Topic: NGOs

Locked latrines, meat offsetting and development apps

I just spent an enthralling couple of days at a get together of Oxfam GB’s country directors (CDs). A combination of group discussions and speed-dating as I talked to as many as possible of the incredibly impressive people who are on Oxfam’s frontline, lobbying ministers and officials, consulting poor communities and doing (lots of) management stuff. […]

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What is happening on global bank taxes? Robin Hood reports from the frontline

Earlier this year, I posted a fair amount on the new Robin Hood Tax campaign for a financial transactions tax to fund aid and the fight against climate change (start here and follow the links). In a guest blog, Oxfam’s top RHT obsessive, Max Lawson, updates us on the subsequent behind-the-scenes progress “In today’s aid-speak, […]

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Should we make our stuff longer and more complicated?

The ivory tower fights back. Over on the Overseas Development Institute blog, Enrique Mendizabal is having a moment of self doubt. As head of the ODI’s excellent Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme, Enrique usually tells researchers that if they want to have any influence on policy makers they need to KISS (Keep it […]

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Why Google Reader saves you time and expands your mind, with some links I liked on Africa, Climate Change and Aid

Back from holiday and in about an hour, I’ve just skimmed 250 pieces from the last three weeks of writing from my 15 favourite writers and bloggers, everyone from Paul Krugman and Martin Wolf to Texas in Africa and Political Climate. I didn’t have to go searching for them – they were all waiting for […]

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New books on development: bad microfinance; climate change and war; what works; inside the World Bank; mobile activism

One of the perks of writing a blog is that I can scrounge review copies of development-related books. I’m sure they’re all fascinating and I really want to read them but alas, they don’t come with extra hours in the day attached. So I now have a growing pile by my desk that is in […]

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Who reads this blog? Two years of blog stats and definitely time for a holiday

Google Analytics is dangerously addictive. You can see who’s visiting your blog, country by country, city by city and in real time. I have to ration myself or I’d be checking it every 5 minutes. Anyway, it turns out that I have now been writing this blog for two years. So here’s the verdict so far: […]

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Ford v Toyota – is it time to change the way we do research for development?

I took part in a conference on fragile states last week. Because it was held under Chatham House rules, I can’t say much about it, (except for the excellent on-the-record presentation by Tom Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which I blogged on at the time), but it got me thinking about a […]

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An effective public campaign (on palm oil)

You know you’ve had an impact when the Economist devotes three pages to your campaign, so hats off to Greenpeace and the other organizations featured in this week’s spread on palm oil. Here are some excerpts: “Palm oil is a popular, cheap commodity, which green activists are doing their best to turn into a commercial […]

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What distinguishes a nice technology from a nasty one?

Gave a short presentation to the Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum last week on the thorny topic of food security, innovation and safety. The speakers and audience were mainly on the science/policy interface, (a very different epistemic community from last week’s EU aid gabfest, but the powerpoints were just as bad). Most of the discussion […]

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What should Oxfam be doing on renewables? Your advice, please

Wisdom of crowds time. We’re doing some thinking on renewable energy and energy poverty (which affects about 1.5-2bn people), and thought we’d pick your brains. My colleague John Magrath has written this guest blog as an opener, and I’ll run a few posts on energy-related issues over the next few days. Over to John: As […]

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Top captions, winning wonkus, and a new and seriously embarrassing photo competition

It’s Friday, and in the interests of accountability, transparency, yadda yadda yadda it’s time to announce the winners of two previous competitions, and launch a third. First up, the winner of the photocaption competition is quite clearly Matt (see pic). But thanks also for “I never pictured Hugo Chavez and John Cleese hooking up” (Soren). […]

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Four big trends that advocacy NGOs need to watch

It’s obviously that strategic planning time of year again. Owen Barder recently posted his top tips for up and coming megatrends that should shape thinking in advocacy NGOs and last week I spent a self-indulgent morning doing my crystal ball thing with Traidcraft, an excellent UK NGO currently immersed in some long-term navel-gazing, (sorry I […]

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