Editor’s choice 2015

Catherine Meredith Uncategorised

It’s been a busy year for Oxfam, and this is reflected in the sheer quantity, quality and diversity of topics covered on the Policy & Practice blog. Here are some of our favourite posts for each month of 2015 with tips on everything from working with civil society to corporations, and inspiration from aid work, to campaigns and research.


14 ways to better promote active citizenship

Power to the people? Duncan Green looks at how NGOs can support communities in developing countries to influence authorities and claim their rights. Key factors include finding local partners who have clout and a solid foundation, recognising that it takes time, and working with faith groups.


Partnering with big business: 4 key lessons

What did Oxfam learn from five years of partnering with Unilever to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers? Looking back at a collaboration on onions in Azerbaijan, and studies of tea, tomato and soybean supply chains, Juni Sul shares tips for businesses and NGOs seeking to work together.


Raising women’s voices in the DRC: challenges and revelations

From researcher debates about the roles of men and women in the washing of underwear, to the heartbreaking experience of listening to women who have fled their homes, experienced armed violence, rape, domestic abuse, and lack of decision making power about their own lives, Marijke Deleu describes the experience of conducting a gender-sensitive protection survey in the DRC.


I Care About Her: what I’ve learnt about messaging in women’s rights campaigning

Oxfam Zambia’s ‘I Care About Her’ campaign reached out to hundreds of thousands of Zambian men to challenge violence against women and led 2,500 men to march for the campaign by calling on their concern for their mothers, wives and daughters. Laurie Adams explains how it happened and looks at some of the challenges to the campaign’s effectiveness.


Reaching the unreachable through SMS health messages in Somalia

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal childhood disease which is close to being eradicated globally. When a fresh outbreak of the disease occurred in Somalia in 2013 urgent action was needed. Amy O’Donnell explains how Oxfam used mobile phones to raise awareness of the disease and help communities to protect themselves.


Soul-searching on World Refugee Day 

There are more refugees in the world today than at any time since the Second World War. Maya Mailer looks at the global humanitarian situation and challenges wealthy countries to act. Providing critical aid to refugee and host populations does not absolve them from a duty to offer safe and legal routes to asylum.


Building support for development: 10 years after Make Poverty History

UK public concern for issues of global poverty has dropped dramatically. Alice Delemare shares new research findings and argues that demonstrating progress rather than playing on pity is key. NGOs can build support by telling positive stories which focus on building independence, and which emphasise shared values and partnership.


Postcards from the field – for World Humanitarian Day

Wish you were here? Oxfam emergency responders in Sierra Leone, Nepal and Yemen send in their snapshots and describe the challenges and successes they are facing in their efforts to bring improved water, sanitation and hygiene awareness to communities.


An unequal union: startling new research into European inequality

The European Union is home to more billionaires than ever before, while at the same time the proportion of people at risk of poverty is on the increase. Deborah Hardoon looks at what the Gini coefficient reveals alongside measures of gender inequality and political transparency.


The best job in the world: aid worker reflections

‘It’s the best job in the world because I get to go out to some of the world’s most acute emergencies to help some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.’ Tariq Riebl describes his life as an aid worker, the rewards of working where help is most needed, as well as the frustrations.


From faeces to fuel: innovation in sanitation

2.5 billion people around the world do not have access to decent sanitation. Brian McSorley, describes some of the innovative ways in which Oxfam is working with others to tackle this problem, providing toilets in slums and refugee camps, and even working with a social enterprise that turns human waste into cooking fuel.


Oxfam’s humanitarian year 2015

2015 saw vast new challenges arise and old ones persist. War and conflict continued to hit Yemen, Syria and South Sudan hard, and another refugee crisis began in Burundi. Meanwhile, a particularly strong El Niño effect took hold, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, and floods caused destruction across Asia. Tim Bierley looks back at the highs and lows of Oxfam’s humanitarian year.

Jan 2016

Watch this space…

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Author: Catherine Meredith
Archive blog. Originally posted on Oxfam Policy & Practice.