See you in 2018 people, and please wish me luck in Tromso

December 21, 2017
Got a bunch of things to get finished before Christmas, and judging from the falling number of blog readers (thanks, Google Analytics), so has everyone else. So for everyone’s sake, I’m calling a blog break til the New Year. After Christmas I’ll be heading off to the top of Norway to try and see the Northern Lights. If there are

Why is Support for Women’s Rights Rising Fastest in the World’s Cities?

December 20, 2017
Guest post by Alice Evans Support for gender equality is rising, globally. People increasingly champion girls’ education, women’s employment, and leadership. Scholars have suggested several explanations for this trend: (a) the growing availability of contraceptives (enabling women to delay motherhood and marriage); (b) domestic appliances (reducing the volume of care work); (c) cuts in men’s wages and the rising opportunity

What can other cities learn from Mexico City’s bike-sharing scheme?

December 19, 2017
Some smart thinking from one of my LSE students from last year, Naima von Ritter Figueres. Originally published on the LSE International Development blog Most cities over the past few decades have been shaped by the car. Heavy traffic, air pollution, safety hazards, and losses in public space, social cohesion and economic competitiveness are all associated with the ever-increasing unsustainable dependence on

What did I learn in Myanmar about what Adaptive Programming actually looks like?

December 15, 2017
I’m still processing a fascinating week in Myanmar. No I wasn’t in Rakhine, in case you’re wondering (separate post on that may follow). Instead, along with aid programming guru Angela Christie, I was exploring what ‘adaptive management’ looks like on the ground, and how it compares to all the fine-sounding stuff repeated endlessly in aid seminars around the world. The

I want to convince you about the importance of universal healthcare – should I talk about numbers or people’s lives?

December 14, 2017
Tuesday was Universal Health Coverage Day. Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s Public Services Policy Manager reflects on the global campaign for decent healthcare If you operate outside of the global health bubble, you could be forgiven for not noticing that the 12th December was Universal Health Coverage day. A day that marks the anniversary of a 2012 UN commitment to ensure that

How to stop men asking all the questions in seminars – it’s really easy!

December 13, 2017
I spotted a short item on gender bias in academia in the Economist this week and tweeted it, which then went viral. The tweet read: ‘In academic seminars, ‘Men are > 2.5 times more likely to pose questions to the speakers. This male skew was observable only in those seminars in which a man asked first question. When a woman

How are INGOs Doing Development Differently? 5 of them have just taken a look.

December 13, 2017
Hats off to World Vision for pulling together some analysis on where large international NGOs (INGOs) have got to on ‘Doing Development Differently’ (see the 2014 manifesto if you’re not up to speed on DDD). Up to now, NGOs have been rather quiet in a discussion dominated by government aid agencies, academics and thinktanks. World Vision asked Dave Algoso to

After 6 years and 100+ impact evaluations: what have we learned?

December 12, 2017
Longer projects don’t generate better results; women’s economic empowerment doesn’t seem to shift power imbalances in the home. Just two intriguing findings from new ‘metanalyses’ of Oxfam’s work on the ground. Head of Programme Quality, impact evaluation champion and all-round ubergeek Claire Hutchings explains. On this blog in 2011 we first shared our approach to ‘demonstrating effectiveness without bankrupting our

Why the disconnect between Aid and Buddhism in Myanmar?

December 8, 2017
Back from Myanmar today, and still processing an intense week of conversations. Here’s a first instalment. A week in, I was struck by the gulf between the aid bubble and the deep religiosity of people throughout the country. So I dashed off this vlog on a weekend visit to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, in the heart of Yangon. In it

How Data Analytics can Unlock the Knowledge in Development Organisations

December 6, 2017
Guest blog by Itai Mutemeri (@tyclimateguy) is Head of Analytics at London based Senca Research In September 2017, I headed up to the Oxfam head office in Oxford to present our research paper: Big Data Opportunities for Oxfam – Text Analytics. Like all good research titles, it’s a mouthful.  The paper explored the potential application of text analytics in response

Vote now for the best/worst charity ads of 2017

December 5, 2017
Every year, the ‘rusty radiator’ site runs a poll on the year’s best/worst aid agency ads. Let’s start with the good ones. My favourite has to be War Child’s batman video – very moving The others are a smart Save the Children US take on children and Christmas gifts, a very knowing Below the Line film on aid stereotypes and a human

Looking at Adaptive Management in Myanmar – a quick video

December 1, 2017
I’m in Myanmar for a few days, taking a look at Pyoe Pin, a fascinating project often held up as a good example of Adaptive Management. Blogs to follow, but here’s a video preview