Topic: NGOs

How do you get a job in a development NGO (starting with one in my team)?

I’m prompted to post this partly because there’s a job coming up in my team at Oxfam. We’re looking for a research methods adviser to build the skills of our staff around the world who commission and/or conduct smart research to inform Oxfam’s programmes and advocacy. If you’re interested, read more here, and you need […]

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Plant clinics – or why sometimes development looks easy and obvious

Bumped into an ‘agricultural anthropologist’, Jeff Bentley, who works in Cochabamba, Bolivia and was intrigued by his work promoting ‘plant clinics’, where farmers bring in examples of sick plants and get a diagnosis and prescription in a system modelled on human healthcare (they even have a two tier structure of General Practitioners as first point […]

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Seizing the Moment: A Successful Campaign on Domestic Violence in Malawi

Here’s an example of successful advocacy at national level, which is becoming an increasingly important part of Oxfam’s work. In 2005, Oxfam’s Malawi programme along with its partners mounted a campaign to eliminate gender based violence which led to the passing of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill in Parliament in April 2006.  How did it […]

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Trade v climate change: what should developing countries be asked to do?

Last week, Oxfam published its proposals on how the burden of reducing carbon emissions should be shared between countries, both rich and poor. What struck me was the contrast with the stance Oxfam and other NGOs have taken in their advocacy on trade at the WTO and numerous other trade agreements. There, they have focused […]

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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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