Social inclusion and concentration of wealth – what the World Bank gets right and what it misses.

October 29, 2013
This guest post comes from Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Oxfam Head of Research, (@rivefuentes) No one expects the World Bank to be a simple organization. The intellectual and policy battles that occur inside the Bank are the stuff of wonk legends – I still remember the clashes around the poverty World Development Report in 2000/2001. This is not a criticism. One of

The New Global Inequality Debate: “A Symbol of Our Struggle against Reality”?

October 17, 2013
Guest post from Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s Vice President for Policy and Campaigns  This blog will make more sense if you watch at least a few seconds of this Monty Python skit first.   Monty Python haunts me.  Too close to the bone if you work in a rights-based organization.   When I got into development work in the 1990’s, the UN

What’s the link between human rights and cooking, cleaning and caring and why does it matter?

October 7, 2013
Thalia Kidder, Oxfam’s Senior Adviser on Women’s Economic Rights, welcomes a new UN report that links unpaid care work, poverty, inequality and women’s rights People working on violations of human rights often find it a stretch to put housework, childcare and fetching water and fuelwood alongside evictions from ancestral lands, rape or unjustly emprisoning and torturing activists. Likewise, for those

Is Inequality All About the Tails? The Palma, the Gini and Post-2015

September 24, 2013
Alex Cobham and Andy Sumner bring us up to date on the techie-but-important debate over how to measure inequality It’s about six months since we triggered a good wonk-tastic discussion here on Duncan’s blog on how to measure inequality. We proposed a new indicator and called it ‘the Palma’ after Chilean economist Gabriel Palma, on whose work it was based.

Campaigning on Hot v Cold Issues – what’s the difference?

July 31, 2013
I recently began an interesting conversation with our new campaigns and policy czar, Ben Phillips, who then asked me to pick the FP2P collective brain-hive for further ideas. Here goes. The issue is ‘cold’ v ‘hot’ campaigning. Over the next couple of years, we will be doing a lot of campaigning on climate change and inequality. Inequality is flavour of

Why building ‘resilience’ matters, and needs to confront injustice and inequality

May 21, 2013
Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Policy Adviser (right), introduces ‘No Accident’, Oxfam’s new paper on resilience and inequality Asking 50 Oxfam staff what they think of resilience will get 50 different responses. These will range all the way from the Sceptics (“just the latest buzzword, keep your head down and it’ll go away”), to the Deniers (“really nothing to do with me”)

A crucial step in fighting inequality and discrimination: the law to make India’s private schools admit 25% marginalised kids

May 16, 2013
This guest post comes from Exfam colleague and education activist Swati Narayan  This summer, India missed the historic deadline to implement the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. This landmark law, the fruit of more than a decade of civil society activism, has many path-breaking clauses. For the first time, it bans schoolteachers from offering private

Make Inequality History? What would change if we focussed on inequality rather than poverty?

April 24, 2013
Last week I spoke at a Brussels conference on inequality, organized by the Belgian NGO coalition 11.11.11. Inequality is flavour of the month right now, showing surprising staying power within the post-2015 process and elsewhere. Inequality gabfests usually involve violent agreement that inequality is indeed a Bad Thing, lots of evidence for why this is the case, and polite disagreements

Merit, Privilege or Slumdog Millionaires? Income Inequality and Social Mobility

April 23, 2013
In memory of Sebastian Levine, who liked to read these posts. This post is written by Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Oxfam’s Head of Research (twitter @rivefuentes) In Danny Boyle’s movie Slumdog Millionaire, the young character wins a large pot of money against all odds. The movie is a fantasy tale for all practical purposes. The hero knows the responses posed to him in

Kevin Watkins on inequality – required reading

March 21, 2013
If you want an overview of the current debates on inequality, read Kevin Watkins’ magisterial Ryszard Kapuściński lecture. Kevin, who will shortly take over as the new head of the Overseas Development Institute, argues that ‘getting to zero’ on poverty means putting inequality at the heart of the development debate and the post2015 agreement (he doesn’t share my scepticism on