Topic: NGOs

2018 FP2P report back: stats; most-read posts and some big plans for 2019

Hi everyone, Happy New Year and all that. Thought I’d kick off with the usual feedback post on last year’s blog stats: According to Google Analytics, overall reader stats for 2018 were: 328,887 ‘unique visitors’ – not quite the same as ‘different readers’ – if you read the blog on your PC, laptop and mobile, […]

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Book Review: New Power: How it’s Changing the 21st Century and Why you need to Know

Here’s my recommendation for a last minute panic Christmas pressie for your activist friends. You’re welcome As befits a grumpy old technophobe, I have long been sceptical of the hype around online activism. I’ve cited Malcolm Gladwell’s bah humbug piece on the Arab Spring ‘why the revolution will not be tweeted’ as pretty much summing […]

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When to write in DevSpeak; when to use Plain Language? More handy tips.

Andrew Johnston of Words for Change felt moved to respond to Friday’s post on the use of plain language in development comms. He argues that writers have to be able to write for multiple audiences simultaneously, which reminds me of Disney films’ amazing ability to combine a simple narrative to entertain the kids with enough […]

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Just to be clear: why Devspeak needs to adopt Plain Language

Following the recent FP2P discussion on devspeak, Kate Murphy of Translators Without Borders got in touch and said she needed to vent. Be my guest. If the aid sector is to communicate more effectively, we must do more than tame the rampant devspeak that Duncan highlighted in his recent blog. Instead we should focus on […]

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How does Localization work on the ground? Podcast with Evans Onyiego and video of his work in Northern Kenya

On the margins of the localization discussion I covered yesterday, I grabbed a few minutes to interview Evans Onyiego. Evans runs a local Caritas office in Maralal, in Northern Kenya, where the Church is playing a big role in trying to rebuild trust between ethnic groups and communities whose traditional rivalries have been turbo-charged by the […]

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Localization in Aid – why isn’t it happening? What to do about it?

Spent two days this week discussing ‘Localization in Conflict Settings’. The subject is littered with aid jargon, but important – how does the humanitarian system ‘transfer power and resources’ to ‘local actors’ rather than outsiders insisting on running the whole thing (badly) themselves? It was organized by Saferworld and Save the Children Sweden to help […]

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It’s time to change up From Poverty to Power – Know Anyone Who Can Help?

Should I be worried/offended when someone pays me to write less? Nah, actually I’m very excited. As regular readers may have noticed, In recent years I’ve been inviting more guests onto the blog, but have always struggled to find the time and resources to do it properly. Now the Ford and Hewlett Foundations have kindly […]

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How can Universities get more activists to take-up their research?

Another day, another coffee conversation about how to ensure that academic research has impact beyond the ivory tower/dreaming spires. This time it was with Duncan McLaren, who has just started as a fellow Professor in Practice (is this A Thing now?) at the Lancaster Environment Centre and has been asked to look into how its […]

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How can Activists get better at harnessing Narratives for social change?

Working in a global organization like Oxfam means spending a lot of time on conference calls, with colleagues scattered across the globe. They can be frustrating – dodgy connections, people fading in and out, speaking too fast, or forgetting to put their phones on mute (especially if they are nipping in to the restroom – […]

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What might a 100% experimental Oxfam Country Programme look like?

Oxfam GB’s new boss, Danny Sriskandarajah, starts in the New Year, but is already talking to people inside and outside the organization about what a ‘Nextfam’ could look like. Here’s some thoughts from a chat with him and David Bonbright earlier this week. The problem: Experiments and innovation at the project level seldom spread beyond […]

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So what might ‘Beyond the Project’ Activities look like?

Some thoughts in response to yesterday’s challenge from Brady Mott. What might replace the project? On one level, it’s a self-defeating exercise – any alternative is likely to require spending money, staff etc and some kind of accountability. Boom – we’re back to projects! But some projects can loosen the kinds of constraints that Brady […]

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What’s the problem with Projects?

While doing some blogging workshops, I got talking to various people in the Netherlands recently about aid moving ‘Beyond the Project’. Today’s guest post by Brady Mott explains the problem with projects. Tomorrow I’ll explore some alternatives. The development sector has always engaged with the world through the vehicle of projects: logistically intricate arrangements linking […]

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