Topic: NGOs

How can we get better results from working with consultants?

OK this is a bit internal, but I thought it was interesting. We had a great 3 day session in Oxford last week with our rapidly expanding Global Research Team (see right – the prominent fella in the front is Martin Walsh, who’s our Global Research Adviser and your best point of contact if you […]

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The only interesting question on Kony 2012 – why did it get 60 million hits?

Like everyone else, I watched it, albeit skimming, and was fascinated and appalled. Fascinated (and yes, envious) at the skill of the storytelling. Appalled by just about everything else – the use of his son, the cheesy self righteousness of the tone, the depiction of Africa, the profound ignorance and lack of interest in why […]

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International Women's Day – what to celebrate, what to condemn?

It’s international women’s day today and the media and blogosphere are bouncing with ‘glass half full’ and ‘glass half empty’ discussions of the state of women’s rights. So let’s look at both halves of the glass (for a more pop version, this Independent on Sunday curtain-raiser is hard to beat, and I loved my friend Claire Melamed’s […]

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Theories of (climate) change and a nice song about complex causal chains……

Spent a happy half day with the climate change team at IDS last week, at the invitation of the team leader Matthew Lockwood, who besides being a climate change star (see his Political Climate blog), wrote The State They’re In, a brilliant book on the politics of African development. We were exploring the theories of change […]

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What outsiders can (and can’t) do about Syria

Update: Please support Oxfam’s Syria action This guest post, by Phil Bloomer, Oxfam GB’s director of campaigns and policy, is a bit unusual for this blog. No new research or (supposedly) clever ideas. Instead, he reflects on what outsiders can (and can’t) do about the terrible situation in Syria “This morning, as on every recent […]

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How to write winning research funding applications

Recently I’ve been involved in some fascinating exercises in allocating large dollops of institutional funds for research (can’t give any more details, sorry). This has involved reviewing and discussing dozens of applications from different academics. Here’s a quick download of what I learned about the art of writing winning applications: Mixed methods rock: Quants and […]

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Hyperventilation Friday – winning 'best organizational blog 2011'

I know I’ve been a bit rude about the contrived acronym of the ABBAs (Aid Blogger’s Best Awards), but I just want to say that I think it’s an incredibly rigorous and accurate reflection of opinion in the online development community. This has nothing to do with the fact that this blog just won one of […]

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Getting Somalia Wrong and other background reading for today's big conference

On 3 February, the UN declared that there were no longer famine conditions in southern Somalia, but six months since that famine was declared, Somalia is still in the throes of its worst humanitarian crisis in decades. Nearly a third of the population remain in crisis, unable to meet essential food and non-food needs. Key […]

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Ending world hunger is possible – so why hasn't it been done?

Time for something a bit less wonky than usual. Yesterday the Guardian asked me to bash out a quick response to the new Save the Children report on hunger (which got amazing coverage). It went up on their Comment is Free site, which always gets loads of comments. Often they are very nasty, but this time […]

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Crises in a new world order: challenging the humanitarian project

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on this kind of thing, introduces a big rethink of Oxfam’s humanitarian work When it comes to humanitarian crises, Oxfam specializes in the appropriate acronym of ‘WASH’.In 2011, hundreds of Oxfam staff delivered water and sanitation and other relief to millions of people afflicted by drought, floods or earthquakes. But […]

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Wrapping up the great Nairobi guesthouse pool debate

Wow. Hit a nerve there. I’m both gratified and slightly appalled by the level of interest generated by Wednesday’s post on the development-critical issue of whether Oxfam should keep the pool at its Nairobi guesthouse shut. For those people without the time or inclination to trawl through over 60 comments, here’s a summary. First the […]

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The great Nairobi guesthouse swimming pool dilemma – cast your vote now……

Nairobi is a major NGO hub, currently the epicentre of the drought relief effort, and Oxfam’s regional office realized some years ago that we could save a pile of money if we ran our own guesthouse, rather than park the numerous visitors in over-priced hotels. It’s nothing fancy, definitely wouldn’t get many stars, but it’s […]

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