Topic: Conflict and Security

Authoritarianism Goes Global: the rise of the despots and their apologists

The World Bank’s Sina Odugbemi is a stylish and impassioned writer. He also set up a deal to repost the occasional FP2P piece on the Bank’s governance blog, so I thought I’d return the compliment on his latest piece. Wish he’d write more often. Norms, especially global norms, are exceedingly fragile things…like morning dew confronting […]

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FEAR/LESS: Standing with women and girls to end violence

Lucia Fry, ActionAid UK‘s Head of Policy, introduces a new report Listening to the news yesterday, I grimaced as I heard about the latest episode to unfold in the story of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria last year: according to news reports, captive girls are being recruited as torturers and combatants […]

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What should we expect from next year’s World Humanitarian Summit?

Thought all the big development-related summits were scheduled for 2015? Think again. Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, introduces its new report/shot across the bows of the World Humanitarian Summit, 2016. Humanitarians tend to be practical people, and so when they learn lessons it’s usually from what has failed or succeeded in real […]

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Crunch time for global humanitarianism – funding can’t keep up with need, so what else is needed?

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, reviews the latest overview of global humanitarian aid. [Update: in response to readers’ comments, I’ve stuck up a very retrogressive humanitarian v long term aid poll to the right – please hold your nose and vote] This year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance report highlights some startling figures. For years […]

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A new/better way of measuring the fragility of states?

Tolstoy opened Anna Karenina with the much-quoted line ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ Does the same apply to states? The OECD’s new report on Fragile States goes some way down that route. Instead of its past (much criticised) single dimension of ‘fragile/non fragile’, it assesses fragility […]

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How is the Syria situation changing on the ground, after 4 years of fighting?

Went to a fascinating briefing on Oxfam’s work in the Syria crisis last week, which set out the underlying trends and the evolving challenges for aid agencies, beyond the periodic TV news bang bang coverage.. The numbers are stark: Total of 18 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside and outside Syria – including […]

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Book Review of ‘Advocacy in Conflict’ – a big attack on politics and impact of global campaigns

[Oops. This was supposed to go up next Thursday when the book is published, but I hit the wrong button and posted it by mistake – blame the UK elections for keeping me up all night…..] If you work in advocacy, especially the international sort, this is a necessary but painful read – it’s hard […]

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1/4 of the world’s people already subject to large annual wealth tax to tackle poverty. Has anyone told Piketty?

A few years ago, I sat next to a young muslim guy from Birmingham on a plane, and he told me how frustrated he was with the way his community’s annual act of alms-giving, known as Zakat, was managed – no accountability, no real checks on where it goes or what it achieves. I’ve wondered […]

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Four years into the Syrian conflict, we must never lose sight of the civilians behind the ‘story’

As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, Oxfam’s Head of Humanitarian Policy and Campaigns, Maya Mailer, reflects on a recent trip to Lebanon and Jordan, where she spoke with Syrian refugees, and asks whether we have become immune to the suffering of Syrians. If you type ‘Syria’ into Google News, the headlines that […]

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8 myths about non-violent activism (from a movement that overthrew a dictator)

I’m still catching up on the email backlog after returning from holiday, but while I’m doing so, here’s something I should probably do more of – a straight lift from a really interesting article. I recently signed up to the New York Times ‘Fixes’ column (‘solutions to social problems and why they work’). On a […]

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14 ways for aid agencies to better promote active citizenship

As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing a series of 10 case studies of Oxfam’s work in promoting ‘active citizenship’, plus a synthesis paper. They cover everything from global campaigns to promoting women’s leadership to labour rights. They are now all finished and up on the website. Phew. Here’s the accompanying blog which summarizes […]

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Every key stat you could possibly want about humanitarianism, emergencies etc – please steal

Clearly you can’t use the term ‘killer facts’ when they concern actual deaths, so Oxfam has tweaked the name to Humanitarian Key Facts in a new compilation (to be updated on a regular basis). It’s a powerful collection that should provide lots of link-tastic, well referenced ammunition (sorry  – language problem again) for advocacy. The […]

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