May 2012

How can aid agencies promote local governance and accountability? Lessons from five countries.

admin - May 31, 2012

This post also appeared on the World Bank’s ‘People, Spaces. Deliberation‘ blog Oxfam is publishing a fascinating new series of papers today, drawing together lessons from our programme work on local governance and community action. There are case studies from Nepal (women’s rights, see photo), Malawi (access to medicines), Kenya (tracking public spending), Viet Nam (community participation) and Tanzania (the ubiquitous Chukua Hatua project), and a very …

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How is poverty research changing? Reflections from some clever people

admin - May 30, 2012

Last year DFID convened some leading UK-based researchers to brainstorm on the lessons, challenges and frontiers for poverty research. The resulting is an interesting blogpost from the ODI’s Andrew Norton (right) and a paper, ‘Understanding Poverty and Wellbeing’. In his post, Andy explains that ‘the key problem the paper addresses is the mismatch between the complex nature of poverty and the reductionist nature of measures …

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Best story in development; evidence and aid; who holds the mobile?; tax inspectors without borders; CSR v democracy; Kenya's Quakers; Living the Language: links I liked

admin - May 29, 2012

Falling African child mortality – much tweeted ‘best story in development’ (see bar chart, showing average % fall over most recent 5 year period) but only partial and unsatisfactory answers to the really important question – why? Ian Thorpe summarizes twenty years of agonising on the use of evidence in aid policy  In the Philippines ‘mobile phone ownership by the farmer is associated with a 5-percent …

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I've got a new job, but am staying with Oxfam and the blog goes on (and on)

admin - May 28, 2012

Today I start my new job as Oxfam GB’s ‘senior strategic adviser’ (I still prefer John Magrath’s ‘chief opinionator’ description). I’ll be continuing/expanding some existing areas – this blog, a new edition of the From Poverty to Power book due out in September, a lot of public ranting speaking, media, writing and being a token NGO prized member on a range of panels and advisory …

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"Be Outraged!" Some big names in development take on the Austerians

admin - May 25, 2012

This week Oxfam supported the publication of ‘Be Outraged’, an angry and eloquent broadside from some big names in the development scene, including Richard Jolly, Carlos Fortin, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Diane Elson, Ruth Pearson, Frances Stewart and Stephany Griffith Jones. Many of them led the fightback in the late 1980s against the excesses of the Washington Consensus, working out of UNICEF and producing the hugely …

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Femicide, anger and struggle: stories of women's activism in Honduras

admin - May 24, 2012

Guest post from John Ambler, right, Oxfam America’s ‘Vice President, Strategy’ (ooo, can I be one of those?) on his recent trip to Honduras I woke up early in the morning to the sound of gunshots.  Two, then three more.  I expected to hear sirens, but did not.  The police were taking their own sweet time.  Over 80% of the murders in Honduras go unsolved.  …

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Religion, making babies and 'peak child': brilliant new Hans Rosling video

admin - May 23, 2012

Break out the champagne, the sword-swallowing data guru is back, with a brilliant performance on religion and fertility, delivered, as far as I can tell, in Qatar. Conclusion: ‘religion has very little to do with the number of children in the world’, and fertility is falling rapidly, everywhere (due to women’s education and paid jobs + access to birth control) – the world has reached a …

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Development's 2 tribes; post-2015; the Big Dope Hunt; Save the Kids v The Economist; the next frontier; Millennium Villages under fire; African take-off: great advocacy videos: links I liked

admin - May 22, 2012

And please don’t forget to fill in the reader survey to the right – only takes a few minutes, promise. ‘Both camps should show greater humility: macro-development practitioners about what they already know, and micro-development practitioners about what they can learn.’ Magisterial overview from Dani Rodrik of progress in the two great development wonk tribes – the macros and the micros (who just won the …

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The IPCC Special Report on Disasters and Adaptation: more than just climate science

admin - May 20, 2012

Guest post from one time Oxfam research team member Arabella Fraser, who is currently in the Department for International Development, London School of Economics, writing a PhD on climate risk and vulnerability in informal urban settlements. She is also a consultant on climate adaptation and development issues, working most recently on urban adaptation planning in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The recent publication of the IPCC’s …

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‘As serious as a heart attack’: Robin Hood Tax Global Week of Action Kicks Off

admin - May 18, 2012

Update on substantial progress (and the risk the money raised won’t go to development and climate change) from Oxfam head of advocacy (and generally merry man) Max Lawson This week sees a Global Week of Action for the campaign for the Robin Hood Tax (aka the Financial Transactions Tax, or FTT). The FTT rose to prominence as a result of the financial crisis, which continues to …

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