Topic: Trade

Not so mega? The risky business of large-scale public-private partnerships in African agriculture

Oxfam policy adviser Robin Willoughby shrugs off the big ag groupthink and argues that the current trend of mega projects in African agriculture is a risky and unproven way to help poor farmers. Last week, I attended a large summit on the future of African agriculture in Addis Ababa, hosted by A Green Revolution for […]

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Jamie Love’s Next Big Idea: Making the WTO into a force for good in Public Health

I’ve heard the name Jamie Love mentioned in reverential tones over the years, and a few weeks ago, I was asked by STOPAIDS to interview him in an ‘in conversation’ format in front of a small group of activists. It was fantastic fun (for me at least). Jamie is director of Knowledge Ecology International and […]

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Why aren’t we using government purchasing to promote the right to food (among other things)? Great farewell paper from Olivier de Schutter

Oliver de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food reaches the end of his term at the end of May, leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. He summarized his arguments in March with a final report to the Human Rights Council, but kept on going til the end, with a really thought-provoking […]

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Supporting labour rights in Indonesia’s sportswear factories (Nike, Adidas etc). Draft case study for your comments

I’d like to continue picking your brains on the drafts of a series of case studies I’ve been working on. Next up is some long term advocacy on labour rights in Indonesia. Here’s the full draft case study for your comment (PC case study Indonesia Labour Rights Project May 2014). From 1997-2013 Oxfam Australia’s Indonesian […]

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Reformers v lobbyists: where have we got to on tackling corporate tax dodging?

The rhythm of NGO advocacy and campaigning sometimes makes it particularly hard to work on complicated issues, involving drawn-out negotiations where bad guys have more resources and staying power than we do. Campaigns on trade, climate change, debt relief etc often follow a similar trajectory – a big NGO splash as a new issue breaks, […]

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Why are Africans getting ripped off on remittances?

Whatever your views of migration, a consensus ought to be possible on one thing: if migrants do send money home, as much as possible of the hard-earned dollars that they send should actually get there, to be spent on putting feeding the kids, putting them through school or even having a bit of fun (that’s […]

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Alternatives to Neoliberalism? A retro conversation with the British Left and Ha-Joon Chang

Had a fun and slightly retro evening last week launching ‘Critique, Influence, Change’, a new series of Zed Books (actually new editions of some of their old books), along with my friend and guru Ha-Joon Chang and Ellie Mae O’Hagan, a smart young Guardian columnist/activist in Occupy and UK Uncut. The Zed series includes a […]

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Migration and Development: Who Bears the Burden of Proof? Justin Sandefur replies to Paul Collier

Justin Sandefur responds to yesterday’s post by Paul Collier on the impact of migration on developing countries, and you get to vote The global diaspora of educated Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans living in the developed world stand accused of undermining the development of their countries of origin. Paul Collier’s recent book, Exodus, makes the case […]

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How does emigration affect countries-of-origin? Paul Collier kicks off a debate on migration

Take a seat people, you’re in for a treat. Paul Collier kicks off an exchange with Justin Sandefur on that hottest of hot topics, migration. I’ve asked them to focus on the impact on poor countries, as most of the press debate concentrates on the impact in the North. Justin replies tomorrow and (if I […]

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Fairtrade: celebrating the first 20 years. What’s next?

Rachel Wilshaw, Oxfam’s Ethical Trade Manager looks back on the astonishing 20 year rise of Fairtrade. The Fairtrade Foundation launched its first products – coffee, chocolate and tea – 20 years ago. As one of the Oxfam types who sat around in the late 80s debating whether UK supermarkets would ever stock ‘alternative trade’ products, this […]

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What Makes Big Corporations Decide to Get on the Right Side of History?

For the past year, Oxfam’s Erinch Sahan (right) has been working on the ‘Behind the Brands’ campaign. Here he reflects on some successes and lessons from his time in the advocacy trenches. On 19 May 1997, the CEO of BP, John Browne, made a speech at Stanford University. Browne: “We must now focus on what can […]

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Government to Government trade – a new development issue, but is it threat or opportunity?

I have a love-hate relationship with The Economist – hate its lazy, evidence-free, anti-state, privatizing ‘priors’, but love the range of thought-provoking new angles, and its coverage of development. In general, the further it gets from economics, the more I like it. Usually I just tweet links to the good stuff, but last week’s piece […]

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