A no ‘tick-box’ approach to gender and resilience

Caroline Ashley Food & livelihoods, Gender, Women's Economic Empowerment

A key question for Oxfam and the development sector is how to address the different challenges faced by people living in poverty in a holistic fashion. However, our partners are often already successfully addressing multiple issues at once as Caroline Ashley saw in Bangladesh. I’ve seen gender treated as a ‘tick-box’ exercise – yes women participated. The same goes for …

Disaster insurance: propaganda or the future of aid?

Anna Warwick Climate Change, Disasters

Could disaster insurance be the future of aid? Anna Warwick summarises the debate on the role of insurance to build resilience in disaster prone areas. From one of the sessions which took place at the Oxfam hosted Resilient Solutions symposium. Theresa May recently stated that disaster insurance programmes were the ‘future of aid.’ After seeing the panel on Weather Insurance …

Does resilience thinking help or hinder urban development?

Richard Friend General, New Urbanism

As climate and weather-related risks increase in urban areas, resilience discourses and ideas have gained traction in urban development policy. Arabella Fraser, Research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute and Richard Friend, Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of York, explore the complexities of urban development and resilience. Is resilience thinking a help or a hindrance? And how can …

We need to flip science on its head

Rosalind Cornforth Climate Change

In her opening speech at the Resilient Solutions symposium Professor Rosalind Cornforth, Director of the Walker Institute, challenged the development community to make science fit for purpose by taking it out of the laboratory and into the field. Here is a summary of the speech. As a third year doctorate student in African meteorology I travelled to Senegal for my …

Climate insurance: closing the protection or the resilience gap?

Swenja Surminski Climate Change

Does climate insurance work as a catalyst for climate risk management and sustainable development? Or is insurance deflecting attention from other disaster risk management solutions? Swenja Surminski, Senior Research Fellow at the London School for Economics, argues there is no simple answer. Risks are rising and there is low usage of insurance The devastating impacts of natural disasters are seen …

Transformational climate adaptation: beyond business-as-usual

Nick Brooks Climate Change

People around the world are faced with the challenge of adapting to changing climatic conditions, but what happens when small changes are not enough or are not even possible? Nick Brooks, Director of Garama 3C Ltd makes the case for transformational adaptation. Most of today’s adaptation interventions involve incremental approaches intended to protect and sustain existing systems and practices, rather …

Does knowledge matter in setting the development agenda?

Daniel Morchain Climate Change, Governance

Are marginalised people being overlooked in decision making processes around development and adaptation? Daniel Morchain reflects on the relationship between knowledge and power to influence outcomes. The more I think about development challenges, and the more I see and hear people talking about them, the more I think they come down to a struggle between knowledge and power. Knowledge in the …

What can resilience do for us?

Helen Jeans Climate Change, General

How can we use resilience to do development and humanitarian work differently and in ways that truly make societies work for and with people living in poverty? Helen Jeans, Oxfam’s Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation Adviser, explains why Oxfam is hosting a symposium on resilience and invites you to join the event in Oxford from 27-28 June 2017. There is …

Drought and water scarcity

Niko Wanders Climate Change, Drought

Sally Rangecroft, from the University of Birmingham University, and Niko Wanders, from Princeton and Utrecht University, explore the interconnected relationship between drought and water scarcity. Droughts have been very much in the news recently, notably the lengthy drought in California and the impacts of El Niño on Southern Africa and the Horn and Eastern Africa. An extended drought is currently …

A harvest of dysfunction: Causes and impacts of drought in South Africa

John Magrath Climate Change, Drought, General, Natural Resources, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

John Magrath introduces the report, A Harvest of Dysfunction: rethinking the approach to drought, its causes and impacts in South Africa. “Interventions to assist poor people affected by drought must start with how drought itself is defined and understood” – so says Sipho Mthathi, Executive Director of Oxfam South Africa  in her introduction to a new report that challenges the …