Tag: NGOs

NGOs and blogging on development: Why do we find it so hard?

I went to a fascinating ‘bloggers breakfast’ in Washington last week, hosted by Lawrence MacDonald of CGD and Oxfam’s Paul O’Brien. A bunch of development bloggers from the Center for Global Development, Oxfam America and a few others chewed over a mixture of blogging dilemmas and CGD’s muffins and fruit. V pleasant way to start […]

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Wrapping up the great Nairobi guesthouse pool debate

Wow. Hit a nerve there. I’m both gratified and slightly appalled by the level of interest generated by Wednesday’s post on the development-critical issue of whether Oxfam should keep the pool at its Nairobi guesthouse shut. For those people without the time or inclination to trawl through over 60 comments, here’s a summary. First the […]

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The great Nairobi guesthouse swimming pool dilemma – cast your vote now……

Nairobi is a major NGO hub, currently the epicentre of the drought relief effort, and Oxfam’s regional office realized some years ago that we could save a pile of money if we ran our own guesthouse, rather than park the numerous visitors in over-priced hotels. It’s nothing fancy, definitely wouldn’t get many stars, but it’s […]

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Thick problems, thin solutions and the future of NGOs

Normally I avoid discussions about the future of NGOs like the plague – they either involve a bunch of academics with only the vaguest idea of what we actually do all day, or a lot of senior managers emitting sonorous pronouncements on how we need to be more agile in a multi-polar world and use […]

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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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Anyone want my job? Oxfam’s looking for a new Head of Research

So here’s the deal. After seven happy years in charge of Oxfam’s policy research team, I’m moving sideways to take up a new post as senior strategic adviser (though I personally prefer my colleague John Magrath’s suggestion of ‘chief opinionator’) and we’re looking for a new head of research. Here’s the blurb from the ad […]

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How can advocacy NGOs respond to the global meltdown? FP2P Flashback

OK, it’s looking ever more likely that we are heading for a European double plunge recession (double dip sounds too pleasant), so here’s some thoughts from December 2008 about how to respond. Ever since the global financial and economic meltdown broke, NGO colleagues have been debating how to respond. That debate is now focused on […]

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10 Challenges to 'business as usual' for development agencies: FP2P flashback

OMG, nearly three years on and almost everything on this list would still be on today’s version. But at least I could point to progress, in the shape of specific bits of thinking, reseach and/or programming. on nearly all of them. What new additions would go on today’s list, I wonder? Domestic taxation; resource scarcity […]

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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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The future of emergency response – the international system v national governments

Yesterday the big cheeses moved on to fragile states and humanitarian (emergency) response. I may write something on fragile states next week, but it was the humanitarian bit that got my attention. Here are some highlights from the internal discussion paper: “There is growing awareness that global humanitarian response needs to be turned on its […]

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How do NGOs work with the private sector?

Earlier this week I spent an intense two days discussing Oxfam’s private sector strategy with our big cheeses, joined by a variety of real live capitalists, whose views ranged all the way from ‘Oxfam is irrelevant’ to people who closely resemble NGOs in suits. Far too much to process into anything coherent, but here are […]

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