Tag: campaigning

Attack? Equivocate? Engage? How Big Food responds to a tough new campaign

Chris Jochnick, director of Oxfam America’s Private Sector Department (twitter: @cjochnick), reflects on the different corporate responses to our ‘Behind the Brands’ campaign launch Companies have had decades to hone their engagement strategies with activists, but still struggle to find the right approach.  Initial reactions to Oxfam’s Behind the Brand campaign offer an interesting case in […]

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How do we work out the returns to campaigning? Nice example from the Philippines

Like any campaigning organization, Oxfam has limited funds, and so needs to know whether its investment has paid off. The push from everyone and their dog to pursue a ‘results agenda’ and ‘value for money’ has added further momentum to that effort. That’s fine if you’re doing something that’s easy to measure, (say vaccinating kids, […]

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Remember when Oxfam took on Winston Churchill, apartheid, the Labour government, Big Pharma and the pesticides industry?

As Oxfam celebrates its 70th anniversary, head of advocacy Max Lawson discovers its radical roots, and urges it not to lose its edge January 1942. The second World War was at its height.  The Axis Powers had occupied almost all of Europe. In Greece, people were dying of starvation at a rate of 2000 a […]

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Campaigning on education and the Robin Hood Tax (and wise counsel from Dilbert)

Keeping it visual and campaign-y today. First a nice 10 minute video on the role of civil society organizations in lobbying for better education (see previous education wonkwar debate if you want more analysis) They certainly know a thing or two about campaigning in Germany, recently getting major German banks to drop commodity funds and […]

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The only interesting question on Kony 2012 – why did it get 60 million hits?

Like everyone else, I watched it, albeit skimming, and was fascinated and appalled. Fascinated (and yes, envious) at the skill of the storytelling. Appalled by just about everything else – the use of his son, the cheesy self righteousness of the tone, the depiction of Africa, the profound ignorance and lack of interest in why […]

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INGOs in Economic Diplomacy – adapting to a new world order

One of the lectures I most enjoy giving is to the LSE course on Economic Diplomacy, (part of its International Political Economy MSc), where most years I trot along and ramble on for half an hour about International NGOs (INGOs) and advocacy. The questions and discussion that follow are invariably fascinating (for me anyway). The […]

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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 […]

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Advocacy v Service Delivery in Russia: FP2P flashback

Next up in this holiday week selection of largely unread posts from the early days of the blog, a story from Russia Contrasting case studies from Oxfam GB’s Russia programme, which has tried different ways of supporting Russia’s estimated 5.6 million disabled people. Traditionally, we have run a microfinance programme which has benefited a total […]

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Why is the new Oxfam campaign called 'GROW'? The importance of framing

What kind of a campaign calls itself ‘GROW’? Answer, a different kind. My first reaction on hearing the aural equivalent of puffs of smoke was a small jolt of surprise, and then a pleasurable ‘hey, that could be interesting.’ I’ve seen the same baffled curiosity on a few other people’s faces when they hear the […]

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GROW: Oxfam’s new Global Campaign

As promised, here’s the outline of the new 4 year Oxfam mega-campaign, GROW. The website is here, with the launch report ‘Growing a Better Future’ and lots of background papers and case studies. The point of departure for Grow is that the survival and flourishing of humanity in this century will be determined by its […]

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Are Grey Panthers the next big thing in campaigning?

It’s probably a sign of my advancing years, but I’ve been wondering whether NGOs are missing a trick by endlessly targeting young people to become their activists. Sure, they’re the leaders of tomorrow, but what about us wrinklies? This all came to a head when I went out for a beer with a friend of […]

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How has campaigning changed since slavery was abolished?

Recently I discussed ‘public action and influencing change’ with a small group of NGO types at an aid conference in Edinburgh. We started off by reviewing the factors behind the victory of the abolitionists back in the early 19th Century, and what had changed (or stayed the same) since then. Same: many of the tactics […]

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