Topic: NGOs

“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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How does an INGO like Oxfam help Africa get a good deal from its Natural Resources?

I recently caught up with Gilbert Makore, Oxfam’s Extractive Industries Adviser in East Africa recently. You can listen to the 25m podcast for more nuance, but here are some extracts: The East African moment: ‘The region sits at a very exciting point – it’s one of the emerging oil and gas producers in the world, […]

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PEKKA, an inspiring example of feminist activism from Indonesia

Thanks to Jonathan Fox for politely prodding me until I read his Accountability Research Centre’s great case study of PEKKA, an amazing Indonesian women’s organization, co-published with Just Associates. Some extracts: ‘PEKKA’s work began in 2001, emerging from the Komnas Perempuan (Widows’ Project), which set out to document the lives of widows in the conflict-ridden […]

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How can Daniel Kahneman help organizations get better at Strategic Planning?

Oxfam is embarking on another round of strategic planning – a protracted process of research, debate and negotiation that sometimes make me wonder whether ‘INGO’ should really stand for ‘Interminable Navel-Gazing Ordeal’. Why the negativity? Partly because I worry that much of what is painfully agreed then sits on a virtual shelf until the next […]

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How should INGOs respond to growing nationalism in the UK?

Guest post from Matthew Spencer, (@Spencerthink) Oxfam’s Director of Campaigns, Policy & Influencing Kirsty McNeill, my counterpart from Save the Children UK, asked me this question last year and it’s been troubling me ever since. I had a vague answer, but wasn’t entirely convinced. We have no mandate to take sides on Brexit, but I […]

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Feminism under siege: Maria Al Abdeh on the work of Women Now for Development in Syria, and the impact of Jo Cox

This is the first post of a new mini series on ‘Being a feminist in difficult places’. Recently I spent time with Maria Al Abdeh, Executive Director of Women Now for Development (WND), a Syrian feminist organization. She was in London to help launch the UK branch of Global Fund for Women, which helps fund […]

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How to Write About Africa: RIP Binyavanga Wainaina

Binyavanga Wainaina, the Kenyan writer, died last week, aged 48. Here is his brilliant, witheringly satirical piece ‘How to Write About Africa’, first published in Granta magazine in 2005. Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, […]

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