The UK’s new Development Minister, Rory Stewart, is a genuine intellectual – here’s a review of his book on Fragile States and the Failings of Western Intervention

Rory Stewart became the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development on Wednesday. We now have a minister with a genuine commitment to, and knowledge of, international development – for the last two years he has ducked out of his ministerial duties to come to speak to my LSE students. After his first lecture, I […]

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A rant about gender (and other) consultants and how we can avoid them

Guest rant from CARE International’s Elizabeth Cowan Ask a group of international development people about external consultants and the conversation that ensues resembles group therapy. Everyone has a story of pain and frustration, of feeling cheated, misunderstood and unsatisfied. Sometimes we cry. There was the external evaluator we paid $60,000 to tell us our project […]

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Links I Liked

From a friend in Indonesia: ‘Good info, mass public engagement & a competent elections team, all in a country of 9k islands, $3.5k per cap. And they did it. Cleanly fairly & mostly non-violently. Such a change from US & Afghanistan. I think this picture sort of sums it up.’ ‘Temperature change driven by CO2 […]

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Six things INGOs need to fix to be fit for the future. Mark Goldring’s outgoing reflections

Guest post by my former boss Mark Goldring, first published in the March edition of Governance and Leadership Magazine. Mark was chief executive of Oxfam GB from 2013 until January 2019. This article is based on a talk given to Civil Society Media’s NGO Insight Conference in November 2018. My last year as chief executive of […]

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Trying to do something about climate inequality in Sweden

Guest post from Robert Höglund, Head of communications for Oxfam Sweden and coordinator for the network The Climate Goal Initiative.   One of the aspects of inequality that always struck me as especially bizarre is the double inequality around climate change. The richest 10 percent of the world who is most to blame for climate […]

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Will aid help or undermine Mindanao’s new start? Scott Guggenheim is worried.

Community Development guru Scott Guggenheim emailed some provocative thoughts on my piece last week on Mindanao, with much wider relevance to the localization debate, so I asked him to turn it into a blog.   I like your piece but I’m a bit longer in the tooth than you and so slightly less optimistic. You […]

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Audio Summary of FP2P posts w/b 15th April (and a fab redesign for the blog)

Highlight of the week for me was the crisp new design for the blog, thanks to Amy Moran and web designer Ben Newton. Amy sets out the benefits of the new look as: We’ve simplified posts so they’re easier to read. Larger text, no side bar and a centred layout. The homepage now features images, […]

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INGOs and aid’s Middle Income Country trap – what are the options?

Oxfam country directors face an unenviable task – juggling the daily management bureaucracy of the aid sector with the need to keep their eyes on the prize and think about strategy. Luckily, they are also some of the smartest, most politically savvy people in the organization. Here is a 16 minute segment of Philippines country […]

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Is a progressive Islamic revolution happening in the Philippines? Impressions from Mindanao

First instalment from my recent visit to the Philippines: Something fascinating and strikingly promising is going on the Philippines island of Mindanao. It has very little to do with the grisly headlines of extra-judicial killings and President Duterte’s bloody ‘war on drugs’. It looks like a progressive Islamic revolution is in progress, combining elements of […]

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Are INGO advocacy and campaigning up to today’s challenges?

This post by Oxfam researcher Ruth Mayne was originally published by the UK network of development NGOs, BOND We know from successful campaigns in the past, such as the anti-slavery movement of the 19th century, that it is possible to achieve intentional systemic change, and that civil society can play a pivotal role.  But are […]

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Links I Liked

Thanks FT for this chart of toppling despots after the ouster of Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir. In the Arab Spring 2.0 (Sudan and Algeria, so far), the military jump in to forestall a revolution, toppling dictators when popular pressure becomes overwhelming. But what comes next? Recent precedents (Egypt, Thailand) are hardly encouraging. Cross country comparisons […]

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Audio summary (5m) of FP2P posts for w/b 8th April, and a quick hello vlog from the Philippines

and here’s me burbling on in the Philippines

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