Topic: NGOs

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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