Topic: NGOs

Social Protection in a Time of Covid – 4 takeaways and 4 big gaps from a recent global discussion

Larissa Pelham, Oxfam’s Social Protection Adviser, reports back on a 4 day Zoomathon Covid-19 has catapulted social protection into the spotlight.  From furloughing to school feeding programmes delivered to homes, 212 states and territories across the world have planned or delivered 1179 social protection interventions in response to the pandemic.  It is the backbone support […]

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Glass half empty or half full? Debating the underlying narrative on the US election.

My colleague at Oxfam America, Paul O’Brien, has a book out on Monday (review to follow) on the agenda for a Biden-Harris administration. He must have been chewing his nails more than most on election night. Since then, we’ve had an interesting exchange on what lessons to draw for the wider progressive movement – broadly, […]

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Why don’t Faith Groups and Anti-Corruption Activists Work Together More?

Guest post by Katherine Marshall, who will be one of the panelists at tomorrow’s webinar on ‘Emergent Agency in a time of Covid 19’ (register here) Religious actors and transparency/accountability advocates ought to be natural allies, but all too often, they barely communicate, much less work actively together. That is a huge missed opportunity for […]

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An Uplifting Account of Civil Society Responses to Covid

A couple of posts to whet your appetite for our seminar on Thursday on ‘Emergent Agency in a time of Covid-19’. Last week Civicus, the global network of civil society organizations (CSOs) published an excellent report on ‘Solidarity in the Time of Covid-19’. It’s an upbeat 60 page snapshot of a vast amount of CSO […]

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Initial Findings on Emergent Agency in a time of Covid – launch webinar and briefing

In September we kicked off a really interesting project on ‘Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid’, asking people if they wanted to be part of a collective effort to share and discuss the grassroots responses to the pandemic and start to explore their longer-term legacy. The response was encouraging (even a bit overwhelming!), and […]

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5 Common Mistakes when NGOs start strategizing

I’ve been having similar conversations in several places over the last couple of weeks, which usually triggers a post. People send me a draft strategy document and say ‘what do you think?’ I take a deep breath and launch in. Half an hour later they look a bit shell-shocked, but (these are NGOs after all), […]

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Beating the Drum – how do influencing networks get results?

My colleagues at Oxfam Novib have published a nice set of ‘stories of influencing networks’- the coalitions of organizations and individuals that come together to press for change in everything from global institutions to individual communities. Beating the Drum’s ‘journey backstage’ asked people intimately involved with 9 such stories to reflect on their choice of […]

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Civic Freedoms and The Covid-19 Pandemic: A Snapshot of Restrictions and Attacks

Civicus, the international network of Civil Society Organizations, has just put out a brief on the impact of the pandemic on protest and activism around the world. Some highlights (my summary in square brackets) [Civic activism hasn’t entirely stopped, but it has moved from mass mobilization to a greater emphasis on symbolism and imagination] ‘2019 […]

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How Covid and Inequality Feed Off Each Other: Launching the 2020 Commitment to Reduce Inequality Index

Max Lawson and Matthew Martin launch the new index, published by Oxfam and Development Finance International. Are more equal countries better able to cope with crises like Covid-19? When we look at humanitarian crises like famines or droughts, there is a fair amount of evidence that more equal countries are more resilient, that the impacts […]

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What are Oxfam’s top tips for effective campaigning? Interview with one of its gurus.

Richard English, Oxfam’s in-house wizard on all things to do with campaigning, on its new Influencing for Impact Guide. Do please listen to the full 25m conversation if you can, but here are some extracts. Duncan: In your 25 years campaigning at Oxfam, what have been the high points? Examples where Oxfam really got it […]

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Rules of Thumb – good idea or double-edged sword?

Spent a fun couple of hours last week helping the Centre for Good Governance (CGG) in Myanmar identify its ‘rules of thumb’ (RoTs) – the default questions and instincts that govern an organization’s daily decision-making, rather than the long-winded strategy documents that no-one reads. One of the national staff nailed the difference ‘The theory of […]

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Taking Doughnut Economics from idea to action – welcome to the Action Lab

Kate Raworth launches a brilliant, potentially world-shaping, new initiative This week is the online launch of Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL). At the heart of it is a community platform, open to everyone who wants to turn Doughnut Economics from a radical idea into transformative action. We’ll be co-creating tools and sharing stories of how […]

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