Topic: NGOs

Are poor people the best experts on poverty?

A series of conversations in recent weeks have made me think a bit harder about the uses and abuses of testimony/first hand experience. First up, the launch of the World Bank book, Moving Out of Poverty at the ODI the other week (see my perhaps over the top review of the book back in March), […]

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Fire brigades or arsonists? A UN debate on the economic crisis

I spoke at an UNCTAD symposium on the global crisis in Geneva this week (Oxfam’s pre-conference submission is here). A laudable attempt to get a conversation going with civil society organizations, but a classically frustrating UN event – dozens of developing country delegates mingling with NGOs and others, but any real exchange was deadened by […]

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US aid reform takes off

Shortly after the US election, I blogged about the promising discussions on US aid reform in Washington. Those are now starting to bear fruit. In late April, Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill (The Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009–HR 2139). Here are some of his covering remarks: […]

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Building women's leadership – what works?

What can an NGO like Oxfam do to help build women’s grassroots leadership and participation? Just been reading a series of case studies from around the world, which throw up a strikingly similar set of conclusions. Drawing on experiences in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the UK, the study finds that progress relies on tackling […]

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How do poor people see the impact of the global crisis? New research from five countries.

Some excellent new research on the impact of the global economic crisis: ‘Accounts of Crisis: Poor People’s Experiences of the Food, Fuel and Financial Crisis in Five Countries’. The project was run by the Institute of Development Studies, UK and builds on its pioneering work in participatory research methods to try and get inside poor […]

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Cash for Coffins? What happened when Oxfam gave poor Vietnamese a lump sum

I’ve just been reading the latest evaluation of an Oxfam project I’ve started to call ‘cash for coffins’ in Viet Nam. From mid-2006 Oxfam GB directly disbursed non-emergency cash grants to 550 poor and near poor households in An Loc commune, a poor rice-growing community on the Central coast of Viet Nam. Not only is this […]

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What happens when you give people money (rather than food or blankets) after a natural disaster? Some evidence from Zambia

When disaster strikes in the shape of floods or droughts, aid agencies traditionally ship in food and blankets, often over great distances. But increasingly, people are trying out a novel alternative – give people envelopes full of cash and let them buy what they need. I’ve just been reading an evaluation of two such exercises […]

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Who do governments listen to? Some intel from the Oxfam GB media team

Oxfam GB’s media team is a class act, and has just done some useful research on ‘influencing the influentials’, interviewing senior figures in Whitehall, journalists and other ‘influentials’ (wonder what qualifies them for that?). Here are some of the headlines:

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Oxfam license to operate in northern Sudan revoked

This entry was posted by Oxfam Media Unit on March 5th, 2009 at 12:00 pm – don’t think I’ll risk any editorializing on this one: ‘Oxfam GB has begun to temporarily relocate international staff to Khartoum and some national staff to state capitals in Darfur while it appeals the government’s decision to revoke its registration […]

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Can NGO advocacy influence states? Social Protection in Georgia

Here’s an example from Georgia of how well designed advocacy gets results: in this case helping 34,000 poor families gain access to state benefits and winning the introduction of an appeals procedure for those who feel unfairly excluded. It’s not glamorous, but it made a real difference, so bear with me. Like other post-Soviet Eastern […]

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How are effective states going to emerge in Africa?

[Sorry to anyone who got a premature alert yesterday – hit the wrong button!] There’s nothing like a visit to Africa – in this case ten days of book promo and financial crisis impact interviews in South Africa and Zambia, to get you thinking about the role of the state. In Southern Africa, as on […]

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Who reads this blog? Analysis of the first hundred posts

Google Analytics is a wonderful thing – it means I can see how many people read this blog, and which country and even city they come from (don’t worry, I can’t get your emails). So what does a trawl of the results for the first hundred posts reveal? Overall the site received over 25,000 visits […]

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