Topic: food and agriculture

What are the secrets of some recent campaign successes?

 This guest post comes from Hannah Stoddart, Oxfam’s Head of Economic Justice Policy  It feels like Oxfam campaigners have been celebrating a lot recently. First – after nearly 10 years of hard slog as part of the Control Arms coalition – we got an Arms Trade Treaty. Then just a few weeks later two of […]

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‘Squeezed’: how are poor people adjusting to life in a time of food price volatility?

Ace IDS researcher Naomi Hossain introduces the first results of a big Oxfam/IDS research project on food price volatility If the point of development is to make the Third World more like the First, then we aid-wallahs can pack our bags and go home. Job done. The most striking finding of Squeezed, the first year […]

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What do we know about the impact of savings groups on poor African women?

Savings for Change (SfC) is one of Oxfam America’s flagship programmes, reaching 680,000 members, mostly women, in 13 countries. Here Sophie Romana, Oxfam America’s Deputy Director of Community Finance, reports on some findings from an innovative qualitative and quantitative survey of the groups in Mali, published today (click through to summary or full report). How do […]

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Government Spending Watch – a new initiative you really need to know about

I’m consistently astonished by how little we know about the important stuff in development. Take the Millennium Development Goals – the basis forinnumerable aid debates, campaigns, and negotiations. A large chunk of the MDG agenda concerns the size and quality of public spending – on health, education, water, sanitation etc. So obviously, the first thing […]

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Land Grabs: the Coldplay version

Monday’s post had Rob Nash arguing that the World Bank has got itself into a tangle on land grabs. Now Coldplay have decided to add their rather more harmonious voice, with the help of crowd-sourced footage from 7000 supporters in 55 countries. The Bank has promptly responded to Coldplay (not to Rob, sorry Rob) with […]

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Does the World Bank speak with forked tongue on Land Grabs?

Rob Nash, Oxfam’s Private Sector policy adviser, finds a deep contradiction in the way the World Bank talks (and acts) about land Last week I was at the World Bank’s Land and Poverty Conference in Washington DC, sitting in one of the most luxuriously appointed office buildings I have ever seen, (and I used to […]

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Do hunger and malnutrition make you want to cry? Time to get your HANCI out

Today sees the launch of the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI), produced by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) with funding from Irish Aid and DFID. It looks like it could become one of the more useful annual league tables. It may not be seen as a progressive view in the UK, but I’m […]

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Food price volatility and obesity – a new development challenge?

Continuing on the ‘new development threats’ theme of yesterday’s post on Big Tobacco, the latest issue of the World Bank’s Food Price Watch looks at the links between increasing food price volatility and obesity. A blog post by the Bank’s José Cuesta starts with a nice counter-intuitive quiz (below). The correct answers, by the way […]

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What is the impact of women’s collective action? Evidence from 3 African countries

Sally Baden (left, in the white shirt), Oxfam’s former Senior Adviser on Agriculture and Women’s Livelihoods, summarizes the findings of a new Oxfam report and research project on women’s collective action in agriculture. As an Oxfam policy adviser in West Africa (2001-8), I worked with many different kinds of farmer organization. These included cotton farmers, […]

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What can DFID learn from Chinese and Brazilian aid programmes?

IDS researcher Henry Tugendhat (right) wonders whether UK aid is following in the path of China and Brazil Two weeks ago at the London Stock Exchange, Justine Greening announced her new policy of supporting UK businesses to invest in developing economies for the mutual benefit of both sides. According to the UK’s Secretary of State […]

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Strikes, Spookytown, and a traumatic exit from feudalism: Women on Farms in South Africa

Managed to squeeze at least one day away from offices and lecture theatres in South Africa last week. In this case a road trip with Women on Farms, an Oxfam partner led by the charismatic Colette Solomon (right), IDS PhD turned grassroots activist. In the Western Cape, scenic is an understatement: lush vineyards festooned with […]

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What’s the link between land grabs, trade rules and climate change? Good new briefing from Sophia Murphy

You can rely on Sophia Murphy for crisp, credible analyses of agricultural trade and food issues. Her latest paper, Land Grabs and Fragile Food Systems, is up to her usual standard. She locates the current row over land grabs in some broader debates that have rather fallen off the agenda, namely globalization and trade rules. […]

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