Tikamgarh revisited, what’s happened to the amazing fishing communities I visited in 2006?

Just got back from a great week in India, including my first attempt at a phone vlog (above). One of the drawbacks of being a generalist is that you go somewhere, hear riveting stories of organization, resistance (and sometimes of course, of failure), but then never find out what happened next. But last week I managed…

By Duncan Green April 27, 2016 2

How on earth can you measure resilience? A wonk Q&A

Resilience is one of today’s omnipresent development fuzzwords, applied to individuals, communities, businesses, countries, ideas and just about everything else. But how can it best be measured? To plug their new paper on the topic, Oxfam’s measurement wonks Jonathan Lain (left) and Rob Fuller (right) argue with their imaginary non-wonk friend…… So they’ve let the…

By Duncan Green December 15, 2015 7

Another good idea from ODI – regular ‘scans’ of hot topics like resilience

The aid and development business is full of tribes – separate ‘epistemic communities’ with their own jargon, shorthands and assumptions, which helps to hermetically isolate them from all the other communities. I try and surf across a few of them, but it’s hard – half the time I have only the vaguest idea what resilience,…

By Duncan Green July 31, 2015 2

Why building ‘resilience’ matters, and needs to confront injustice and inequality

Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Policy Adviser (right), introduces ‘No Accident’, Oxfam’s new paper on resilience and inequality Asking 50 Oxfam staff what they think of resilience will get 50 different responses. These will range all the way from the Sceptics (“just the latest buzzword, keep your head down and it’ll go away”), to the Deniers (“really…

By admin May 21, 2013 10

What do we know about the impact of savings groups on poor African women?

Savings for Change (SfC) is one of Oxfam America’s flagship programmes, reaching 680,000 members, mostly women, in 13 countries. Here Sophie Romana, Oxfam America’s Deputy Director of Community Finance, reports on some findings from an innovative qualitative and quantitative survey of the groups in Mali, published today (click through to summary or full report). How do…

By admin May 15, 2013 17

How do you help people cope with shocks? A liquid brainstorm with Robert Chambers

At an IDS seminar last week, part of its excellent Crisis Watch initiative, Steve Wiggins from ODI argued that his research on the food price crisis shows that during an actual shock, state initiatives are much less important to poor people than their own social coping mechanisms as individuals, communities or through local institutions like…

By admin March 15, 2010 2

Can you comment on Oxfam’s analysis of the global economic crisis?

Since early 2009, Oxfam has been researching the impact of the global economic crisis on poverty and poor communities, and the way governments and others have responded. With co-authors Richard King and May Miller Dawkins, I’ve now pulled together focus group discussions and in depth interviews with 2,500 people, 11 country case studies and regional…

By admin January 27, 2010 9