Topic: human rights

Current aid design and evaluation favour autocracies. How do we change that?

I loved the new paper from Rachel Kleinfeld, a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and asked her to write a post on it What strategy can make a government take up smart development programs, better policing techniques, or tested education initiatives?  RCT and regression-based studies have taught us a great deal about […]

Read More »

How is the Syria situation changing on the ground, after 4 years of fighting?

Went to a fascinating briefing on Oxfam’s work in the Syria crisis last week, which set out the underlying trends and the evolving challenges for aid agencies, beyond the periodic TV news bang bang coverage.. The numbers are stark: Total of 18 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside and outside Syria – including […]

Read More »

Book Review of ‘Advocacy in Conflict’ – a big attack on politics and impact of global campaigns

[Oops. This was supposed to go up next Thursday when the book is published, but I hit the wrong button and posted it by mistake – blame the UK elections for keeping me up all night…..] If you work in advocacy, especially the international sort, this is a necessary but painful read – it’s hard […]

Read More »

Why is support for gender equality mainly growing in urban areas?

Guest post from the LSE’s Alice Evans from the LSE  Across the world, support for gender equality is rising. More girls are going to school. Women are increasingly being recognised and supported in historically male-dominated domains, such as employment and politics. Growing numbers of men are sharing unpaid care work. In short, young women are ‘beginning […]

Read More »

Could the UN’s new Progress of the World’s Women provide the foundations for feminist economic policy?

Yesterday I went to the London launch of UN Women’s new flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women 2015-16, in the slightly incongruous setting of the Institution of Civil Engineers – walls adorned with portraits of bewigged old patriarchs  from a (happily) bygone era (right). The report is excellent. These big multilateral publications are usually […]

Read More »

Sport can reach places where other aid and development programmes struggle. So why are we ignoring it?

Mel Paramasivan (@melparamasivan) says she was ‘that kid who was always picked last’. But now she is the Communications and Fundraising Manager at the Sport for Development charity International Inspiration, who are credited for all the pics in this piece. “Oh, that’s nice” was the patronising response from another delegate at an international women’s rights […]

Read More »

Why we should be worried by the World Bank shoveling $36bn to ‘financial intermediaries’

Everyone’s heard of the World Bank, but far fewer people know of its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, which describes itself as ‘the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries’. It’s huge and growing, and it’s got some nasty skeletons in its cupboard – today it comes in […]

Read More »

Some healthy scepticism about ‘Citizen Engagement’ (and why I’m excited about MOOCs)

MOOCs are taking over. If you aren’t yet excited about Massive Open Online Courses, you should be. When I was first getting interested in development the only way to bridge the gap between reading the news and coughing up squllions for a Masters was to cycle through the rain every Tuesday evening to London’s City […]

Read More »

How can India send a spaceship to Mars but not educate its children? Guest post from Deepak Xavier

Oxfam is going through its own (belated but welcome) process of ‘Bric-ification’, with the rise of independent Oxfam affiliates in the main developing countries. Oxfam India is one of the leaders, founded in 2008 and focussing its work on 7 of the most deprived states in India. It is rapidly becoming an advocacy powerhouse within India, […]

Read More »

Modern Slavery: How widespread? What to do about it?

The Economist has a powerful series of articles on modern slavery this week. Sorry this is too long, but they write so well, I struggled to make cuts. How to reduce bonded labour and human trafficking “The time that I went into the camp and I looked, I was shocked. Where all my expectations and […]

Read More »

Can greater transparency help people hold big corporations to account? Some new tools that may help

My former boss Phil Bloomer seems to be having fun in his new role running the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Here BHRRC researcher Eniko Horvath profiles 2 new interactive platforms on company virtues/vices and how they can help the struggle for corporate responsibility. In Mexico, the Federal Electricity Commission sued activist Bettina Cruz, […]

Read More »

Four years into the Syrian conflict, we must never lose sight of the civilians behind the ‘story’

As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, Oxfam’s Head of Humanitarian Policy and Campaigns, Maya Mailer, reflects on a recent trip to Lebanon and Jordan, where she spoke with Syrian refugees, and asks whether we have become immune to the suffering of Syrians. If you type ‘Syria’ into Google News, the headlines that […]

Read More »