Topic: NGOs

Take the survey; plug the paper – what's the impact of blogs?

You’ve probably seen it already, and may even have filled it in, but just in case – a bit of collective crowd-asking is taking place in the blogosphere. Please take 5 minutes to fill in this survey on why/how you read development blogs. It should only take 5 minutes (unless, like me, you’re a blogaholic and […]

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What should Oxfam be doing on water?

Just spent an intense couple of days at Oxfam Reflects, a biannual event where a mix of staff, partners and a sprinkling of professors and other wonks shut themselves away to talk through a thematic issue that is confusing the organization and needs a bit of kicking around. This one was on water – trying […]

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What does giving cash transfers only to women do to household dynamics?

Both in long-term development and short term emergencies, cash transfers (CTs) are all the rage, especially those handed over directly to women, who are widely thought to use the money more responsibly (spending it on food, rather than booze and fags etc).  But what’s the impact on household dynamics when a sudden influx of cash […]

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Anyone want my job? Oxfam’s looking for a new Head of Research

So here’s the deal. After seven happy years in charge of Oxfam’s policy research team, I’m moving sideways to take up a new post as senior strategic adviser (though I personally prefer my colleague John Magrath’s suggestion of ‘chief opinionator’) and we’re looking for a new head of research. Here’s the blurb from the ad […]

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How can advocacy NGOs respond to the global meltdown? FP2P Flashback

OK, it’s looking ever more likely that we are heading for a European double plunge recession (double dip sounds too pleasant), so here’s some thoughts from December 2008 about how to respond. Ever since the global financial and economic meltdown broke, NGO colleagues have been debating how to respond. That debate is now focused on […]

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10 Challenges to 'business as usual' for development agencies: FP2P flashback

OMG, nearly three years on and almost everything on this list would still be on today’s version. But at least I could point to progress, in the shape of specific bits of thinking, reseach and/or programming. on nearly all of them. What new additions would go on today’s list, I wonder? Domestic taxation; resource scarcity […]

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Advocacy v Service Delivery in Russia: FP2P flashback

Next up in this holiday week selection of largely unread posts from the early days of the blog, a story from Russia Contrasting case studies from Oxfam GB’s Russia programme, which has tried different ways of supporting Russia’s estimated 5.6 million disabled people. Traditionally, we have run a microfinance programme which has benefited a total […]

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Making a difference in Indonesian cities – new research on NGO advocacy

Another fascinating study circulated by the Development Leadership Program.  As its title suggests, ‘How civil society organizations work politically to promote pro-poor policies in decentralized Indonesian cities’, published by the Asia Foundation, analyses CSOs’ impact in two cities in Central Java where policies were passed that expanded health insurance coverage for the poor: Semarang (pop. 1.5 […]

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The Policy Funnel – a way to sharpen up our advocacy?

We had an interesting blue sky session last week on the nature of campaigning, and looked at the ‘Policy Funnel’, an idea developed by Nick Mabey and Anita Neville at E3G. The funnel tries to capture the dynamics of public  policy formulation, whereby a generalised public concern turns into a debate, then particular policy proposals […]

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How do we talk about resource limits, fair shares and development?

Fascinating morning earlier this week discussing Alex Evans’ new paper for WWF and Oxfam on ‘Resource Scarcity, fair shares and development’. Alex summarizes the paper in the Guardian, so I won’t rehearse his arguments for adding ‘fair shares’ to the more accepted topics of responding to resource scarcity by increasing production and strengthening resilience. Instead, […]

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Why do we know so little about how poor people 'do' development?

I’ve just been reading the draft of a review by Charlotte Sterrett of climate change adaption experiences in South Asia. It’s great, and I’ll link to it when it’s published, but one conclusion set me thinking more widely: ‘While autonomous adaptation is likely to become more common and widespread than planned adaptation, most research and […]

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Need an 'epic win' on climate change or world peace? Look no further

Calling all campaigners – there is an untapped resource out there that can save the world. Millions of young people with amazing ‘superpowers’, combining a sense of ‘blissful productivity’ (they love working hard),  the ability to weave a tight social fabric to achieve their goal, a feeling of ‘urgent optimism’ and a desire for ‘epic meaning’ […]

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