What can Islam teach secular NGOs about conflict resolution? (and human development, climate change, gender rights…..)

July 22, 2014
Lucy Moore, a policy adviser at Islamic Relief Worldwide came to talk to Oxfam staff last week. We used the ‘in conversation’ format, along the lines of my recent chat with Jamie Love, which seems to work better than the standard powerpoint + Q&A. Islamic Relief has some really interesting publications on Islamic approaches to human development, gender and development,

How can aid agencies help citizens reduce risks and fight for their rights in the middle of a war zone? Draft paper for your comments

May 13, 2014
Over the next few weeks, I will be picking your brains on the drafts of a series of case studies I’ve been working on. These draw from Oxfam’s experience of promoting ‘active citizenship’, broadly defined, and examine the theory of change, results, wider lessons etc. The final studies will be published later this year, after incorporating feedback. After the fantastic

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

What does a 'rights-based approach' look like in practice? A new Oxfam guide

December 10, 2012

How can aid agencies promote local governance and accountability? Lessons from five countries.

May 31, 2012

What outsiders can (and can’t) do about Syria

March 2, 2012

Book Review: Small Acts of Resistance

October 27, 2010
Writing a blog is a mixed blessing when it comes to freebies. You get sent some real turkeys in the shape of papers and books to review. But every now and then an unexpected treat drops into your pigeon hole. One such is ‘Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity and Ingenuity Can Change the World’, by Steve Crawshaw and

Population: why it’s a dangerous distraction on climate change (and makes us feel uncomfortable)

December 11, 2009
Trust the military to give it to me straight. Population comes up at virtually every talk I give – on climate change, development or just about anything else. But usually my questioners are a bit more circumspect than the man from the armed forces who recently asked what could be done about ‘women popping them out’ in poor countries. People

Can the law advance education and healthcare in poor countries?

November 3, 2009
I recently spent two weeks doing jury service in an inner London court – a grim experience of leaking municipal toilets, undrinkable coffee, frequently incompetent barristers and Dickensian judges, overseeing a squalid litany of petty crime. In between the alleged threats and beatings, I read Courting Social Justice, a new book on the use of the courts to enforce social

Climate Wrongs, Human Rights and Female Condoms

December 25, 2008

Reasons to be Cheerful: progress on international justice, arms control, economic and social rights and democracy in Africa

December 17, 2008