Topic: Aid

This is a love story: thinking globally during COVID19

Today’s post is a must-read on internationalist communications strategies during the Coronavirus crisis. Kirsty McNeill is Chair of the Campaign to Defend Aid and Development and Richard Darlington is Campaign Director. It was originally published on Global Dashboard. Over the last few years, bringing international NGOs together to make the case for aid and development, we’ve been digging […]

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Why Debt Relief should be part of the Covid Response

This blog was launched slap bang in the middle of the 2008 global financial crisis. Its early months were dominated by discussions of its impact on poor countries and communities. So yesterday I had a plus ca change moment when I read a cluster of excellent pieces discussing the need for urgent debt relief for […]

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COVID-19 and the Global Education Emergency

By Prachi Srivastava, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario Nous sommes en guerre. ‘We are at war’—President Macron, 16 March 2020. With global attention rightfully focused on immediate health impacts, the fact that COVID-19 has brought about an unprecedented immediate global education emergency of unimaginable magnitude, is now catching attention. On 4 March 2020, UNESCO […]

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How Change Happens within Government: A Masterclass from a Whitehall Veteran

I chaired a panel at LSE recently that included DFID lifer Phil Mason, who ran its Anti-Corruption Unit (reviewed here) after it was set up in 2000 by Clare Short. Phil had a big challenge – he had to persuade other Whitehall departments to get behind the idea, when they often had very different priorities. […]

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A new model of development for unleashing social entrepreneurship: Grow Nepal

For a while now, I’ve been suggesting Oxfam make a conscious effort to ‘seed the ecosystem’ by spinning off more start-up organizations that can be more agile and responsive than our big bureaucracy. So I was delighted to find our team in Nepal are already doing it. Guest post by Prakash Subedi, CEO, Grow Nepal […]

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What values should guide Britain’s role in the world, post-Brexit?

Oxfam today publishes (with UK think tank, the Foreign Policy Centre) a collection of essays from parliamentarians and policy experts called ‘Finding Britain’s role in a changing world: building a values based foreign policy’. Here are a few highlights from the conclusion, snappily written by Adam Hug, Abigael Baldoumas, Katy Chakrabortty and Danny Sriskandarajah: ‘The […]

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Could Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum help us have a more grown-up conversation about aid?

This post got a lot of help from Severine Deneulin – thanks! I get a bit frustrated with the conversation on aid – too often, we seem to be expected to pick one of two equally unappealing camps: ‘all aid is bad’ v ‘all aid is good’. People tend to land on a single issue […]

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6 ways Southern Civil Society Organizations interact with marginalized groups; 4 ways they deal with closing civic space

Some interesting research on the realities of CSOs in the Global South and their interaction with the aid sector is coming out of the Netherlands (see last week’s post for more on this theme). Check out this new paper by the ‘Civil Society Research Collective’ – Margit van Wessel, Suparana Katyaini, Yogesh Mishra, Farhat Naz, […]

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Eleven Recommendations for Working on Empowerment and Accountability in messy/dangerous places

The Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) programme, which I’ve been sporadically involved with, is now digesting the findings of its first 3 years of research, and has identified some important ‘recurring themes’ across its 5 focus countries (Egypt, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan). The result? Eleven Recommendations for Working on Empowerment and Accountability in […]

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Top tips on building a career in aid and development

Chaired a great panel on this at the LSE last week. The speakers were from the big donors – bilateral ones like DFID and USAID, regional banks like the ADB and EBRD, and a World Banker to add the multilateral view, and from all stages of their careers, but their advice applies pretty well to […]

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An uncomfortable conversation about the gulf between CSOs and the ultra-marginalized. Can it be bridged?

Spent an enjoyable day last week in The Hague (see yesterday’s post). No I wasn’t on trial, I was opening a conference on ‘Pushing the Boundaries in Advocacy for Inclusion’ (my slides here). The good thing about opening an event is that you can then relax and listen and learn. And as this was a […]

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In Search of the Helpful Academic: 10 ways they can support Practitioners

OK, I admit it, I’m sometimes a bit rude to academics, even though I have a foot in both camps (I’m 3 days a week at Oxfam, 2 at LSE). I’ve accused them of treating everyone in the aid business as either stupid, or venal, or both; I’ve complained that they slag off aid practitioners […]

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