Everything's amazing and nobody's happy; the coolest thing ever; Christmas and Darth Vader in the canteen: signing off for Christmas with some youtube uplift

admin - December 22, 2010

Back from my (semi) blog break just in time to say thanks and goodbye to the guest bloggers (what did you think of them? Do you want more guest posts in the future?) and sign off for Christmas/New Year with a few youtubes – please add your own favourites Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy [h/t Chris Blattman] ‘That is the coolest thing ever – how …

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How fertiliser subsidies have transformed Malawi

admin - December 21, 2010

Max Lawson is Head of Development Finance and Public Services for Oxfam GB When I lived in Malawi in 2002, the outlook was bleak. The received wisdom was that Malawi had a structural food deficit and for the foreseeable future would face periodic famines and chronic food insecurity. Our humanitarian department was thinking of setting up a permanent office. But in the last few years …

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What does wikileaks say on Fragile States? Don't rely on climate science. Where's the energy revolution? 1931's predictions for 2011. Digital nativity: links I liked

admin - December 20, 2010

Can’t keep up with the wikitorrent? As time goes on, people are going to start processing the leaks and pulling them together into different overall analyses. Here’s a good example from Foreign Policy magazine – what do the wikileaks cables tell us about failed and fragile states like Sudan, Somalia or Zimbabwe? Fascinating. A damning critique of climate activism and its reliance on science, from …

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Freedom from fear: Protecting people from one of the world’s most brutal rebel groups

admin - December 17, 2010

Maya Mailer, Humanitarian and Conflict Policy Advisor Across central Africa, men, women and children live in fear of the Lord’s Resistance Army. This predatory group attacks women as they perform their daily tasks – fetching water or tending to their fields – and children returning from school. It abducts, mutilates, rapes and kills, using extreme violence against the most vulnerable. Survivors are sometimes horribly mutilated …

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Global leadership on poverty: the preliminary verdict on 2010

admin - December 15, 2010

Stephen Hale is Oxfam International Deputy Advocacy and Campaigns Director. It’s just two weeks until the New Year, and the onslaught of articles looking back at 2010. Journalists everywhere will be filing these pieces now so that they can escape for Christmas. So I thought I’d beat the rush and provide something for them to cut and paste. What kind of year has 2010 been …

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De-Development in Gaza

admin - December 14, 2010

Kirsty Hughes is Head of Oxfam GB Advocacy and Policy Team In a week when US efforts to promote peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians have collapsed, an optimistic way ahead to a political deal looks hard to see. But visiting the Occupied Palestinian Territories in November, including two days in Gaza, underlined for me that everything here is political. Out of a population of …

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Migration and disability as development issues; Mogadishu's first tourist; Latin American attitudes; the Hans Rosling show; climate change makes you cry: links I liked

admin - December 13, 2010

Two cinderella issues in development: Owen Barder tells it like it is (or should be) on migration. But he probably wasn’t thinking of Somalia’s first tourist [h/t wronging rights]).  More on disability, this time from the UN: ‘Over 650 million people in the world have a disability; they make up approximately 10% of the world’s population and are the world’s largest minority.’  Feels like this …

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When energy comes to a Senegalese village, do people get more healthy, wealthy and wise?

admin - December 10, 2010

John Magrath is an Oxfam researcher currently working on renewable energy Hats off to Sarah Best for her recent post on energy and in particular, for highlighting the excellent new Practical Action report, Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2010. I’ve been delving into energy issues too lately. I’ve just come back from Senegal, where I was trying to get clearer in my own mind what exactly is …

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The reality of climate change: floods, migration and nostalgia – guest blog from Bangladesh

admin - December 9, 2010

What’s the point of running a blog if you can’t indulge in a little nepotism? Last year, I went with my son Finlay (18) to visit Bangladesh and look at the impact of climate change: rising sea levels are leading to ever-greater damage from the region’s cyclones, as we saw in the community of Koyra a few months after the last big cyclone, Aila. Now …

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The new World Health Report: Universal health care is possible!

admin - December 8, 2010

Anna Marriott is Health Policy Advisor for the Development Finance and Public Services Team at Oxfam. The international health community had been long-awaiting last week’s launch in Berlin of the 2010 World Health Report. Its theme was how to finance health care to achieve universal coverage. Oxfam and others began with a stunt in front of the Brandenburg Gate, highlighting the devastating impact of user fees …

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