Topic: NGOs

When throwing evidence and facts is not enough. How Change Happens in the Humanitarian System

Here’s a sentence you don’t often hear. I just read a really interesting conference report. Transforming Change: How Change Really Happens and What we can do about it, by Paul Knox Clarke, summarizes a big 2017 discussion on the drivers of change in the humanitarian system, as well as the blockers. I reported on it […]

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What kinds of ‘Agency’ are emerging as grassroots organizations respond to Covid?

Six months in, the ‘Emerging Agency in a time of Covid’ project is coming along nicely, and starting to generate some interesting insights. We recently spent 90 minutes on a call with the ‘cluster convenors’ – people who have offered to host discussions with groups of people around the world on particular issues (faith organizations, […]

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Words to sprinkle, camouflage and befuddle: Idle musings on the slipperiness of language

Words, words, words. In snowbound lockdown I process thousands of them every day, writing them, reading them, tweaking them. And spotting odd patterns, and layers of obfuscation and general slipperiness. Here are a few thoughts (I’m not doing standard devspeak rants here – plenty of those already on the blog), aided and abetted by crowdsourcing […]

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Is Campaigning on Inequality harder? Here’s what some of the world’s inequality activists said

In the run up to digital Davos this year, I got into a conversation with Jenny Ricks of the Fight Inequality Alliance about the huge growth in campaigning on inequality. On the one hand, inequality is clearly an important and pressing issue (I won’t rehearse the arguments here). But it’s also really multi-faceted – wealth, […]

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Seizing a window of opportunity: lessons from research on anti-corruption reform

Guest post by Florencia Guerzovich, Soledad Gattoni, and Dave Algoso Anyone working for change knows that timing matters. You can see your efforts stall and spin for years, before finally you break through. What made that possible? Sometimes it’s your persistence, wearing down opposition like water carving a canyon. But sometimes it’s a change that […]

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Right now, it feels like anything can derail everything, so are theories of change still useful?

Guest post from Oxfam’s Thomas Dunmore-Rodriguez Applying a theory of change approach is hard, and in the current context just got a whole lot harder. Theories of change tend to be abstract, intangible, and largely hypothetical, so given the unpredictability of the COVID-affected world, are they still useful for activists seeking to strategize for positive […]

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Why the Inequality Virus should be the talk of Davos this week

It’s Davos week again. Julie Seghers (Twitter @JulieSeghers) summarizes Oxfam’s new report. The 2021 Davos edition is pretty unusual. For the first time, the world’s rich and powerful aren’t flying their jets to the Swiss mountains, but are instead meeting online to chart a path out of a deadly pandemic and the worst economic recession […]

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In Conversation on How Change Happens, Activism and Politics

On Wednesday I was subjected to a gruelling cross-examination on Life, the Universe and Everything (actually ‘How Change Happens’) for the entertainment of some Cambridge Accountancy students. Here’s some of the less embarrassing bits. Q: How do you stop yourself feeling overwhelmed by complexity? A: It’s only overwhelming if you think you’re ever going to […]

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Oxfam’s top 5 climate justice wins since 2008

Tim Gore, a fellow Oxfamer who for years has contributed great pieces on climate change to FP2P, is heading off to become (deep breath) Head of the Low Carbon and Circular Economy Programme at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP). (Twitter: @tim_e_gore). Here are his outgoing reflections. Last month I ended an epic 12-year […]

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Bigger? Smaller? And What about the Missing Middle? Great discussion on the future of Humanitarianism

For reasons I hope to be able to explain in a few weeks, I’m mugging up on debates in the humanitarian sector, and really enjoying the ‘Rethinking Humanitarianism’ podcast series from The New Humanitarian and CGD. Each episode provides a full transcript, but no accompanying blog, so I thought I’d summarize November’s discussion on forces […]

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You’ve got your Qualification and you want to change the world. Congrats. Now what?

I was asked to do an ‘inspirational 5 minutes’ at the end of our new-look LSE graduation ceremony just before the Christmas break (I guess they couldn’t afford Ali G, like Harvard). In many ways, I actually preferred the online to the real life version – more inclusive, and everyone can clap, whoop and holler […]

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Summary of a weird (and record-breaking) year on FP2P

I like to kick off a new year on the blog by looking back to the one that’s just ended. I have to say, 2020 was in some ways a vintage year for bloggers (if not for anyone else). Lots of people stuck at home, with nothing better to do than surf social media, I […]

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