Featured image for “New Version of the free online ‘Make Change Happen’ course launched this week – check it out”

New Version of the free online ‘Make Change Happen’ course launched this week – check it out

October 3, 2023
One of the more enjoyable things I’ve been involved in at Oxfam in recent years is the Make Change Happen MOOC (Massive Open Online Course – where have you been?). A new version is launching this week – if you haven’t already done it, let me try and persuade you to sign up/promote it to your networks.  When joining the
Featured image for “What are Oxfam’s top tips for effective campaigning? Interview with one of its gurus.”

What are Oxfam’s top tips for effective campaigning? Interview with one of its gurus.

October 6, 2020
Richard English, Oxfam’s in-house wizard on all things to do with campaigning, on its new Influencing for Impact Guide. Do please listen to the full 25m conversation if you can, but here are some extracts. Duncan: In your 25 years campaigning at Oxfam, what have been the high points? Examples where Oxfam really got it right? Richard: One or two
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How to have Difficult Conversations

May 10, 2019
This piece on Open Democracy by my old friend Marcela Lopez Levy has stayed with me since it was posted a week ago, so thought I would repost it. Campaigners aren’t known for being contemplative. By definition they are trying to change something beyond themselves, and the stereotype of an outgoing extrovert with a megaphone exists because in part, it’s true.

Trying to do something about climate inequality in Sweden

April 25, 2019
Guest post from Robert Höglund, Head of communications for Oxfam Sweden and coordinator for the network The Climate Goal Initiative. One of the aspects of inequality that always struck me as especially bizarre is the double inequality around climate change. The richest 10 percent of the world who is most to blame for climate change emit around half of all

How can Activists get better at harnessing Narratives for social change?

November 29, 2018
Working in a global organization like Oxfam means spending a lot of time on conference calls, with colleagues scattered across the globe. They can be frustrating – dodgy connections, people fading in and out, speaking too fast, or forgetting to put their phones on mute (especially if they are nipping in to the restroom – yes it happens….). People concerned

What can we learn from campaigns run by the world’s children and young people?

November 14, 2018
Save the Children’s Patrick Watt reports back from some INGO soul searching on ‘Engaging a New Generation’ There’s nothing new about children and youth being involved in movements for change, from the anti-apartheid cause in South Africa, to the earlier and more hopeful chapters of the Arab Spring. But what feels different now is that young people are increasingly creating

Make Change Happen: a new online Oxfam course for activists. Please check it out.

August 17, 2018
MOOCs, for those of you who still don’t recognize the acronym (tsk), are Massive Open Online Courses. Oxfam’s getting into the MOOC business with ‘Make Change Happen’ – a training course for activists. You can register any time, and the course starts 15th October. I’ve contributed my usual spiel on power and systems, and will be one of the talking

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

Book Review: How to be a Craftivist: the art of Gentle Protest, by Sarah Corbett

June 27, 2018
I spent an idyllic bank holiday recently in a hammock reading How to be a Craftivist: the art of gentle protest. Seemed fitting somehow, as the book is all about ‘slow activism’. Corbett, an award-winning campaigner and lifelong activist whose leftie parents dragged her along on demos from the age of 3, starts with a question: ‘If we want our

How can researchers and activists influence African governments? Advice from an insider

March 15, 2018
One of the highlights of the Twaweza meeting was hearing from Togolani Mavura (left), the Private Secretary to former President Kikwete (in Tanzania, ex-presidents get a staff for life, not like in the UK where they have to hawk themselves round the after dinner speaking circuit). Togolani has worked across the  various policy levels  of the Tanzanian goverment, and his talk

Campaigning around Elections: Some smart South-South learning

January 16, 2018
Just before Christmas I eavesdropped on a fascinating conversation between Oxfam’s teams in Peru and South Africa (all nationals, not a white man in shorts to be seen). The topic was election campaigning, with Oxfam South Africa currently designing its strategy for the 2019 elections in a state of extreme uncertainty about the state of SA politics (when we spoke,

Kevin Watkins on the power of stigma and shame as a driver of change

November 23, 2017
Kevin Watkins, a fellow Prof in Practice at the LSE, came along to talk to my students last week (review by Masters student Haisley Wert here). Kevin is a bit of a research and campaigning legend in the aid biz – the brains behind a lot of epic Oxfam campaigns on trade and debt in the early noughties, he went