Topic: NGOs

How can theories of change help in working with the private sector?

As regular readers will know, I’ve been doing some thinking on ‘theories of change’ recently. A few people have asked me if the change in question is mainly political/social change, or whether it applies to economic developments too. I think there’s a high degree of commonality, so at last week’s discussion on working with the […]

Read More »

How do NGOs work with the private sector?

Earlier this week I spent an intense two days discussing Oxfam’s private sector strategy with our big cheeses, joined by a variety of real live capitalists, whose views ranged all the way from ‘Oxfam is irrelevant’ to people who closely resemble NGOs in suits. Far too much to process into anything coherent, but here are […]

Read More »

It’s a Better Life Without Oxfam: the video

Lovely student project coming from the Miami Ad School in Madrid that just won the Golden Pencil at the D&AD Awards a couple of weeks ago. Their pitch? Working in a charity is not fun. And the people who work for Oxfam would rather enjoy their hobbies or pursue their dreams (Hobbies? Dreams? Have these […]

Read More »

How can research funders work better with international NGOs like Oxfam?

I spoke recently to a meeting of the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences. It’s a great initiative, bringing together 13 UK funders and stakeholders with an interest in international development research, but is ‘collaborative’ really a noun? Anyway, the topic was how research funders (mainly state funded) can link up more effectively with large INGOs […]

Read More »

Is the blogging bubble about to burst?

I’ve been worrying about the viability of blogging recently. Partly it’s finding myself squeezing this kind of thing in before breakfast and wondering if I really ought to get a life (although I’ve always thought work-life balance was over-rated – depends on the work, depends on the life….). But it was also the raised eyebrows […]

Read More »

Responding to some of the criticisms of GROW

When you launch a big campaign like GROW, you generally get both good reviews and a few attacks, and since the advent of the blogosphere, those attacks have got more virulent. This time around, we must be doing something wrong, because the handful of diatribes I’ve seen (do tell me if I’ve missed some) are […]

Read More »

The first ever World Disability Report – what took them so long?

North-South convergence is undeniable (and a bit of a development cliche), but it’s not just about economies or political power. There’s also a growing recognition that social issues look increasingly similar across the North-South divide. Similar, but not identical – obesity may be on the rise in countries like Mexico and South Africa, but there, […]

Read More »

How can you do influencing work in one party states?

Fascinating conversation during a recent visit to East Africa about how we work in Rwanda and Ethiopia, both arguably effective but authoritarian states, with little time for ‘people on the streets’- style campaigning. Does that mean it is impossible to influence the state’s policies and practices? Definitely not, but you need to do things differently, […]

Read More »

Why is the new Oxfam campaign called 'GROW'? The importance of framing

What kind of a campaign calls itself ‘GROW’? Answer, a different kind. My first reaction on hearing the aural equivalent of puffs of smoke was a small jolt of surprise, and then a pleasurable ‘hey, that could be interesting.’ I’ve seen the same baffled curiosity on a few other people’s faces when they hear the […]

Read More »

The Killer Facts behind the GROW campaign

I’m a big fan of killer facts in campaigning – they summarize the issue and stick in the minds of policy makers and activists alike. So here’s a selection from yesterday’s launch of the GROW campaign, many of them ground out by ace number-crunching colleague Richard King: Extent of the problem · The poorest people spend […]

Read More »

GROW: Oxfam’s new Global Campaign

As promised, here’s the outline of the new 4 year Oxfam mega-campaign, GROW. The website is here, with the launch report ‘Growing a Better Future’ and lots of background papers and case studies. The point of departure for Grow is that the survival and flourishing of humanity in this century will be determined by its […]

Read More »

The biggest Oxfam campaign ever launches tomorrow (but it's a secret)

OK it’s imminent: fasten seat belts for the impending wonk, campaign, celeb and media fest around Oxfam’s campaign launch tomorrow. Biggest thing ever; simultaneous launches in 45 countries; bigger (at least in ambition) than Make Poverty History or Make Trade Fair, yadda yadda yadda. But due to the arcane rules of press work, I can’t tell you […]

Read More »