogs with Martin Ravallion. You get to have the first citation in Joseph Stiglitz’s new book. You get to have Barack Obama misquote your work (min 4:25). You get to be …

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What’s the the best/worst country in which to feed your family? New Oxfam report.

Duncan Green - January 16, 2014

Oxfam researcher and ace number cruncher Deborah Hardoon introduces its new Good Enough to Eat index. Many of us will have overindulged this festive season. According to the British Diatetics Association, the average Brit puts on half a stone at Christmas. And it is not just Christmas Day itself, ‘the whole festive season is riddled with fat traps’. After Christmas, we end up throwing a …

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Jobs for wonks: three new openings at Oxfam

admin - January 31, 2013

I’m taking time out from blogging today partly because my computer’s on the blink, but also because I promised to plug some new jobs in Oxfam that I thought would particularly interest the kinds of weirdoes intellectuals and deep thinkers who read this blog: First up, our MEL pin-up Karl Hughes is off to the ADB, so if you fancy becoming our ‘global impact evaluation …

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Should we (and everyone in Davos) worry about extreme wealth? New Oxfam briefing

admin - January 21, 2013

Good to see Oxfam highlighting inequality in its media briefing ahead of this week’s annual gathering of power & plutocrats in Davos. Because inequality is about the relationship between different social groups, it is inherently more political and more controversial than poverty. As our head of campaigns Ben Phillips, who packs a mean sound bite, said in his Al Jazeera interview, ‘’We sometimes talk about …

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Remember when Oxfam took on Winston Churchill, apartheid, the Labour government, Big Pharma and the pesticides industry?

admin - November 19, 2012

As Oxfam celebrates its 70th anniversary, head of advocacy Max Lawson discovers its radical roots, and urges it not to lose its edge January 1942. The second World War was at its height.  The Axis Powers had occupied almost all of Europe. In Greece, people were dying of starvation at a rate of 2000 a day.  Winston Churchill completely opposed any lifting of the naval …

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India’s slums: how change happens and the challenge of urban programming

admin - November 1, 2012

Got back from a fascinating week visiting Oxfam India last week, so the next few days’ post will be on India, sadly the world leader in poverty (by a long way). One of the areas that Oxfam is keen to develop there is its work on urban poverty, where it already works with migrant labourers, waste pickers, domestic workers, and on issues such as housing …

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Getting evaluation right: a five point plan

admin - October 25, 2012

Final (for now) evaluationtastic installment on Oxfam’s attempts to do public warts-and-all evaluations of randomly selected projects. This commentary comes from Dr Jyotsna Puri, Deputy Executive Director and Head of Evaluation of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) Oxfam’s emphasis on quality evaluations is a step in the right direction. Implementing agencies rarely make an impassioned plea for evidence and rigor in their evidence …

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What do DFID wonks think of Oxfam's attempt to measure its effectiveness?

admin - October 24, 2012

More DFIDistas on the blog: this time Nick York, DFID’s top evaluator and Caroline Hoy, who covers NGO evaluation, comment on Oxfam’s publication of a set of 26 warts-and-all programme effectiveness reviews. Having seen Karl Hughes’s 3ie working paper on process tracing and talked to the team in Oxfam about evaluation approaches, Caroline Hoy (our lead on evaluation for NGOs) and I have been reading …

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Can you help promote 'From Poverty to Power'? This won't take long…..

admin - October 18, 2012

OK, out of consideration for your sensitivities, I’m going to try and condense all the humiliating, grovelling self promotional authorial thing into a single post (OK, I’m lying, but the other promo will be less blatant). The second edition of From Poverty to Power is published on the 23rd October, and as you doubtless know, there is nothing so craven as a writer desperate to …

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