Topic: NGOs

Top tips for more effective advocacy

As I whizzed round the Philippines recently, the many conversations about advocacy brought together several past conversations and hobby horses. So here, laid before an indifferent world, (and because everyone loves lists) are my 7 top (and very random) tips for how to sharpen up your advocacy work. Technical Fixes: What’s your Home Page?: Everyone in […]

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Why the World Bank should declare a freeze on big land deals

‘Buy land. They’re not making it any more.’ Around the world, a lot of investors are taking Mark Twain’s advice to heart, and the resulting land rush is doing an awful lot of damage. A hard-hitting, killer fact-tastic Oxfam briefing written by my colleague Kate Geary published today summarizes the stats (as far as we […]

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How are citizens' movements getting more active in Asia? Lessons from a 10 country dialogue

Yesterday’s post discussed two of the case studies from last week’s Asia Development Dialogue on active citizenship. Today’s installment covers my more general thoughts  on the discussion, based on some final reflections I was asked to give at the end of the day. First, I felt pretty privileged to be able to eavesdrop on a conversation […]

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Building Active Citizenship and Accountability in Asia: case studies from Vietnam and India

Last week I attended a seminar in Bangkok on ‘active citizenship’ in Asia, part of an ‘Asia Development Dialogue’ organized by Oxfam, Chulalongkorn University and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. It brought together a diverse group of local mayors, human rights activists and academics, and discussed […]

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Meetings with Remarkable Women: Lan Mercado's journey from megaphone to microphone

A while back, I wrote about some amazing Oxfam women I met in East Africa. Here’s another, this time from the Philippines. Lan (real name Lilian, but Filipinos never use real names) is one of those quiet but effective (and very determined, and maybe not so quiet….) women that abound in development work. She was […]

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Development Theory v Practice: Visiting Oxfam’s work in Mindanao

For me, one of the most fruitful aspects of ‘field trips’ such as last week’s visit to see Oxfam’s work in the Philippines is the exchange it sets up in my head between the academic literature and debates I’ve been ploughing through in the UK, and the reality of our work on the ground. A […]

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In the Philippines: does Oxfam's livelihoods work go beyond trad income generation?

Last week I visited Oxfam’s Philippines programme. Such trips follow a pretty standard format – our national staff and relevant partners whisk me through a series of site visits and conversations with farmers, civil society organizations, local government officials and anyone else who’ll talk to you. For a few days, I’m engrossed, wrestling on multiple […]

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The Hunger Grains: new research shows EU biofuel policies drive food prices and land grabs

Oxfam economic policy adviser Ruth Kelly (right) unveils her new paper, published today, on a really simple, bad policy that rich countries can fix – biofuels. The past five years have seen two record spikes in the price of food; and prices are rising again, with corn and soy hitting record highs in summer 2012. […]

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Is Oxfam finally growing up? Report back from the frontline (sort of)

This may sound unlikely, but I’ve just spent three days at an internal Oxfam meeting and I’m really enthused. The occasion was the first ever gathering of our ‘country directors’ following a big (and painful) internal overhaul, akin to swallowing a giraffe (in the memorable words of one director), which has seen all the different […]

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Do’s and don’ts on research -> policy and the state of Development Studies in Ireland

Spent a couple of enjoyable if tiring days in Ireland last week (they always look after visitors well….). I was there to speak to Ireland’s Development Studies Association on “What’s changed in development in the last five years, and how do we respond?” (here’s the powerpoint). It coincided with the first copies of the new […]

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Robert Chambers – why don't all development organizations do immersions?

Following on my review of Robert Chambers’ new(ish) book, ‘Provocations for Development’, I’m posting a couple of edited-down excerpts that caught my eye. Today, immersions –  written in 2007 and a nice illustration of how Robert combines both the politics and practicalities of aid work. Immersions can take many forms, but an almost universal feature […]

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Campaigning on education and the Robin Hood Tax (and wise counsel from Dilbert)

Keeping it visual and campaign-y today. First a nice 10 minute video on the role of civil society organizations in lobbying for better education (see previous education wonkwar debate if you want more analysis) They certainly know a thing or two about campaigning in Germany, recently getting major German banks to drop commodity funds and […]

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