Topic: human rights

The real population boom – the over 60s: great new killer facts and graphics from Age International

Ageing is one of those development issues that is only going to get bigger. A new report from Age International pulls together all the killer facts and  infographics you should need to be convinced, and lots of eminent talking heads (Margaret Chan, Richard Jolly, Mary Robinson etc) to drive home the message. Here’s a selection […]

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14 ways for aid agencies to better promote active citizenship

As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing a series of 10 case studies of Oxfam’s work in promoting ‘active citizenship’, plus a synthesis paper. They cover everything from global campaigns to promoting women’s leadership to labour rights. They are now all finished and up on the website. Phew. Here’s the accompanying blog which summarizes […]

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Why gay rights is a development issue in Africa, and aid agencies should speak up

Hannah Stoddart, on secondment as Oxfam’s advocacy manager in Rwanda, calls for aid agencies to take a stand in defence of beleaguered gay rights in Africa (and I ask you to vote on her suggestion) First Gambia, then Chad. Recent months have seen two more countries join the rising tide of State-led homophobia sweeping across […]

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Them Belly Full (but we hungry): great new study on food riots and food rights

A fascinating new report (with too many co-authors to list, but the invariably interesting Naomi Hossain was principal investigator) summarizes the findings of a four country research project on ‘food rights and food riots’ in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Mozambique. Some highlights from the Exec Sum: ‘The green revolution and the global integration of food markets […]

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People Power: what do we know about empowered citizens and development?

This is a short piece written for UNDP, which is organizing my Kapuscinski lecture in Malta on Wednesday (4pm GMT, webcast live) Power is intangible, but crucial; a subtle and pervasive force field connecting individuals, communities and nations in a constant process of negotiation, contestation and change. Development is, at its heart, about the redistribution […]

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Politics, economists and the dangers of pragmatism: reflections on DFID’s governance and conflict conference

DFID really is an extraordinary institution. I spent Monday and Tuesday at the annual get together one of its tribes professional cadres – about 200 advisers on governance and conflict. They were bombarded with powerpoints from outside speakers (including me), but still found time for plenty of ‘social loafing’, aka networking with their mates. Some impressions: […]

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What next for human rights organizations like Amnesty?

Autumn/fall must be the blue skying season. I ended last week having my remaining brain cells picked in exchange for yet another free meal by Amnesty International’s Savio Carvalho (campaigns and advocacy) and Clare Doube (evaluation and strategy). Going to have to watch my waistline. They are thinking through Amnesty’s global strategy for 2016-2019, and […]

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Let’s Talk About Sex: why sexual satisfaction & pleasure should be on the international development agenda

This guest post is by Chloe Safier (@chloelenas), Regional Gender Lead for Oxfam in Southern Africa, with thoughtful contributions from Marc Wegerif I was sitting at dinner with my Oxfam colleagues on a Sunday night, just before a country strategy meeting. Over grilled fish and cokes, I mentioned an article I’d seen recently in the Guardian […]

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R2P RIP? Painful reflections on a decade of ‘Responsibility to Protect’

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, bares his soul on whether R2P has a future, or is best consigned to the dustbin of history Nine years ago this month, the UN World Summit endorsed the Responsibility to Protect. But this summer’s bloodshed in Gaza was only the latest conflict to provoke a heated […]

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What are the strengths and weaknesses of a human rights approach to development?

Confession time, with a dash of heresy. I have mixed feelings (and a fair amount of confusion) about the whole ‘rights based approach’ to development. First, it has a lot going for it. The human rights framework is: precise: it sets out clearly who has obligations and duties and who has not, and what those […]

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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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