Topic: NGOs

What does the UN’s first Africa Human Development Report say about food security?

A guest post from Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (right), who is taking over from me as head of research at Oxfam in a couple of weeks, (I’m not leaving, just changing jobs within Oxfam – more on that later). Over the past two years, I spent most of my time working on the first Africa Human Development […]

Read More »

Theories of change = logframes on steroids? A discussion with DFID

‘Theories of Change is just the latest attempt to shine a light on what lies behind, what makes everything work or fail. We constantly reach for new tools, but we keep alighting on small islands and losing the big picture.’ Jake Allen, Christian Aid I recently spoke at a half-day DFID seminar discussing a draft […]

Read More »

My first week on twitter: impressions of a newbie

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? TS Eliot There is more to life than increasing its speed. Mahatma Gandhi I joined the twitterati a week ago. Admittedly my situation was a bit anomalous, as this blog’s robo-tweet facility had already amassed 4,500 followers […]

Read More »

How can we measure Scotland's well-being? New index from Oxfam.

Really interesting project from Katherine Trebeck and colleagues in Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme – constructing and testing a wellbeing index for Scotland. Guardian coverage here. Here’s how it works: Oxfam consulted 3,000 people across Scotland (focus groups, community workshops – see pic, street stalls, an online survey, and a YouGov poll) to establish what aspects of […]

Read More »

How Change Happens: Defeating Oil Exploration in the San Andres Archipelago

I recently gave a weekend ‘pro-seminar’ on ‘how change happens’ to masters students at Brandeis University in Boston. I’ll post the powerpoints separately. The students were from all over the world, many from activist backgrounds – a fascinating and fun crew, most of them on the ‘sustainable international development‘ Masters. For their assignments, they had […]

Read More »

The Egyptian Revolution is in intensive care – can it be saved?

This guest post from Oxfam’s regional director for the Middle East, Olga Ghazaryan (right), was also published today on the Guardian website. Having lived through a number of revolutions in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe I should have known that revolutions are notoriously hard to predict.  There is a messy chaos between the […]

Read More »

Building accountability in Tanzania: applying an evolutionary/venture capitalist theory of change

A version of this post appeared yesterday on ‘People, Spaces, Deliberation’, the World Bank’s clunkily-named but interesting governance and accountability blog. I’ve been catching up on our accountability work in Tanzania recently, and it continues to be really ground-breaking. Rather than churning out the standard logical framework of activities, outputs and predicted outcomes before the […]

Read More »

Hunger in the Sahel and international arms control: what's the link?

In a second post on the impending UN Arms Trade Treaty, Oxfam arms trade policy adviser Martin Butcher discusses the links between Libya’s arms race and hunger in the Sahel The growing food crisis provoked by drought in the Sahel is affecting millions of people. This crisis has been deepened by the conflict in Mali sparked […]

Read More »

People power, transformation and existential crisis: the state of global civil society:

Civicus, a global network of civil society organizations, recently published a pilot ‘State of Civil Society’ report, which it hopes to repeat at regular intervals. Some excerpts: “2011 marked a critical juncture for civil society. Authoritarian regimes buckled under the weight of citizen pressure, and prevailing political and economic orders faced unprecedented opposition from people […]

Read More »

Should Oxfam be collecting a million bras from the public and selling them? Time to cast your vote…

On this blog, I occasionally feel an overwhelming urge to self-destruct for the amusement of others. It is in that kamikaze spirit that I bring you….. Oxfam’s ‘big bra hunt’. The story so far: on 1 April (but not linked to April Fools’ Day, as far as I’m aware), Oxfam’s trading team in the UK […]

Read More »

So the world is a complex system – what should aid agencies do differently?

Had a fascinating chat with Jean Boulton (right) this week. Jean is a physicist-by-training (a real one, unlike me – I jumped ship after my first degree). These days she is a management consultant and social scientist who has been working to bring ideas of complexity theory into organisations for many years. More recently she […]

Read More »

Are aid cuts inevitable and if so, what should aid campaigners do about it?

While I was snowed in in a holiday cottage last week (quite fun actually, especially when you’ve packed your West Wing box set just in case), the 2011 OECD aid numbers came out (see table). The numbers show total aid falling in real terms for the first time since 1997. What was also striking was […]

Read More »