Topic: NGOs

Civil Society, Public Action and Accountability in Africa

An important new paper from some big development names – Shanta Devarajan and Stuti Khemani from the World Bank, and Michael Walton (ex Bank, now at Harvard Kennedy School) – directs a slightly fierce (but welcome) political economy gaze at donor efforts to strengthen civil society (one of the more recent developmental fads). As with […]

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Book Review: Knowledge, Policy and Power in International Development: A Practical Guide

This review appears in the Evidence and Policy journal, where it is now available free online (after I protested about the scandalous, rip-off $30 they were charging). Or you can just read it here. Note to self: in future, I will not write anything for journals that are not open access (thanks to Owen Barder for that suggestion). […]

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Who needs wisdom when you can have data? FP2P 2012 blogstats and most-read posts

Forget wisdom, here’s some data: blogstats and most visited posts of 2012 Welcome back, Happy New Year to all etc. As everyone else is doing it, I thought I’d repeat last year’s exercise of kicking off the year with a look back at this blog’s stats and highlights for 2012. First the numbers: Overall for […]

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Natural Disasters and Humanitarian Crises in 2012: how did we do?

Ed Cairns, an Oxfam senior policy adviser, looks back on a very mixed year in the response to humanitarian crises. You might not have noticed it from the headlines, but this year Oxfam has responded to more crises than ever before. Not megadisasters like Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, but the daily struggle for survival that […]

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Forget swimming pools and bra hunts, it’s time for the Great Intern Debate

It’s been a while. The issues that get a buzz going on this blog are often the internal-to-Oxfam debates, which  get Oxfamistas worked up while seeming to provoke a prurient curiosity in everyone else. Think swimming pools or bra hunts. There had been a bit of a lull on this front until I wandered unintentionally […]

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What does a ‘rights-based approach’ look like in practice? A new Oxfam guide

Sometimes it seems like the devil has all the best tunes, while the angels struggle to get their message across. In development, some of the most interesting and important concepts are rendered impenetrable to non-specialists by a morass of jargon. Take human rights for example. Today is International Human Rights Day, but I for one, […]

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How do we work out the returns to campaigning? Nice example from the Philippines

Like any campaigning organization, Oxfam has limited funds, and so needs to know whether its investment has paid off. The push from everyone and their dog to pursue a ‘results agenda’ and ‘value for money’ has added further momentum to that effort. That’s fine if you’re doing something that’s easy to measure, (say vaccinating kids, […]

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How to get a job in development – an FP2P guide

There’s nothing like a lecture tour to bring home just how many bright young people are desperate to work in development, and how hard we make it for them (is this a deliberate form of institutional Darwinism, in which only the most determined survive?)  So I’ve gone back over a few previous bits of advice […]

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Science Girl; Starbucks and tax; NYC carbon; adaptation in America: videos I liked

Some Friday video light relief (well, light-ish) on climate change (with an eye on dismal dialogues in Doha) and tax evasion. First the totally adorable Science Girl on climate change, clean energy + a surprise upside – wildfires melt Barbie & Ken before your very eyes Next up, a sweet and funny Starbucks tax sting – […]

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Robert Chambers on the Fifth Power (the power to empower)

Some thoughts from Robert Chambers, from whose wonderful new book I recently posted several excerpts. People tease me for being pentaphiliac.  They notice that I love fives of a thing.  Well, it’s true.  If there are six, I boil them down to five.  If there are only four I rack my brains to find a fifth.   […]

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Lant Pritchett v the Randomistas on the nature of evidence – is a wonkwar brewing?

Last week I had a lot conversations about evidence. First, one of the periodic retreats of Oxfam senior managers reviewed our work on livelihoods, humanitarian partnership and gender rights. The talk combined some quantitative work (for example the findings of our new ‘effectiveness reviews’), case studies, and the accumulated wisdom of our big cheeses. But […]

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Commodities of War: What the people without guns say about life, death and fear in the DR Congo

I was supposed to be in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week, with today being devoted to visiting the Kanyaruchina camp (right) for ‘internally displaced people’ (IDPs) near Goma. Instead, the trip’s been cancelled, I am still in London and Kanyaruchina has been abandoned, as some 30,000 people have fled (again). The reason is the […]

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