Tag: Philippines

Meet the artist changing gut reactions to the Philippines ‘war on drugs’

Jay Ramirez writes about Carlo Gabuco’s visceral, intimate and poignant depictions of Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines. Some brilliant insights on the power of art that bring the concept of human rights “down to the gut.” In an art fair in Manila in March last year, one installation caught everybody’s eye. A blue […]

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Will aid help or undermine Mindanao’s new start? Scott Guggenheim is worried.

Community Development guru Scott Guggenheim emailed some provocative thoughts on my piece last week on Mindanao, with much wider relevance to the localization debate, so I asked him to turn it into a blog.   I like your piece but I’m a bit longer in the tooth than you and so slightly less optimistic. You […]

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Is a progressive Islamic revolution happening in the Philippines? Impressions from Mindanao

First instalment from my recent visit to the Philippines: Something fascinating and strikingly promising is going on the Philippines island of Mindanao. It has very little to do with the grisly headlines of extra-judicial killings and President Duterte’s bloody ‘war on drugs’. It looks like a progressive Islamic revolution is in progress, combining elements of […]

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A big win for climate change campaigners in the Philippines – how did they do it?

Some great news from the Philippines. The Philippines Survival Fund, which I blogged about a couple of years ago, is finally open for business – local governments and community organizations will now be apply to apply for funds up to 1 billion pesos (US$21m) a year, for projects that help communities adapt to climate change. […]

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Is this the best paper yet on Doing Development Differently/Thinking and Working Politically?

Some of the old lags have reacted to all the hype around TWP/DDD with ‘any aid worker worth their salt knows that all ready – what’s new’?’ An outstanding new paper from Jaime Faustino and David Booth takes up that challenge in one particular context – advocating reforms in the Philippines – that has much […]

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What can we learn from big advocacy initiatives in the Philippines on education, violence against women, reproductive health and freedom of information?

Ahead of next week’s Thinking and Working Politically seminar, here’s another case study from The Asia Foundation, which has got some impressive advocacy results in the Philippines. Room for Maneuver (book and research brief) examines four social policy reforms to try and draw lessons for advocacy work. They are 1. The successful passage of the […]

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Transform or be Haunted by Ghosts: How can the Philippines ‘build back better’ after Typhoon Haiyan?

From the middle of the response to Typhoon Haiyan, Lan Mercado, our Deputy Regional Director in Asia (and passionate campaigner and Filipina) reflects on what lies ahead. She was the one who asked me to pick your brains on disasters as opportunities – thanks for the responses. The massive impact of Typhoon Haiyan claimed thousands […]

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Disasters as Opportunities – your thoughts please

Sticking with yesterday’s theme of how our humanitarian work is evolving, one of our more extraordinary Oxfamistas in the Philippines (Lan Mercado, profiled here) has asked a few of us to help her team think through the longer term implications of Supertyphoon Haiyan for our work. I have no idea how she manages to find […]

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What are the global trends in humanitarian response? How well is Oxfam responding?

Twice a year Oxfam’s Regional Directors gather with its UK-based big cheeses to swap notes (they let me join them, for some reason). It’s an opportunity to allow the collective mind to catch up with all those accumulating individual impressions of how the world and our work is changing. Last week’s ‘deep dive’ was about […]

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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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Meetings with Remarkable Women: Lan Mercado's journey from megaphone to microphone

A while back, I wrote about some amazing Oxfam women I met in East Africa. Here’s another, this time from the Philippines. Lan (real name Lilian, but Filipinos never use real names) is one of those quiet but effective (and very determined, and maybe not so quiet….) women that abound in development work. She was […]

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Development Theory v Practice: Visiting Oxfam’s work in Mindanao

For me, one of the most fruitful aspects of ‘field trips’ such as last week’s visit to see Oxfam’s work in the Philippines is the exchange it sets up in my head between the academic literature and debates I’ve been ploughing through in the UK, and the reality of our work on the ground. A […]

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