Topic: NGOs

Have Children’s Rights Campaigners lost their Courage?

The former Save the Children UK chief executive, Sir Mike Aaronson, reflects on the history and legacy of the organisation. In advance of next Monday’s conference at LSE on Politics, Humanitarianism, and Children’s Rights, which explores the relationship between these three constructs, he asks whether we, as today’s children’s rights advocates, have the courage of our predecessors. Do […]

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Who you Gonna Call? Engaging ‘Public Authorities’ for Rapid Crisis Responses

I’m doing some interesting work with Tom Kirk at LSE as part of the CPAID research programme, on the way donors/aid agencies understand power (aka ‘public authority’) in fragile/conflict settings. As seems to be the way in academia, Tom does all the work, and I get to add my name to the result – what’s […]

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Doing the hard stuff in tough places: please help us find the ‘seemingly impossible’ stories of success

Guest post from Grace Lyn Higdon (left), Irene Guijt (right) and Ruth Mayne The list of reasons to feel depressed is long and growing. Recent elections ushering in sexist and violent heads of states; climate change even worse than predicted; backlash to #MeToo and, if you’re in the UK, the political swamp known as ‘Brexit’. Depressing – […]

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Where is being faith based an asset in aid & development; where is it a liability?

For a lifelong atheist, I’ve been spending a startling amount of time recently rubbing shoulders with devout Christians and Muslims, discussing faith and development. Last week it was a panel organized by Tearfund, a Christian aid and development agency, to discuss a big internal review of its evolution over the 50 years since its foundation […]

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Closing Civic Space: Trends, Drivers and what Donors can do about it

My reading pile is out of control, but I finally caught up with a useful May 2018 overview from the always excellent International Center for Not-for-Profit Law. Nothing life-changing, but a clear and concise summary of the origins of the problem and possible responses, based on some 50 contributions to a consultation by the Swedish […]

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Can watching a few videos really reduce Violence Against Women?

I’m not generally a big fan of randomised control trials (oversold, squeeze out other forms of knowledge – more here), but a recent RCT on violence against women in Uganda by researchers at Columbia University got my attention. Here are some excerpts from the summary on the website of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). First […]

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List of your most disastrous campaign own goals – more please!

I’m teaching a course on activism at the LSE and one of my students, Gaia Frazao-Nery, asked me a disarmingly simple question – can you give us some examples of advocacy campaigns that have achieved the opposite of what they wanted? I was stumped, so threw myself on the mercy of twitter. So far, I […]

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What is different about how INGOs do Adaptive Management/Doing Development Differently?

Earlier this week I chaired a fascinating discussion on the findings of a new paper on an adaptive management (AM) experiment by Christian Aid Ireland (CAI). The paper really adds to our knowledge of AM/Doing Development Differently: It looks at the work of an INGO, when most formally identified AM practice and research involves big […]

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How can digital bring Millennials into International Development? A ginger session with Save the Children

‘I don’t like Save the Children’. That opening line from a guest speaker at a gathering of SCF’s global big cheeses earlier this week certainly got the room’s attention. But then the speaker was pretty extraordinary. Mariéme Jamme, whose online bio includes this para: ‘Mariéme grew up in rural Senegal, from an oligarch mother who […]

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How Does Fair Trade go from inspiring examples to Transforming Capitalism?

Erinch Sahan, an exfamer who now heads the World Fair Trade Organization network, wants to pick your brains about how to transform capitalism I think I’m sitting on a goldmine of examples that could help efforts to transform business and economies. I lead a global community of 330 real examples of alternative business models. These […]

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New improved Make Change Happen: free online course for activists goes live in March

I spent a lot of time before Christmas following and commenting on Oxfam’s new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course – keep up) on ‘Making Change Happen’. A lot of time because there were so many comments (from about 3,000 participants) and they were so interesting. Now the MOOC is coming round for its second outing, […]

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What have we learned about Empowerment and Accountability in fragile/violent places?

For the past few years I’ve been one of Oxfam’s researchers in the Action for Empowerment and Accountability programme, studying how E&A function in fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings (FCVAS) – a more exact category than ‘Fragile/Conflict States’, which recognizes that it’s not always whole countries that are fragile/violent. This week we had a brainstorm […]

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