Could crowdsourcing fund activists as well as goats and hairdressers?

I’ve often wondered if Oxfam or other large INGOs could include the option of sponsoring an activist, either as something to accompany the goats, toilets, chickens etc that people now routinely buy each other for Christmas, or instead of sponsoring a child. I had vague ideas about people signing up to sponsor an activist in […]

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What is ‘leverage’ (NGO-speak version) and why does it matter?

Last week I attended the twice yearly gathering of Oxfam GB’s big cheeses – the regional directors, Oxford bosses and a smattering of more exotic cheeses from other Oxfam affiliates (Australia and US this time). We started off with a tour of the regions –  what’s on their minds? 3 common themes emerged: political upheaval […]

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Can impact diaries help us analyse our impact when working in complex environments?

One of the problems about working in a complex system is that not only do you never know what is going to happen, but you aren’t sure what developments, information, feedback etc will turn out (with hindsight) to be important. In these results-obsessed times, what does that mean for monitoring and evaluation? One answer is […]

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The Monty Python guide to aid and development. Part Two – Economics

So another Friday comes round, we all need a break, so following the triumph of last week’s Monty Python guide to the politics of development, let’s move on to economics…… Redistribution is trickier than we thought [via Andrea Franco] Wellbeing v growth (the Yorkshire version) Banks and corporate social responsibility and keep the suggestions coming […]

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Women’s Leadership Groups in Pakistan – some good news and inspiration

I normally try and keep Oxfam trumpet-blowing to a minimum on this blog, but am happy to make an exception for this piece from Jacky Repila (right) on a new report on our Raising Her Voice programme in Pakistan, a country that ranks 134th out of 135 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index (only […]

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Oil spills, prisons and the madness of GDP

“Average national income is a notoriously imperfect measure of the average person’s well-being. The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – with clean-up and damage costs of $90 billion – added about $300 to the average American’s “income.” But it added nothing to our well-being. The world’s most expensive prison system, costing […]

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Pretty good so far, what’s next? Jim Kim’s first year at the World Bank

By Nicolas Mombrial, head of the Oxfam International’s Washington office A year ago today, the World Bank got a new chief. In all its 66 years, the bank head has always been an American, and Jim Yong Kim was president Obama’s pick. We’ll never know if Jim Kim was the best person for the job, […]

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Take a pause: what do the Uttrakhand floods tell us about India’s development model?

Vanita Suneja, Oxfam India’s Economic Justice Lead, looks at the underlying causes of the devastating floods in Uttrakhand The recent flash floods in Uttrakhand have already claimed around 1000 lives and more than 3000 people are still missing.   One of the worst calamities caused by an extreme weather event in the form of cloud burst […]

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The Monty Python guide to aid and development

Yesterday I idly tweeted a request for the Monty Python sketches most relevant to development. Great response, uncovering some forgotten gems – turns out Python fans are everywhere, (and they’re not even all men, well not 100% anyway). Too many for one post, so today we’ll do politics. Here are my favourites (with credits where […]

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What do Protests in Turkey, Brazil etc have in common? Six surprising facts

Nice reflection from Moises Naim in El Pais. It was published in Spanish, so this is brought to you c/o Google Translate – took about 15 minutes to tidy up the rough edges. V impressed. “First it was Tunisia, then Chile and Turkey. And now Brazil. What do the street protests in such different countries […]

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