Topic: human rights

Have Children’s Rights Campaigners lost their Courage?

The former Save the Children UK chief executive, Sir Mike Aaronson, reflects on the history and legacy of the organisation. In advance of next Monday’s conference at LSE on Politics, Humanitarianism, and Children’s Rights, which explores the relationship between these three constructs, he asks whether we, as today’s children’s rights advocates, have the courage of our predecessors. Do […]

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Closing Civic Space: Trends, Drivers and what Donors can do about it

My reading pile is out of control, but I finally caught up with a useful May 2018 overview from the always excellent International Center for Not-for-Profit Law. Nothing life-changing, but a clear and concise summary of the origins of the problem and possible responses, based on some 50 contributions to a consultation by the Swedish […]

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Inequality kills: the cold, wet fate of refugee rights in Lebanon

Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser, Anna Chernova uses her own experiences as a refugee to reflect on how Lebanon can tackle inequality and protect the rights of millions of Syrians. Back in 2015, I remember standing in a damp, soaked tent in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, watching kids run around in the snow in slippers. Their […]

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Africa in 2019: 7 trends to watch, by Apollos Nwafor

I get lots of internal Oxfam emails. Some of them I even read. Here’s a particularly useful 2019 curtain raiser from Apollos Nwafor, our Pan African Director: ‘There are several issues that put Africa in focus this year: Reform at the African Union: The reforms agreed by the heads of state at the extraordinary meeting […]

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Putting Positive Deviance into Practice: A brilliant UN Women initiative on domestic violence

Yesterday was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the start of the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, so it seems like a good moment to post this.  As part of my scoping exercise on Positive Deviance, I’ve been having some great skype conversations. Monique Sternin put […]

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What can we learn from campaigns run by the world’s children and young people?

Save the Children’s Patrick Watt reports back from some INGO soul searching on ‘Engaging a New Generation’ There’s nothing new about children and youth being involved in movements for change, from the anti-apartheid cause in South Africa, to the earlier and more hopeful chapters of the Arab Spring. But what feels different now is that […]

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What is civil society for? Reflection from one of Tanzania’s leading CSO thinkers

A recent civil society and government jamboree in Tanzania prompted some interesting reflections from Aidan Eyakuze, Executive Director of Twaweza. Who needs civil society organizations (CSOs)? If government does its job well, responding to citizens’ needs, delivering good quality services, safe communities and a booming economy, then what is the purpose of the diverse range of […]

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One of my favourite stories of change: how an indigenous group won the rights to 1m hectares of land – and a new interview with an NGO person who supported them at the time

If you repeat the same story often enough, at some point you start to wonder if you’ve really just made it up, or at least embellished it beyond recognition. One such story, which I often tell at the start of a How Change Happens presentation, is about the Chiquitano Indians of Bolivia and their successful […]

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Legal earthquakes and the struggle against Mining in Mexico

Second post from a great visit to Mexico last week to launch the Spanish language edition of How Change Happens. Few things get development folk fired up as much as mining. For many NGOs and grassroots organizations, not much has changed since the Conquistadores: mining is plunder. Given their long history in terms of pollution, […]

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How Bring Back Our Girls went from hashtag to social movement, while rejecting funding from donors

Ayo Ojebode, of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, introduces his new research on a fascinating social movement, part of the Action for Empowerment and Accountability research programme In a world where movements appear and fizzle out just as they are getting started, Nigeria’s Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement is an exception. Meant to be […]

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Self Reliance, Hip Hop, Resistance and Weapons of the Weak: do we need to rethink Empowerment?

A 3 day conference at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) inevitably makes you dig deep and question your assumptions, and last week’s gathering of the Action for Empowerment and Accountability research programme was no exception. This time, presentations from Myanmar and Mozambique set me off. In Myanmar the researchers had expected to find communities […]

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Are Big Companies Walking Their Talk on the SDGs? New report digs into the evidence

Following my recent semi-conversion to SDG agnosticism, Namit Agrawal, Uwe Gneiting and Ruth Mhlanga introduce a new Oxfam report on business and the SDGs Business has become a fixture in discussions around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  This week in New York we will see the familiar picture of executives of the world’s largest corporations […]

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