Topic: Aid

When throwing evidence and facts is not enough. How Change Happens in the Humanitarian System

Here’s a sentence you don’t often hear. I just read a really interesting conference report. Transforming Change: How Change Really Happens and What we can do about it, by Paul Knox Clarke, summarizes a big 2017 discussion on the drivers of change in the humanitarian system, as well as the blockers. I reported on it […]

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After Covid, what next for the world’s kids?

Guest post by UNICEF’s Laurence Chandy One salvation of the COVID-19 pandemic is that children have been largely spared from severe infections. Yet the broader effects of the crisis on the young have already caused untold harm and are now poised to reset the forces that have driven progress for the world’s children since the […]

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Words to sprinkle, camouflage and befuddle: Idle musings on the slipperiness of language

Words, words, words. In snowbound lockdown I process thousands of them every day, writing them, reading them, tweaking them. And spotting odd patterns, and layers of obfuscation and general slipperiness. Here are a few thoughts (I’m not doing standard devspeak rants here – plenty of those already on the blog), aided and abetted by crowdsourcing […]

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Seizing a window of opportunity: lessons from research on anti-corruption reform

Guest post by Florencia Guerzovich, Soledad Gattoni, and Dave Algoso Anyone working for change knows that timing matters. You can see your efforts stall and spin for years, before finally you break through. What made that possible? Sometimes it’s your persistence, wearing down opposition like water carving a canyon. But sometimes it’s a change that […]

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Why the Inequality Virus should be the talk of Davos this week

It’s Davos week again. Julie Seghers (Twitter @JulieSeghers) summarizes Oxfam’s new report. The 2021 Davos edition is pretty unusual. For the first time, the world’s rich and powerful aren’t flying their jets to the Swiss mountains, but are instead meeting online to chart a path out of a deadly pandemic and the worst economic recession […]

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In Conversation on How Change Happens, Activism and Politics

On Wednesday I was subjected to a gruelling cross-examination on Life, the Universe and Everything (actually ‘How Change Happens’) for the entertainment of some Cambridge Accountancy students. Here’s some of the less embarrassing bits. Q: How do you stop yourself feeling overwhelmed by complexity? A: It’s only overwhelming if you think you’re ever going to […]

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Oxfam’s top 5 climate justice wins since 2008

Tim Gore, a fellow Oxfamer who for years has contributed great pieces on climate change to FP2P, is heading off to become (deep breath) Head of the Low Carbon and Circular Economy Programme at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP). (Twitter: @tim_e_gore). Here are his outgoing reflections. Last month I ended an epic 12-year […]

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Bigger? Smaller? And What about the Missing Middle? Great discussion on the future of Humanitarianism

For reasons I hope to be able to explain in a few weeks, I’m mugging up on debates in the humanitarian sector, and really enjoying the ‘Rethinking Humanitarianism’ podcast series from The New Humanitarian and CGD. Each episode provides a full transcript, but no accompanying blog, so I thought I’d summarize November’s discussion on forces […]

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You’ve got your Qualification and you want to change the world. Congrats. Now what?

I was asked to do an ‘inspirational 5 minutes’ at the end of our new-look LSE graduation ceremony just before the Christmas break (I guess they couldn’t afford Ali G, like Harvard). In many ways, I actually preferred the online to the real life version – more inclusive, and everyone can clap, whoop and holler […]

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How to decolonise International Development: some practical suggestions

Guest post by Lucy Morris & Andres Gomez de la Torre, who work for and with INGOs in different capacities (e.g. members of staff, trustee, consultant, etc). “If your conversation on this matter is not uncomfortable, you are not having the right conversation!” Recent developments around the world have rightly brought back old calls for […]

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It’s Time to Invest for the 21st Century and Repurpose Humanitarian Bureaucracies

Glad to see humanitarian guru Hugo Slim is stepping up his blogging activity. This post first appeared on the ODI page In the run-up to Christmas the big humanitarian bureaucracies have been busy asking governments for money. UN OCHA has appealed for $35 billion for the UN-led humanitarian response in 2021 (to reach 235 million […]

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You can’t rethink humanitarianism without also rethinking the money. Here’s one way to do it.

I have a confession to make. I don’t listen to podcasts, even though I inflict them on others. When I’m at my desk, I’m much happier skimming documents (using my mad speed reading skills). If I’m out and about, I hate having something jabbering away in my ears. But my resolve is being sorely tested […]

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