Featured image for “First Interaction with the UK Government on International Development”

First Interaction with the UK Government on International Development

July 22, 2024
Interesting session the other night with the incoming UK Minister for International Development, Anneliese Dodds, and a panel of worthies from across the aid and dev sector, who launched into extended elevator pitches to the new minister (it reminded me a bit of the SDG Christmas Tree, in which every lobbyist insisted on their issue being included during the design
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RIP Pablo Suarez – a Unique Voice on Humanitarianism and Climate Change

July 17, 2024
Terrible news came through this week – the sudden, unexpected and horribly premature death of my friend and colleague, Pablo Suarez. Pablo was a maverick, Boston-based Argentine who broke boundaries and charted new paths in communicating some of the most pressing challenges of our age. Can’t believe he’s gone, and judging by the outpouring of grief and memories on social
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When should we think of children as young people with agency v potential victims of abuse?

July 11, 2024
Nothing like a slightly drunken dinner table argument for getting the mental juices flowing. Most recently, I had a slight disagreement (memories a little vague) with a medic friend over child rights. I started holding forth about some work I did in the 90s that totally changed my view of children (I was a relatively new father at the time).
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Why Oxfam is involved in a court case on UK arms sales to Israel

July 4, 2024
Oxfam has applied to formally intervene in a court case brought against the UK government over arms sales to Israel. Richard Stanforth explains why…
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5 Ways to Reboot International NGOs

July 2, 2024
I finished my 20 year stint at Oxfam at the end of April, and as it recedes in the rear view mirror, I’ve been thinking about the future role of INGOs with a bit more distance. Spoiler, I don’t think they should shut up shop in the name of decolonization or anything else – there is important work still to
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Money, ministries and meh: how might the election change UK development policy?

June 27, 2024
Will DFID be reborn? When will the UK restore the commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on aid? Andy Sumner of King’s College London casts an eye over the manifestos of the main parties…
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Book Review: The Politics of Development

June 26, 2024
This is one of those books that makes you ask, ‘why haven’t we had one of these before?’ The Politics of Development starts from the premise that all development is political, and expertly unpacks the evidence for that assertion and the implications for thinking and practice. In terms of content, as well as the focus on politics, and its ‘3I’
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How do you Influence the State when Leaders change every 5 minutes?

June 24, 2024
Imagine a job where you literally eavesdrop on private (Chatham House rule) conversations between leaders working on the frontlines of international development – trying to influence governments, donors and others, mainly in the insider spaces open to UN agencies, the Red Cross/Crescent and NGOs (both international and national). Amazingly, I have just such a job, running the GELI programme on
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After Ha-Joon Chang and Robert Chambers, the only way is down. Final reflections (for now) on ‘How Change Happens’ 2nd edition

June 20, 2024
As I skimmed the new edition of How Change Happens, what struck me most was not the text, but the endorsements. When it first came out in 2016, I was full of busyness, cracking on with the next thing etc. Now, as I exit Oxfam and have a bit more downtime, I can appreciate things better. Not only that, but
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Digital Activism: What do we know?

June 18, 2024
Tom Kirk introduces his new chapter for the How Change Happens’ 2nd Edition, published last week. When I was invited to contribute a chapter on digital activism, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t want to see their name and thoughts on arguably one the most important developments for activists in a generation alongside Duncan’s own? Even more so given
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Publication Day for How Change Happens 2.0. Here’s what’s changed.

June 13, 2024
The second edition of How Change Happens is published today, while I am loafing on a beach in Thailand and discovering the joys of digital nomadism (tough gig, etc). Publication day is always exciting for the author, and a matter of complete indifference to everyone else. Hey ho. I’ll be posting a few bits and pieces connected to the new
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How can you Influence Leaders with Chaotic Minds?

June 12, 2024
The GELI courses I teach are full of conversations that really challenge the assumptions behind my thinking. One recent example was a frustrated UN leader asking, ‘how do I try to influence a minister who is both more expert than me in the topic, in this case education, and has a chaotic mind?’ Think Donald Trump, but with added expertise.
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