What can Positive Deviance reveal about gender and social change?

October 15, 2018
Today is the UN International Day for Rural Women, so here are Patti Petesch, Shelley Feldman  and Lone Badstue to introduce some really interesting new research on what works. What can a Positive Deviance approach add to our understanding of gender equality in rural villages? To find out we analysed a sample of 79 villages in 17 countries and identified eight
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Public Pressure + League Tables: Oxfam’s campaign on food brands is moving on to supermarkets.

July 5, 2018
Tim Gore explains the evolving theory of change behind Oxfam’s new supermarkets campaign ‘First the brands, now the retailers.‘ That was the reaction of a senior staffer at Mars – one of the 10 biggest global food manufacturers targeted in our award-winning Behind the Brands campaign – to the Behind the Barcodes launch last month. Why did we choose supermarkets
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5 Lessons from Working with Businesses to Support Workers around the World

May 23, 2018
This piece appeared on ETI’s May ‘Leadership Series’ blog yesterday I was present at the birth of ETI 20 years ago. Recently installed at the Catholic aid agency, CAFOD, I was sent off to discuss an obscure initiative to set up a ‘Monitoring and Verification Working Group’ for companies trying to assess labour standards in their supply chains. I was impressed
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Mark Goldring on how to maximise the impact of business on poverty and injustice

May 1, 2018
Guest post from Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s Chief Executive  Last week I introduced an Oxfam event at which Paul Polman of Unilever and a number of proponents of social enterprises came together to explore what kind of new business models we need to help beat poverty for good. My starting point was that business has played a massive part in
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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
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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
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What’s so bad with Business as Usual on Livelihoods? Impressions from Eastern Congo

November 15, 2017
Our country director in DRC, Jose Barahona (right), sent round some interesting impressions from a recent visit to the Eastern Congo. South Kivu in Eastern Congo is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Africa and I am convinced that one day this area will be one of the world’s top tourist destinations. The day DRC is calm and stable, the
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It’s World Food Day today – why is global progress going into reverse?

October 16, 2017
Guest post from Larissa Pelham, who is a food security wonk with probably the longest job title in Oxfam (see end for its full glory) World Food Day has come around again and with it the annual report on the State of World Food Insecurity. In a year which declared a potential ‘four famines’  – with South Sudan tipping into famine
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What can we learn from 7 successes in making markets work for poor people?

September 1, 2017
Hi everyone, I’m back from an August blog break, with lots of great reading to report back on. First up, if you’re even slightly interested in how markets can benefit poor people, I urge you to read Shaping Inclusive Markets, a new publication from FSG and Rockefeller. The 60 page document explains their approach to ‘market systems innovation’, which we
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Research into Use: how can Climate Change Researchers have more Impact?

July 26, 2017
Following on the recent kerfuffle about ‘research impact’ (see original and follow up posts), I spent some time chatting to climate researchers in Cape Town about ‘research into use’ (RiU, basically the same thing). The researchers are part of ASSAR, a consortium (of which Oxfam is a member) working across Africa and India with a big focus (30% of its
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How will we know if the SDGs are having any impact?

June 8, 2017
As long time readers of the blog will know, I’ve been a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) sceptic since long before they were even agreed. However, I’ve been hearing a fair amount about them recently – people telling me that governments North and South, companies and city administrations are using them to frame public commitments and planning and reporting against them.
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Is Climate Change to blame for the East African Drought?

May 16, 2017
An honest attempt to engage with the evidence may seem almost quaint in these angry, post-truth times, but I was impressed by a recent Oxfam media briefing by Tracy Carty on the thorny topic of whether climate change is to blame for the current East African drought. It’s an excellent example of the balancing act advocacy organizations have to perform
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