Topic: Conflict and Security

Horror and beauty, crazy climate, Pink Floyd in Phnom Penh and anyone for cricket? Final impressions of Cambodia

My first time in Cambodia, and some powerful memories will linger. First of course, the genocide, not so much the manicured killing fields at Choeung Ek, where a pair of teeth lay in the mud above a burial pit, newly surfaced after last night’s storm, but the former secondary school at Tuol Sleng, where those […]

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Are crazy drivers as big a development issue as malaria or tuberculosis? The case for a global road safety campaign

This was clearly meant to be. A couple of weeks ago, I was blearily discussing road traffic accidents with a couple of colleagues as we headed in a taxi to get an early morning flight home from the post-2015 discussion in Cairo, when the car went into a horrendous screeching skid, avoiding the car in […]

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Responding to emergencies: is the centre of gravity shifting away from the UN towards national goverments?

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s Senior Policy Adviser on this kind of thing, explores the shifting sands of humanitarian aid policy After a flurry of reviews and new policies on all aspects of aid, the UK put out its new humanitarian policy, Saving Lives, Preventing Suffering and Building Resilience, a couple of weeks ago. Not every word is […]

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Murder and Development – what's the link?

“There are many reasons why people kill each other and multiple driving forces often interact when they do, but homicide levels and trends indicate that the link between homicide and development is one of the clearest. Higher levels of homicide are associated with low human and economic development. The largest shares of homicides occur in […]

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Why are over 3 million people campaigning on violence against women in South Asia?

Every NGO (and probably most other organizations) has its iconic success stories, the ones that make your job feel both feasible and worthwhile. One of Oxfam’s is the ‘We Can’ campaign in South Asia, an extraordinary viral campaign on violence against women (VAW – sorry, another acronym) launched in late 2004, that at the last count […]

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What has 9/11 meant for international development?

The conclusion of a thoughtful reflection on what 9/11 has meant for international aid, security and development, from Andy Norton, ODI’s Director of Research. “Recognising the importance of ‘security’ in development (in a broad sense and with a focus on freedom from violence for poor people) has been a progressive and important change in the […]

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The future of emergency response – the international system v national governments

Yesterday the big cheeses moved on to fragile states and humanitarian (emergency) response. I may write something on fragile states next week, but it was the humanitarian bit that got my attention. Here are some highlights from the internal discussion paper: “There is growing awareness that global humanitarian response needs to be turned on its […]

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Justice for Women: great new report from UN Women

UN Women, the new body headed by former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, has an excellent report out today. It’s the latest in the roughly biannual ‘Progress of the World’s Women’ series kicked off by UNIFEM, one of UN Women’s predecessors, in 2000. This edition explores the justice system. It’s crisply written, full of striking killer […]

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Bluesky-tastic: comparing three future trends papers on the international system and INGOs

Apologies for blog going down over night – now fixed thanks to wonderful blogmaster Eddy. In the meantime, I’ve been catching up with some of the rash of recent 2020/2025 reports, published in the last couple of months, namely two reports for international NGOs: Alex Evans – 2020 Development Futures (for ActionAid) and Trocaire’s Leading […]

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Cash Transfers: what does the evidence say?

DFID, the UK’s Department for International Development, produces some really excellent research (and in case you’re wondering, our research team doesn’t see any of DFID’s research dosh, so I’m not singing for my supper here). The latest example is a really useful ‘evidence paper’ on cash transfers, summarizing a literature that is expanding at a […]

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7 steps from autocracy to democracy

From a recent speech by International Crisis Group’s deputy president Nick Grono, Alex Evans has distilled 7 very plausible lessons on how to ensure a successful transition from autocracy to democracy. 1) Reform has to happen quickly before impetus runs out – which it will, quickly. “If reforms don’t happen almost immediately, the opportunity is soon […]

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How not to run an aid programme: Afghanistan

  ‘The American marine captain [Patrick Lavoie – see pic] only has to step out of his base to be overwhelmed by turbaned men anxious to be his best friend. All along the main road they try to catch his eye and beg him for money to spruce up their shops. As part of his […]

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