Topic: Gender

Is a progressive Islamic revolution happening in the Philippines? Impressions from Mindanao

First instalment from my recent visit to the Philippines: Something fascinating and strikingly promising is going on the Philippines island of Mindanao. It has very little to do with the grisly headlines of extra-judicial killings and President Duterte’s bloody ‘war on drugs’. It looks like a progressive Islamic revolution is in progress, combining elements of […]

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Are INGO advocacy and campaigning up to today’s challenges?

This post by Oxfam researcher Ruth Mayne was originally published by the UK network of development NGOs, BOND We know from successful campaigns in the past, such as the anti-slavery movement of the 19th century, that it is possible to achieve intentional systemic change, and that civil society can play a pivotal role.  But are […]

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Book Review: Nanjala Nyabola, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya

Most of the stuff written about online activism is primarily based in the North (eg New Power, which I reviewed recently). So I was v excited to find a book written by a Kenyan (Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi) about how New Power applies to […]

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Doing the hard stuff in tough places: please help us find the ‘seemingly impossible’ stories of success

Guest post from Grace Lyn Higdon (left), Irene Guijt (right) and Ruth Mayne The list of reasons to feel depressed is long and growing. Recent elections ushering in sexist and violent heads of states; climate change even worse than predicted; backlash to #MeToo and, if you’re in the UK, the political swamp known as ‘Brexit’. Depressing – […]

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Where is being faith based an asset in aid & development; where is it a liability?

For a lifelong atheist, I’ve been spending a startling amount of time recently rubbing shoulders with devout Christians and Muslims, discussing faith and development. Last week it was a panel organized by Tearfund, a Christian aid and development agency, to discuss a big internal review of its evolution over the 50 years since its foundation […]

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How a new land rights study amplifies women’s hopes and fears – and makes us think again about solutions for everyone

Guest post by Renée Giovarelli on a new report published today  A couple of weeks ago, writing on this blog, Duncan asked a question: How do we, in the international development community, recognize and work with (let alone measure) issues like love, shame, fear, solidarity? As an advocate for women’s land rights, this question resonated […]

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Why are we failing on gender? 3 bad excuses and 6 good ideas

March is women’s history month and Fabiola Esposito shares her reflections on the aid sector’s slow progress on women’s empowerment. Last week I went to a networking event for women working in international development about ‘women’s empowerment’ (WE) in Syria. During the Q&A one of the attendees asked an astonishing, but revealing, question: “Why do […]

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5 Emerging Lessons from new research into Empowerment and Accountability in Messy Places

A second instalment on the recent conversation with DFID’s Social Development Advisers (see here for first instalment). John Gaventa summarized the emerging lessons from the DFID-funded Action for Empowerment and Accountability research programme, which he coordinates. A4EA is trying to work out whether the stuff we know about E&A in more stable places is different […]

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6 ways to rethink aid for real, complex human beings

Last week I went along to the annual conference of DFID’s Social Development Advisers (SDAs – DFID has lots of acronyms). As well as giving them an initial picture of what the ‘Action for Empowerment and Accountability’ research programme is finding out about DFID’s adaptive management programmes, they asked me for a pre-dinner rant about […]

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“The Socialist and the Suffragist”: A poem for International Women’s Day

Written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, this was first published in 1895    Said the Socialist to the suffragist: “My cause is greater than yours! You only work for a special class, We for the gain of the general mass, Which every good ensures!”   Said the suffragist to the Socialist: “You underrate my cause! While […]

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Can watching a few videos really reduce Violence Against Women?

I’m not generally a big fan of randomised control trials (oversold, squeeze out other forms of knowledge – more here), but a recent RCT on violence against women in Uganda by researchers at Columbia University got my attention. Here are some excerpts from the summary on the website of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). First […]

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Twenty five years more life: the real prize for tackling inequality

Following yesterday’s post introducing Oxfam’s new Davos Report, one of its authors, Max Lawson, reflects on the links between inequality and public services like health and education Imagine having 25 years more life.  Imagine what you could do.  Twenty-five years more to spend with your children, your grandchildren. In pursuing your hopes and dreams. In […]

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