Local governance and resilience – what lasts after the project ends?

January 24, 2017
Jane Lonsdale reflects on the lessons from an ‘effectiveness review’ of a Myanmar project 18 months after it ended. For the nerds among you, an accompanying post on the nuts and bolts of the effectiveness review has just gone up on the ‘real geek’ blog We have just finished a review of Oxfam’s work in Myanmar’s central Dry Zone. This

Tikamgarh revisited, what’s happened to the amazing fishing communities I visited in 2006?

April 27, 2016
Just got back from a great week in India, including my first attempt at a phone vlog (above). One of the drawbacks of being a generalist is that you go somewhere, hear riveting stories of organization, resistance (and sometimes of course, of failure), but then never find out what happened next. But last week I managed to return to one of

How on earth can you measure resilience? A wonk Q&A

December 15, 2015
Resilience is one of today’s omnipresent development fuzzwords, applied to individuals, communities, businesses, countries, ideas and just about everything else. But how can it best be measured? To plug their new paper on the topic, Oxfam’s measurement wonks Jonathan Lain (left) and Rob Fuller (right) argue with their imaginary non-wonk friend…… So they’ve let the beancounters loose on resilience now.

Another good idea from ODI – regular ‘scans’ of hot topics like resilience

July 31, 2015
The aid and development business is full of tribes – separate ‘epistemic communities’ with their own jargon, shorthands and assumptions, which helps to hermetically isolate them from all the other communities. I try and surf across a few of them, but it’s hard – half the time I have only the vaguest idea what resilience, humanitarian, conflict or livelihoods people

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”)

What do we know about the impact of savings groups on poor African women?

May 15, 2013
Savings for Change (SfC) is one of Oxfam America’s flagship programmes, reaching 680,000 members, mostly women, in 13 countries. Here Sophie Romana, Oxfam America’s Deputy Director of Community Finance, reports on some findings from an innovative qualitative and quantitative survey of the groups in Mali, published today (click through to summary or full report). How do you save money and borrow

Big Decisions today on Food Crisis in the Sahel: here’s the background

June 18, 2012

GROW: Oxfam’s new Global Campaign

June 1, 2011

How do you help people cope with shocks? A liquid brainstorm with Robert Chambers

March 15, 2010
At an IDS seminar last week, part of its excellent Crisis Watch initiative, Steve Wiggins from ODI argued that his research on the food price crisis shows that during an actual shock, state initiatives are much less important to poor people than their own social coping mechanisms as individuals, communities or through local institutions like churches. These mechanisms include borrowing money,

Can you comment on Oxfam’s analysis of the global economic crisis?

January 27, 2010
Since early 2009, Oxfam has been researching the impact of the global economic crisis on poverty and poor communities, and the way governments and others have responded. With co-authors Richard King and May Miller Dawkins, I’ve now pulled together focus group discussions and in depth interviews with 2,500 people, 11 country case studies and regional overviews into a draft research

What have we learned from the Global Economic Crisis?

November 12, 2009
Last week we (Oxfam International) met to discuss a series of studies on the impact of, and response to, the global economic crisis (GEC). Partly because the discussion took place in Bangkok, the research (and therefore this summary) was very weighted towards East Asia and the Pacific, but here are some initial impressions. From studies in 11 countries, if one