Topic: human rights

How change happens in India – via the Supreme Court and ‘judicial activism’

With the US going to the polls today, and memories of hanging chads and lawyers swarming like flies round voting stations, it seems like a good time to talk about India’s version of judicial activism, based on my recent visit At a national level, when it comes to rights and poverty, India seems to combine […]

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Day of the Girl (and a small revolution in the birthplace of humanity)

Guest post from Carron Basu Ray, (right) who coordinates Oxfam’s ‘My Rights, My Voice’ programme The Ngorongoro area of Tanzania is regarded as the birthplace of humanity, a vast, strikingly beautiful part of the world. The Maasai pastoralists who live there are among the most marginalised people in the country and their children, especially the […]

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Building Active Citizenship and Accountability in Asia: case studies from Vietnam and India

Last week I attended a seminar in Bangkok on ‘active citizenship’ in Asia, part of an ‘Asia Development Dialogue’ organized by Oxfam, Chulalongkorn University and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. It brought together a diverse group of local mayors, human rights activists and academics, and discussed […]

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Is there a global crackdown on civil society organization and if so, how should we respond?

I’ve got a nasty feeling that we could be heading towards a strategic train wreck on the role of civil society in development. Let me explain. Increasingly (and not just among NGOs), development is understood in terms of politics, power, and struggles to redistribute the latter. That has produced a shift in resources towards advocacy […]

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Fighting for food security in India

Biraj Swain (right) is Oxfam India’s Campaigns Manager and Co-Editor and author of the IDS-Oxfam India Special Bulletin “Standing on the Threshold: Food Justice in India”, launched in Delhi this week In India, over the past 15 years the debate about food, under a rights-based perspective, has become increasingly complex. Earlier concerns about famines, emergency relief […]

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Why is migration a Cinderella issue in Development?

Last week I had to speak on ‘Why is migration not a bigger development issue?’ at an IPPR/CGD seminar. The seminar (and the question) really got me thinking. The main speaker was Michael Clemens, CGD’s migration guru (as well as part-time bête noire of the Millennium Villages Project). He was brilliant – going well beyond […]

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Family Planning Summit: dilemmas of UK exceptionalism, private v public and population control

Are we now in a period of global British exceptionalism in aid and development, and if so, what are the implications for the work of British-based NGOs and their allies? That question has been niggling away at me during the run-up to the big UK government + Gates Foundation ‘Family Planning Summit’ tomorrow. Why exceptionalism? […]

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How can an NGO campaign against rape in armed conflict? An inspiring case study from Colombia

I recently ran a fascinating workshop with colleagues at Intermón Oxfam (Oxfam’s Spanish affiliate) at which the different country programmes brought examples of change processes at work. One that particularly struck me was about our work in Colombia on sexual violence and conflict. Here’s the write up, jointly authored with Intermon’s Alejandro Matos. The campaign […]

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Yemeni women rise up – the untold story

This guest post is from Olga Ghazaryan (right), Oxfam GB’s Regional Director for the Middle East The stories from Yemen that break through to the media are those about the Al Qaida insurgency, political turmoil and occasionally about the shocking levels of hunger and poverty. However there is another story unfolding in Yemen that has […]

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How can aid agencies promote local governance and accountability? Lessons from five countries.

This post also appeared on the World Bank’s ‘People, Spaces. Deliberation‘ blog Oxfam is publishing a fascinating new series of papers today, drawing together lessons from our programme work on local governance and community action. There are case studies from Nepal (women’s rights, see photo), Malawi (access to medicines), Kenya (tracking public spending), Viet Nam (community […]

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Femicide, anger and struggle: stories of women's activism in Honduras

Guest post from John Ambler, right, Oxfam America’s ‘Vice President, Strategy’ (ooo, can I be one of those?) on his recent trip to Honduras I woke up early in the morning to the sound of gunshots.  Two, then three more.  I expected to hear sirens, but did not.  The police were taking their own sweet […]

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What's the connection between power, development and social media?

This post also appears on the World Bank’s People, Spaces, Deliberation governance blog, although sadly, without the neanderthal I recently gave a talk about ICT and Development at the annual Re:Campaign conference in Berlin, organized by Oxfam Germany. Anyone who knows me will realize that this is a bit odd – despite being a blogaholic, […]

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