Topic: human rights

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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Here’s what we know about closing civic space – what other research would you suggest?

I head off to the Institute of Development Studies today to take stock on our joint ‘Action for Empowerment and Accountability’ research programme. One of the main discussions will be on a research agenda on ‘closing civic space’, so this blog sets out what we know of the research to date, and asks you for […]

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5 ways to fix South Asia’s Water Crisis, by Vanita Suneja

Vanita Suneja of WaterAid reports on what is being done to prevent South Asia running out of underground water Major capital cities in South Asia – Dhaka, Delhi, Islamabad, Kabul and Kathmandu – are showing groundwater stress with the water table receding at an alarming rate.  In Islamabad, the water table fell to 30 feet […]

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Health, Human Rights and Plastic Bags: 3 top campaign proposals from my LSE students

I’ve been selecting some of the student assignments from the initial year of my new LSE course on ‘Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots activism’ to show as examples to next year’s cohort, and thought you might like a taste too. Each student had to produce a 2,000 word project proposal for something they would like to […]

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Public Pressure + League Tables: Oxfam’s campaign on food brands is moving on to supermarkets.

Tim Gore explains the evolving theory of change behind Oxfam’s new supermarkets campaign ‘First the brands, now the retailers.‘ That was the reaction of a senior staffer at Mars – one of the 10 biggest global food manufacturers targeted in our award-winning Behind the Brands campaign – to the Behind the Barcodes launch last month. […]

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Democracy’s Retreat: a ‘how to’ guide

A beautifully written, if depressing, 3 page essay in this week’s Economist explores the mechanics of the democratic reversal in dozens of countries. Shades of Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas’ great book, How to Rig an Election. Some excerpts: ‘A democracy typically declines like this. First, a crisis occurs and voters back a charismatic leader […]

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Violence v Non Violence: which is more effective as a driver of change?

Oxfam’s Ed Cairns explores the evidence and experience on violence v non violence as a way of bringing about social change One of the perennial themes of this blog is the idea that crises may provide an opportunity for progressive change. True. But I’ve always been nervous that such hopes can forget that most conflicts […]

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Gender, disability and displacement: Reflections from research on Syrian refugees in Jordan

This guest post is by Bushra Rehman (right), a Research Officer with the Humanitarian Academy for Development, which is the research and training arm of Islamic Relief Worldwide. The post is based on her prize-winning Masters dissertation. It is mid-afternoon in Jordan and the weather is stiflingly hot. I arrive at a derelict building in Irbid, […]

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Bruised but better: the stronger case for evidence-based activism in East Africa

Wrapping up Twaweza week, Varja Lipovsek (left) and Aidan Eyakuze reflect on the event that has provided the last week’s posts It was a stormy couple of days in Dar es Salaam. First, it is the rainy season, so the tent in which we held our meeting flapped and undulated over our heads like a […]

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A Caring Economy: What role for government?

Anam Parvez (left), Oxfam’s Gender Justice Researcher and Lucia Rost, research consultant, introduce their new paper on gender equitable fiscal policies. In economics we are taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Even if something appears to be free, there are always costs – to you and/or society. What is striking is […]

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Challenging humanitarianism beyond gender as women and women as victims

Dorothea Hilhorst (right), Holly Porter (centre) and Rachel Gordon (left) introduce a highly topical new issue of the Disasters journal (open access for the duration of 2018). This post first appeared on the ISS blog. At the United Nations (UN) World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016, ‘achieving greater gender equality and greater inclusivity’ was identified as one […]

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From sexual harassment to everyday sexism  – a feminist in Oxfam reflects on International Women’s Day

This guest post is by Nikki van der Gaag, Oxfam’s Director of Gender Justice and Women’s Rights This International Women’s Day feels different to any other for many working in the aid and humanitarian sector. Normally, it is a day where, like so many others, we celebrate women’s individual and collective achievements. But the reports […]

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