Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy; the coolest thing ever; Christmas and Darth Vader in the canteen: signing off for Christmas with some youtube uplift

December 22, 2010
Back from my (semi) blog break just in time to say thanks and goodbye to the guest bloggers (what did you think of them? Do you want more guest posts in the future?) and sign off for Christmas/New Year with a few youtubes – please add your own favourites Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy [h/t Chris Blattman] ‘That is the

How fertiliser subsidies have transformed Malawi

December 21, 2010
Max Lawson is Head of Development Finance and Public Services for Oxfam GB When I lived in Malawi in 2002, the outlook was bleak. The received wisdom was that Malawi had a structural food deficit and for the foreseeable future would face periodic famines and chronic food insecurity. Our humanitarian department was thinking of setting up a permanent office. But

Freedom from fear: Protecting people from one of the world’s most brutal rebel groups

December 17, 2010
Maya Mailer, Humanitarian and Conflict Policy Advisor Across central Africa, men, women and children live in fear of the Lord’s Resistance Army. This predatory group attacks women as they perform their daily tasks – fetching water or tending to their fields – and children returning from school. It abducts, mutilates, rapes and kills, using extreme violence against the most vulnerable.

Global leadership on poverty: the preliminary verdict on 2010

December 15, 2010
Stephen Hale is Oxfam International Deputy Advocacy and Campaigns Director. It’s just two weeks until the New Year, and the onslaught of articles looking back at 2010. Journalists everywhere will be filing these pieces now so that they can escape for Christmas. So I thought I’d beat the rush and provide something for them to cut and paste. What kind

De-Development in Gaza

December 14, 2010
Kirsty Hughes is Head of Oxfam GB Advocacy and Policy Team In a week when US efforts to promote peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians have collapsed, an optimistic way ahead to a political deal looks hard to see. But visiting the Occupied Palestinian Territories in November, including two days in Gaza, underlined for me that everything here is political.

When energy comes to a Senegalese village, do people get more healthy, wealthy and wise?

December 10, 2010
John Magrath is an Oxfam researcher currently working on renewable energy Hats off to Sarah Best for her recent post on energy and in particular, for highlighting the excellent new Practical Action report, Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2010. I’ve been delving into energy issues too lately. I’ve just come back from Senegal, where I was trying to get clearer in my

The reality of climate change: floods, migration and nostalgia – guest blog from Bangladesh

December 9, 2010
What’s the point of running a blog if you can’t indulge in a little nepotism? Last year, I went with my son Finlay (18) to visit Bangladesh and look at the impact of climate change: rising sea levels are leading to ever-greater damage from the region’s cyclones, as we saw in the community of Koyra a few months after the

The new World Health Report: Universal health care is possible!

December 8, 2010
Anna Marriott is Health Policy Advisor for the Development Finance and Public Services Team at Oxfam. The international health community had been long-awaiting last week’s launch in Berlin of the 2010 World Health Report. Its theme was how to finance health care to achieve universal coverage. Oxfam and others began with a stunt in front of the Brandenburg Gate, highlighting the

Shy, yet alluring campaign-to-be seeks activists with GSOH for bad puns and world domination

December 7, 2010
Sarah Best is a policy adviser on low carbon development One of the positive twists from climate change is that it has brought attention to a long-neglected issue: poor people’s access to energy. The scary realisation that we need gargantuan amounts of investment to meet rising energy demand and keep emissions levels safe, has alerted policy wonks and leaders to

So will Cancun deliver? Watch this space.

December 3, 2010
Robert Bailey is the Head of Economic Justice Policy at Oxfam. With the Cancun climate negotiations kicking off this week, and anticipating a flood of articles questioning the process, I was going to write a post in defence of the UNFCCC. However, it looks like lots of other people had the same idea. So I’ll probably hang on to mine

Development debates in interesting times – is the Washington consensus on the way out or are free market solutions creeping back in?

December 1, 2010
Kirsty Hughes is the Head of  Oxfam’s Advocacy and Policy Team. Two years ago, as Lehman’s collapsed, the world economy fell into recession and the G20 surfaced as a prime ministerial-level outfit to stem the chaos, it looked as if one positive outcome, at least for the optimist, would be the end of the “Washington consensus” and the start of

Climate Change links I liked: Adaptation – the Economist, the Guardian and some good news from Burkina Faso and Kenya; Indian environmentalism; extreme LDC weather; a tribunal in Bangladesh; and an Advisory Group that doesn’t advise,

November 29, 2010
A random round-up of climate change links to coincide with this week’s UN gabfest in Cancún An excellent overview on climate change adaptation from The Economist. Favourite quote? ‘The best starting point for adaptation is to be rich’. “The environmental issue in India has been seen to be largely an upper-middle class elitist issue. I believe that a larger number