Food distribution queues at Shafiullah Ghata Camp, Bangladesh, October 2017. Credit: Kamila Stepien / Oxfam

To use or not to use biometrics? Help us answer the question

Aid, Humanitarian, ICT4D 1 Comment

Biometric technologies such as iris scanning, fingerprint or facial recognition, have opened up exciting new possibilities for humanitarian aid delivery, but the potential risks are high. That’s why Oxfam is looking for a consultant to conduct research into the safe use of biometrics in humanitarian response: is this an area you are working in? Imagine if you had lost everything …

A twin mandate for DFID – what does this mean?

Aid, Inequality 0 Comments

Oxfam’s policy team present their vision for the UK’s aid programme to tackle both poverty and inequality. The Shadow Secretary of State for International Development used her first major speech to announce that any future Labour government would instate a dual poverty/inequality mandate for the Department for International Development (DFID). Oxfam has long warned of the risks of growing extreme …

Podcast: Key requirements for INGOs to make true on the ‘Localisation of Aid’ agenda

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Aid, Humanitarian 0 Comments

Many INGOs have made commitments to support reform in the Humanitarian System, specifically to ensure that local and national humanitarian actors can take a more prominent role in coordinating and implementing emergency responses. What are the challenges INGOs like Oxfam face in realising this ‘Localisation of Aid’ agenda? We spoke to the Oxfam in Iraq team for their views and …

By Patrick Gruban, cropped and downsampled by Pine - originally posted to Flickr as UN General Assembly, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Theresa May at the UNGA: standing up for internationalism?

Aid, General 0 Comments

Ed Cairns, Senior Policy Advisor at Oxfam GB, gives his reaction to the British Prime Minister’s speech at the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting. It’s been an interesting couple of days at the UN. While Donald Trump wrapped himself in the language of sovereignty, aggressively appropriating national interest for his ends, the next day Theresa May wrapped herself in …

Jane Muthoni, 50, buying ingredients to make homemade yoghurt which she sells to the local community in Kawangware, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016. Credit: Allan Gichigi/Oxfam

New standards for humanitarian programmes and markets

Cash transfers, General, Humanitarian 0 Comments

The new Minimum Economic Recovery Standards will support quality market-based programming, and effective working between humanitarian and development practitioners explains Jonathan Parkinson, Oxfam’s Senior WASH Programme Development Adviser. During and after emergencies, both in acute and protracted or reoccurring crises, there is a strong argument for helping affected communities by working with existing market supply chains to provide essential goods …

Bringing a market-based approach to humanitarian response design

Cash transfers, Humanitarian, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 0 Comments

Oxfam has been working with the BEAM Exchange to find out how market-based programming can be applied to WASH based programmes. Katie Whitehouse shares how it works. There is a movement catalysing within the humanitarian community calling for increased consideration of local market systems when preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. The movement is towards market-based programming. The …

Filling water cans as part of Oxfam's drought response in Somaliland. Credit: Oxfam. Cash transfers

Smarter aid: Why digital cash transfers are the future

Cash transfers, Food & livelihoods, General, Humanitarian, ICT4D 0 Comments

With mobile internet now widely available across East Africa the arguments for aid through electronic cash transfers are overwhelming. Nigel Tricks, Oxfam’s Horn East and Central Africa Regional Director reflects on a recent visit to drought affected Somaliland. Two weeks ago, I visited Oxfam’s drought response in eastern Somaliland. We drove across a stark landscape; what should be a pastoralist …

A meeting at the OECD Conference Center in Paris. Credit: OECD/Andrew Wheeler

Can official development assistance be reformed to help the poorest countries?

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The rules defining official development assistance, a key poverty reduction tool, are currently being revised by the OECD. But if governments and citizens from the South are not consulted more, this reform is likely to be in their detriment. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is currently revising the rules defining what can be counted as official development …

Scrabble letters spelling Brexit

Brexit and trade: An opportunity to do better

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Pooja Mall explores how Brexit can have a positive impact on trade policy and why it’s important to development.  Over a decade ago, Oxfam’s ‘Make Trade Fair’ campaign made the argument that many people in developing countries have been made worse off because the rules are rigged against them. It centred on eliminating the practice of dumping highly subsidised developed-country …