Topic: NGOs

How do we get better at failure?

Emily Janoch of CARE International wants to talk about failure Everyone agrees that we need to learn more from failure, but … you first. I sat on a ‘failure panel’ once where two speakers weren’t even allowed to mention the organization where they worked, much less use current failure examples. Over coffee, everyone will talk […]

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Are we suffering from obsessive measurement disorder?

ODI’s Tiina Pasanen argues that more data doesn’t necessarily mean we make better decisions. It often means just having more data that is not used Do any of these situations sound familiar to you? as an M&E manager, you worry that there’s a crucial aspect of your project that the current logframe doesn’t cover as […]

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Does Strategic Planning Make a Difference?

Blimey, here’s a blogpost from former Oxfam GB boss Mark Goldring, written in response to a tweet of mine, repeated below. Pleased to see that someone takes my social media seriously. “’@Oxfam’s published its evaluation of its 2013-19 Strategic Plan. Some +ves: ‘one lesson rises to the top: we must learn how to continuously test […]

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5 Top Tips for Designing Research to change Social Norms on Gender (or anything else)

Anam Parvez Butt is a Gender Justice Research Lead in the research team at Oxfam GB. Gopika Bashi is the Asia Campaigner for the Enough Campaign at Oxfam International. As researchers and campaigners in development organisations we constantly grapple with the question of how to design research that is useful to influencing change. At Oxfam, […]

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Patent rules are still stopping us helping our children, and this time it’s personal

I arrived at Oxfam towards the end of its big Make Trade Fair campaign on global trade rules. One of its core figures was Romain Benicchio, who just got in touch with this piece about how one aspect of that campaign has become all-too personal. One of the major illustrations of the rigged rules and […]

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How to vlog – top examples and advice from some very tech savvy students

Final instalment from my amazing LSE students. Wednesday and Thursday’s posts ran some of their blogs, which were part of their assignment to write an influencing strategy on a topic of their choice. But I gave them the option of doing a video blog (vlog) instead, and several of them grabbed it, with some impressive […]

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“Seaing” a Sustainable Future in the Caribbean

Next up in these highlights from this year’s LSE activism students is this post by Jacinta Gomez on her campaign proposal for saving Belize’s beleaguered fisheries The “Glory Days”. That’s what you’ll hear from fishermen today reminiscing on a time when the abundance of Belize’s Caribbean Sea gave the impression that its limits were non-existent and […]

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Supporting Feminist and Queer Activists Under Growing Threat Worldwide

This post first appeared on the Urgent Action Fund Africa site, under a Creative Commons License. Within women human rights activist circles, the recent rape and murder of Viktoria Marinova, journalist covering EU corruption, is all too familiar to circumstances surrounding the killing of Brazil’s Marielle Franco. And similar yet to the murder of Berta Caceres, a well-known environmental […]

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We’re 3 months into trying to change up/decolonize FP2P. How are we doing?

We recently spent some time reviewing the first 3 months of #PowerShifts, the new iteration of FP2P, aimed at transforming its messengers, messages and formats over the next two years. The project is in the hands of Maria Faciolince, a Colombian-Antillean anthropologist and activist, supported by Oxfam’s Amy Moran (if you’ve noticed an improvement in […]

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How Change Happens: the podcast

I spoke to Jo Howard from IDS about How Change Happens for their book podcast Between the Lines. Here it is: With podcasts, I always try to provide a blog-length set of excerpts for people who prefer reading to listening, but I honestly couldn’t bear to listen to myself this time. So huge thanks to […]

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Book Review: Civic Activism Unleashed: New Hope or False Dawn for Democracy? by Richard Youngs

This book promised a lot, but only partially delivered. There’s enough substance there to warrant a read, though. The book’s starting point is an upsurge in ‘new activism’ around the world. Robert Putnam’s anomic world of lonely people ‘Bowling Alone’ is looking pretty silly right now. The new activism is very different from the professionalized […]

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If top down control is unavoidable, can we still make aid more compatible with systems thinking?

Had a really interesting conversation last week with Oxfam Intermon and its friends in the Catalan aid system (in Spain, aid is regional with provinces and even cities like Barcelona pursuing active aid policies). I gave my usual rap about how complex systems require aid providers to adopt iterative, adaptive approaches to cope with uncertainty […]

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