Topic: Natural disasters

Big Decisions today on Food Crisis in the Sahel: here’s the background

A high level collection of EC and member states officials, UN big cheeses and West African leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the unfolding crisis in the Sahel, where a disaster is looming. Some communities already find themselves in crisis, others see disaster on the horizon as an early lean season approaches and the […]

Read More »

The IPCC Special Report on Disasters and Adaptation: more than just climate science

Guest post from one time Oxfam research team member Arabella Fraser, who is currently in the Department for International Development, London School of Economics, writing a PhD on climate risk and vulnerability in informal urban settlements. She is also a consultant on climate adaptation and development issues, working most recently on urban adaptation planning in Latin […]

Read More »

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, […]

Read More »

Theories of (climate) change and a nice song about complex causal chains……

Spent a happy half day with the climate change team at IDS last week, at the invitation of the team leader Matthew Lockwood, who besides being a climate change star (see his Political Climate blog), wrote The State They’re In, a brilliant book on the politics of African development. We were exploring the theories of change […]

Read More »

How will political and economic shocks drive social change? Please help me write a paper…..

Something almost unprecedented has occurred – I’ve finished an article early. Oxfam Peru is a redoubt of intellectuals and every year publishes an annual collection of essays on the state of Peru and development in general. This year they’ve asked me to focus on shocks and change, so I’ve donned my false beard and cardigan […]

Read More »

Getting Somalia Wrong and other background reading for today's big conference

On 3 February, the UN declared that there were no longer famine conditions in southern Somalia, but six months since that famine was declared, Somalia is still in the throes of its worst humanitarian crisis in decades. Nearly a third of the population remain in crisis, unable to meet essential food and non-food needs. Key […]

Read More »

Crises in a new world order: challenging the humanitarian project

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on this kind of thing, introduces a big rethink of Oxfam’s humanitarian work When it comes to humanitarian crises, Oxfam specializes in the appropriate acronym of ‘WASH’.In 2011, hundreds of Oxfam staff delivered water and sanitation and other relief to millions of people afflicted by drought, floods or earthquakes. But […]

Read More »

Why seasonality is back and that's a good thing

A Welsh friend of mine once came back home after a long stint in Nicaragua. A mate picked him up at the airport and on the long drive back to Cardiff, Alun turned to him and asked ‘so, how’s the harvest been this year?’ His friend looked at him as if he’d gone mad. Which […]

Read More »

Why did help arrive so late? Evidence v Incentives in the Horn of Africa drought.

Oxfam and Save the Children have a new paper out today that worries away at the baffling fact that lots of organizations knew disaster was looming in the Horn of Africa (and said so), but the system was largely unable to respond until people actually started dying. From the exec sum of A Dangerous Delay: […]

Read More »

Investing in people or building more stuff: which is better for reducing disaster risks?

This is a guest post from Chris Anderson, Oxfam’s global adviser on disaster risk reduction  While the global humanitarian response system is more effective and sophisticated than ever before, in its current form it’s being outstripped by the pace of increasing risks. The answer is Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which makes great financial sense if […]

Read More »

Power and change – how do they fit in development work?

This is a summary of a briefing paper I bashed out for last week’s discussion on ‘how change happens’ with Oxfam’s big cheeses (with thanks to Jo Rowlands and Thalia Kidder for their help). It’s work in progress, so all comments and suggestions very welcome. In the last few years, ‘how change happens’ (HCH)  has gone […]

Read More »

The Spider Trees of Sindh

An unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of Pakistan has been that millions of spiders have climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters. Because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water has taken so long to recede, many trees have become cocooned in spiders webs. […]

Read More »