Topic: NGOs

Robin Hood, the G20 and the Greek debt crisis – what came out of last week's summit?

It’s any campaigner’s nightmare – you work for months to get movement on a big issue at a summit, and then an international crisis blows up and threatens to wreck both the agenda and your plans. But Max Lawson, Oxfam’s head of Policy and Advocacy, reckons that the Robin Hood Tax made significant progress last […]

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Beyond 2015 – what comes after the MDGs?

Last week I spent a couple of days in Cairo at an ODI- and UNDP-organised conference (Chatham House rules, so no names in this post) catching up with the state of debate on the ‘post-2015 agenda’ – aka what comes after the Millennium Development Goals (see graphic), which are set to expire on that date. […]

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Religion and Development: what are the links? Why should we care?

Wilton Park is a wonderful place for a conference – a stately home nestling in glorious English countryside. These days it is used for high minded seminars on global governance, foreign policy etc, linked to the British Foreign Office, but the hosts take care to ‘fess up to the irony that the aristocratic pile was […]

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Arab and Muslim aid v the UN system – “two china elephants”

This is an edited-down version of an excellent longer piece by the IRIN humanitarian news agency Many of the crises of recent years have affected Muslim people, including the Bam earthquake in Iran in 2003, the Southeast Asian tsunami of 2004, the Pakistan earthquake of 2005, the attack on Gaza in late 2008, and the […]

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Small farms can be beautiful – how farmers’ markets changed attitudes and policies in Colombia

As a curtain raiser for this week’s GROW Week at Oxfam (see bottom of this post), this piece appeared on the Guardian Poverty Matters site last Friday, as my contribution to Sunday’s Blog Action Day, which this year coincided with World Food Day. I’ll also be doing on online Q&A (on Facebook) on the issues behind the campaign […]

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Development’s Cinderella? Why does the aid industry ignore disabled people?

This is a guest post from Tim Wainwright, an Exfam (ex-Oxfam) friend who now runs ADD International, an NGO working on disability and development. An edited version appeared yesterday on the Guardian Poverty Matters blog. It really does puzzle me. Why does so much of mainstream development’s resources, research, campaigning efforts and attention ignore disabled […]

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Why do global campaigns succeed or fail?

Campaigning for International Justice is a new report by Exfamer Brendan Cox (left), who went off to work for Gordon Brown and recently became Director of Policy and Advocacy at Save the Children (incestuous, nous?). It covers two big areas: a retrospective ‘Learning Lessons’ study of eight global campaigns between 1991-2011, and a ‘Where Next’ […]

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How can we prevent the next famine? The case for Disaster Risk Reduction

When it comes to natural disasters, and their very un-natural impact on poor people, prevention is better than cure. Yet this lesson seems incredibly hard to turn into practice, because however good the early warning system in the run-up to disasters like the current crisis in East Africa, the money to head off future suffering […]

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Why are over 3 million people campaigning on violence against women in South Asia?

Every NGO (and probably most other organizations) has its iconic success stories, the ones that make your job feel both feasible and worthwhile. One of Oxfam’s is the ‘We Can’ campaign in South Asia, an extraordinary viral campaign on violence against women (VAW – sorry, another acronym) launched in late 2004, that at the last count […]

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Good news on aid: dependency is falling, and quality (slowly) improving (but France is still rubbish)

Real Aid: Ending Aid Dependency is a smart new aid-report-with-a-difference from ActionAid: “There is good news. Developing countries are getting less dependent on aid. Over the last decade [aid dependency] has fallen on average by a third in the poorest countries. In Ghana aid dependency fell from 47% to 27%, in Mozambique from 74% to […]

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Good and bad technologies for development – some nice examples of both

The Guardian’s Mark Tran had a nice piece on appropriate/inappropriate technologies. What doesn’s work: One of the newest hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa was built with infrared sensors to turn the taps on in the operating theatres. This in a country where there are no other infrared controlled taps and no engineer to fix them. Within […]

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Can we demonstrate effectiveness without bankrupting our NGO and/or becoming a randomista?

Back in March there was a fascinating exchange on this blog between Ros Eyben and Claire Melamed on the role of measurement in development work (my commentary on that debate here). Now one of Oxfam’s brightest bean counters (aka ‘Programme Effectiveness Adviser’), Karl Hughes, explains where Oxfam has got to on this: Eric Roetman, in […]

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