Topic: human rights

Amartya Sen on dangers of climate change ‘obsession’ and nuclear power and need for a new ethics of environmentalism

Amartya Sen has an important piece out in the New Republic magazine, on the links between environment and development. It’s quite long, so I thought I’d offer my precis service. He argues that the attention to climate change is disproportionate, not because we should think less about it, but because we should worry a lot […]

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What’s next for the (rapidly growing) global disabled people’s movement?

Last week I headed off to the Kennington Tandoori for one of those enjoyable food-fuelled brainstorms that seem to happen during the summer lull. This one was with two disability campaigners – Mosharraf Hossain (right) and Tim Wainwright of ADD International. ADD is doing some brilliant work supporting the emergence of Disabled People’s Organizations in Africa […]

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Can alternative economic indicators ever be any good if they are devised solely by experts?

This guest post comes from Oxfam well-being guru Katherine Trebeck Over the last few years there has been a spate of measurement initiatives – way too many to list here. Together they represent a positive, if disparate, effort to improve the measures that we take into account when assessing the success of something – a […]

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How change happens: What can we learn from the same-sex marriage movement in the US?

As I begin work on the book on How Change Happens (no I haven’t written it yet, please stop asking), I’m collecting good analyses of social/political change processes. So thanks Bert Maerten for sending a fascinating account of the same-sex marriage movement in the US, by Paul and Mark Englers. The speed of the change […]

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What can Islam teach secular NGOs about conflict resolution? (and human development, climate change, gender rights…..)

Lucy Moore, a policy adviser at Islamic Relief Worldwide came to talk to Oxfam staff last week. We used the ‘in conversation’ format, along the lines of my recent chat with Jamie Love, which seems to work better than the standard powerpoint + Q&A. Islamic Relief has some really interesting publications on Islamic approaches to […]

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A seismic shift in improving the behaviour of large companies? Guest post from Phil Bloomer

My former boss, Phil Bloomer is now running the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (check out its smart new multilingual website). Here he sees some signs of hope that the debate on corporate responsibility is moving beyond trench warfare over voluntary v regulatory approaches. Fingers crossed. ‘Mind the gap’ is a refrain that any visitor […]

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How Change Happens: Supporting tribal people to claim their rights to India’s forests

Next up in the series of case studies in promoting ‘active citizenship’ is Oxfam India’s work in an impossible-to-spell new state. All comments welcome, full case study here [P&C case study. v2 12 June 14] India’s new and heavily forested state of Chhattisgarh is home to some of its most marginalized communities, whose traditional ways […]

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From ‘baby-making machines’ to active citizens: how women are getting organized in Nepal (case study for comments)

Next up in this series of case studies in Active Citizenship is some inspiring work on women’s empowerment in Nepal. I would welcome comments on the full study: Raising Her Voice Nepal final draft 4 July ‘I was just a baby making machine’; ‘Before the project, I only ever spoke to animals and children’; ‘This is […]

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An important breakthrough on disability, aid and development

One of the trends in aid and development in recent years has been increasing recognition of issues around disability. A lot of that is down to the activism of Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs). Here disability campaigners Mosharraf Hossain and Julia Modern update us an important breakthrough In April we blogged on this site about the […]

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What works in reducing gender inequality? Great overview from Naila Kabeer

We’ve been having an interesting internal discussion on inequality over the last few weeks, and this contribution from Naila Kabeer jumped out. So I thought I’d nick it for FP2P A gendered analysis of essential services highlights the scale of the inequality challenge but it also offers useful pointers for the design of more inclusive […]

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Help yourself: How do poor women and men understand their right to food?

Naomi Hossain of IDS introduces the latest report (launched today) from a joint IDS/Oxfam research programme on food prices. Do people at risk of hunger think they have a right to food? What does a right to food mean, and how can it be claimed and enforced? We asked these questions of around 1500 people in […]

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Bill Easterly’s new book: brilliant on technocrats, flawed on rights, wrong on aid and hopeless on China

This review first appeared in the June issue of the IMF’s Finance and Development magazine. I loved the premise and conclusions of William Easterly’s new book. The intervening 300 pages gave less cause for celebration. Easterly sees development as hijacked by technocrats: “The technocratic illusion is that poverty results from a shortage of expertise, whereas […]

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