Compliance for INGO partners is riddled with colonial attitudes: here’s how that can change…

Dominic Vickers Governance, Innovation, Power Shifts

As international NGOs, we need to stop assuming partners are risky, respect local standards, accept we should prove ourselves as much as partners do, and slash the form-filling, says Oxfam compliance advisor Dominic Vickers. In fact, how about encouraging partners to apply for funds by video?

INGOs must share data and power with local partners – but that doesn’t mean dumping privacy risks onto them

Lori Roussey Governance, Power Shifts

In the future, more smaller, local aid organisations will be involved in collecting data – but their international partners must not forget they still have important ethical and legal duties when it comes to privacy, says Lori Roussey

The messy realities of governance in conflict-affected areas: six dilemmas for development practice

Katrina Barnes Conflict, Governance, Research

Development projects too often assume there is a simple structure of local governance. But innovative research based on people in Mozambique, Myanmar, and Pakistan writing diaries reveals how in fact their lives are governed by many competing informal and formal actors. Katrina Barnes of Oxfam and Colin Anderson of the Institute of Development Studies on key dilemmas this complexity raises for practitioners

I am not from Gaza

Laila Barhoum Governance, Influencing, Land rights

As part of our Influencing Series we will soon be sharing a number of blogs on the power of narratives and stories. Here we share a first hand experience from Laila Barhoum (Oxfam’s Policy Officer in Gaza), who asks ‘who’s telling our story?’ Laila Barhoum’s job is to advocate on humanitarian issues with and on behalf of the women, men …

Law as a tool to empower and achieve change

Laura Gyte Active citizenship, Climate Change, Governance, Influencing, Protection, Rights, Tax

Noélie Coudurier, Sreetama Gupta Bhaya and Laura Gyte share a wealth of examples demonstrating how law can help drive positive change. As campaigners, we can feel ambivalent about law. As a product of society, it’s often structured to protect the privileged. Even the most progressive constitutions in the world, forged in times of political transformation and hope, are not yet …

Standing up for women’s rights and local leadership in Uganda

Elizabeth Stevens Gender, Governance, Humanitarian, Participation and Leadership, Refugees and IDPs, Violence Against Women and Girls

Elizabeth Stevens describes how a small, local NGO has had an outsized impact on Uganda’s refugee response. Heart, guts, big ideas, and an investor. If you are launching a tiny women’s organization into the rough-and-tumble world of humanitarian response, you had better have all four. That’s what I concluded from my time with African Women and Youth Action for Development …

Trust and democratic change – reflections from Myanmar

Araddhya Mehtta General, Governance, Influencing

What lessons can be learnt from a governance programme in Ayeyarwady, Myanmar? Araddhya Mehta reflects on the complexity of building trust in a changing political context. Building trust – vertically between citizens, civil society organizations (CSOs) and local government institutions, and horizontally between citizens and within and across social groups – is at the heart of democratic change, including effective …

Working together to protect, expand and reshape civic space

Inga Ferber Active citizenship, General, Governance, Influencing

Civic space is vital to defeating poverty. Inga Ferber introduces a new briefing on the importance of protecting and expanding spaces where people can raise their voices and be heard without fear. Poverty reduction – an increasingly dangerous endeavour Defeating poverty has never been easy. Nobody knows that better than our local partners and allies around the world who dedicate their …

What’s the role of Oxfam in supporting social movements for change?

Thomas Dunmore Rodriguez Governance, Influencing, Land rights

Social movements are important actors for change around the world, yet often they don’t neatly fit into our strategies and theories of change. Thomas Dunmore Rodriguez reflects on how INGOs like Oxfam should engage with social movements. Social movements are important actors for change around the world. Whether it´s a struggle against violence and impunity, for a more democratic regime, …