Precarious Lives: Food, Work and Care after the Global Food Crisis. Launch of new report, 9th September

August 31, 2016
Oxfam researcher John Magrath profiles a new joint Oxfam/IDS report and tries to convince you to come along to the launch in London on 9th September Duncan has written previously about one of the projects he was most proud of initiating while in (nominal!) charge of Oxfam’s Research Team. This started out as Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility’ and

See you in September

August 25, 2016
I’m off to the Edinburgh fringe to direct a cultural firehose onto my parched hinterland, followed by 10 days in Myanmar, where, among other things, I will finally find out the correct adjective – Burmese? Not sure when I will be blogging next, so until then, here’s a pic of each.

Is the UN about to agree a new deal for refugees and migrants?

August 24, 2016
Josephine Liebl, Oxfam’s global policy lead on displacement, looks ahead to the UN Summit in New York in September – and looks back on a heady few weeks negotiating its outcome. The first ever UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants will take place in New York on 19th September. President Obama will host a Leaders’ Summit on refugees the day

Please comment on this draft paper: theories of change on empowerment and accountability in fragile states

August 23, 2016
Ouch. My brain hurts. I’ve spent the last month walled up at home writing a paper on ‘Theories of change on empowerment and accountability in fragile and conflict-affected states’ (acronym heaven – ToCs on E&A in FCAS). Pulse racing yet? It’s one of a series of inception papers for a big research consortium on E&A in FCAS, which Oxfam is

Links I Liked

August 22, 2016
Invaluable tips for managers who need to wing the next meeting. Smart idea. Using house prices in Egypt to identify the richest, who are routinely missed by household surveys and tax receipts. Result? Egyptian inequality higher than we thought Those who read more than 3.5 hours weekly survive almost two years longer than those who didn’t crack open a book

How do developing country decision makers rate aid donors?

August 19, 2016
Had a last minute cancellation of today’s post – ah Oxfam sign off, doncha love it? So here’s the most read new post from the last year. Brilliant. Someone’s finally done it. For years I’ve been moaning on about how no-one ever asks developing country governments to assess aid donors (rather than the other way around), and then publishes a league

What sort of trade campaigns do we need around Brexit?

August 18, 2016
Not all conference calls are as terrible as the one depicted in ‘a conference call in real life’. Had a really good one yesterday with Oxfam/Exfam trade wonks on the impact of Brexit on Britain’s trade relations. Here’s my take. Around the early 2000s, I spent about 7 years as a trade wonk, first at CAFOD and then at DFID. Highlights

How to get a job in development: the definitive (368 page) guide

August 17, 2016
Because I’ve been having a lot of summer conversations with graduates and others wondering how to get a job in aid and development (and I have to admit, also because I’m up against a deadline and have no time to blog), thought I’d repost this ever-popular 2015 intro to a very useful book, plus other links. How to get a

How can Academics and NGOs work together? Some smart new ideas

August 16, 2016
Just finished ‘Interaction’, a thought-provoking report on ‘How can academics and the third sector work together to influence policy and practice’. Written by Mark Shucksmith for the Carnegie UK Trust, the report has some good research and new suggestions on a hoary old topic. First up, a striking stat that underlines the imbalance in size and resources between academia and

Links I Liked

August 15, 2016
Olympics slot: Simones rock (Biles and Manuel) If you like a nice Cork accent, listen up to Ireland’s O’Donovan brothers in the rowing (they ended up winning silver) Brilliant Dani Rodrik piece questioning the demands for global governance: he thinks we should be sceptical, except where truly global public goods are at stake (eg climate change), but elsewhere it can do more harm than

Is this the right moment to reboot the Aid, Trade and Private Sector agenda?

August 12, 2016
Oxfam’s private sector adviser Erinch Sahan thinks the times are ripe for a paradigm shift  In a former life (i.e. six years ago), I worked as a development adviser to Australia’s trade negotiators. Back then, we development types were suspicious and hostile – we feared that rich countries would divert aid to pursue a narrow interpretation of their national interests. Now,

Where are the gaps in the way we campaign?

August 11, 2016
The summer is a time for relaxed chats in my Brixton office. This week it was with a seasoned NGO campaigner who’s been on a break, and wondering about re-entry into the UK/global development and environment campaign scene at the research-y end. Where are the gaps and potential niches that a bright, reflective, experienced campaigner-turned-researcher could help to fill? Here’s a