Geek Heresy, by Kentaro Toyama: book review

July 10, 2015
Guest post by Gawain Kripke, Oxfam America’s Director of Policy  I love my smart phone. It’s awesome and it makes me more awesome. I honestly think that my life is much better with it than without. It makes me a better worker – able to review documents, communicate with colleagues, keep projects moving smoothly even when I’m out of the office.  

FEAR/LESS: Standing with women and girls to end violence

July 9, 2015
Lucia Fry, ActionAid UK‘s Head of Policy, introduces a new report Listening to the news yesterday, I grimaced as I heard about the latest episode to unfold in the story of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria last year: according to news reports, captive girls are being recruited as torturers and combatants by the militant group. 24

What should we expect from next year’s World Humanitarian Summit?

July 8, 2015
Thought all the big development-related summits were scheduled for 2015? Think again. Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, introduces its new report/shot across the bows of the World Humanitarian Summit, 2016. Humanitarians tend to be practical people, and so when they learn lessons it’s usually from what has failed or succeeded in real crises. Take MSF’s challenge to

What can big foundations do to support Southern Influencing?

July 7, 2015
Took part in a really interesting conversation last week between some Oxfam southern campaigners and the big-but-as-yet-little-known Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), which is exploring the whole idea of southern advocacy. Their main focus is on ‘children and mothers’ health and nutrition, children’s education, deworming and welfare, and smart ways to slow down and stop climate change’. Last year their grants came to $122m – I think

Links I Liked

July 6, 2015
Gotta start with the Greek meltdown, I guess: Whadya mean, ‘the Troika (EU, ECB, IMF) doesn’t understand the Greek economy’? (see right) [h/t Felix Salmon] As for the rest of us: Branko Milanovic draws three depressing lessons from the Greek debt negotiations (he’s not joking; they are depressing) [h/t Sophia Murphy] And let’s not forget that Europe cancelled Germany’s debt

The US Declaration of Independence, as edited by Oxfam

July 3, 2015
July 4, 1776. In an extraordinary historical scoop, it has come to our attention that the original declaration of US Independence was initially sent through Oxfam sign off procedures. Here is the final draft, before Oxfam America handed it over to the 13 states for a final edit. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident evidence-based, although contested, that all men,

Impact investing: hype v substance, the importance of ownership and the role of aid

July 2, 2015
Oxfam’s Erinch Sahan tries to disentangle hype from substance and makes a pitch for a new approach to impact investing. Impact investment is the next black. It’s already worth about $46 billion, and rapidly growing. In 2010, when it was a mere $4 billion, JP Morgan predicted it would be between $400 billion to $1 trillion within a decade. Forbes

The C Word: How should the aid business think and act about Corruption?

July 1, 2015
Went to a seminar on corruption and development on Monday – notable in itself as corruption is something of a taboo topic in aid circles. Aid supporters often cite framing – George Lakoff’s ‘Don’t Think of an Elephant’ or Richard Nixon’s ‘I am not a crook’ (below)- as justification for avoiding the topic; even if you raise it to dismiss