Topic: NGOs

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 […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

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’, […]

Read More »

Big demographic tides are sweeping the world: how should aid organizations respond?

Recently I spent half day BS’ing (breeze-shooting, obviously) about future trends and challenges for international organizations like Oxfam. Confession: we’re supposed to hate these, but often they’re really fun. A table on demographic shifts got me particularly excited. Great human tides are sloshing around the globe, populations are moving geographically, and their age make-up is […]

Read More »

‘I just won’t give up’ – 13 year old Ogen Ronald thinks football holds the key to a brighter future. And he may be right

As northern Uganda continues gradually to recover from the LRA war, peace/youth interventions using sports are playing a vital role. Former Ugandan soccer star and LSE researcher Francis Aloh (right) is studying the work of a Canadian charity, Athletes for Africa (A4A) and reports back on a recent visit. It has been said that football […]

Read More »

How to have Difficult Conversations

This piece on Open Democracy by my old friend Marcela Lopez Levy has stayed with me since it was posted a week ago, so thought I would repost it. Campaigners aren’t known for being contemplative. By definition they are trying to change something beyond themselves, and the stereotype of an outgoing extrovert with a megaphone exists […]

Read More »

Adaptive rigour: bridging the art and science of adaptive management

Ben Ramalingam and Leni Wild share the thinking behind a new initiative to support adaptive management in aid. Adaptive management seems to be everywhere these days – and is one of the most popular topics on this blog. More and more, it is becoming seen as the best way to deal with a wide range of […]

Read More »

A rant about gender (and other) consultants and how we can avoid them

Guest rant from CARE International’s Elizabeth Cowan Ask a group of international development people about external consultants and the conversation that ensues resembles group therapy. Everyone has a story of pain and frustration, of feeling cheated, misunderstood and unsatisfied. Sometimes we cry. There was the external evaluator we paid $60,000 to tell us our project […]

Read More »

Six things INGOs need to fix to be fit for the future. Mark Goldring’s outgoing reflections

Guest post by my former boss Mark Goldring, first published in the March edition of Governance and Leadership Magazine. Mark was chief executive of Oxfam GB from 2013 until January 2019. This article is based on a talk given to Civil Society Media’s NGO Insight Conference in November 2018. My last year as chief executive of […]

Read More »

Trying to do something about climate inequality in Sweden

Guest post from Robert Höglund, Head of communications for Oxfam Sweden and coordinator for the network The Climate Goal Initiative.   One of the aspects of inequality that always struck me as especially bizarre is the double inequality around climate change. The richest 10 percent of the world who is most to blame for climate […]

Read More »

Will aid help or undermine Mindanao’s new start? Scott Guggenheim is worried.

Community Development guru Scott Guggenheim emailed some provocative thoughts on my piece last week on Mindanao, with much wider relevance to the localization debate, so I asked him to turn it into a blog.   I like your piece but I’m a bit longer in the tooth than you and so slightly less optimistic. You […]

Read More »

INGOs and aid’s Middle Income Country trap – what are the options?

Oxfam country directors face an unenviable task – juggling the daily management bureaucracy of the aid sector with the need to keep their eyes on the prize and think about strategy. Luckily, they are also some of the smartest, most politically savvy people in the organization. Here is a 16 minute segment of Philippines country […]

Read More »