A man walks along an ever-eroding char (sand island) close to the town of Fulchuri Haat, Bangladesh. Credit: Tom Pietrasik/Oxfam

Novel partnerships in an era of global environmental change

Climate Change, Research 0 Comments

The sustainability research community needs to develop new alliances if they want to have real impact argues Georgina Cundill Kemp, Senior Program Officer at the International Development Research Centre in Canada. “He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak …

A practical tool for listening to the people that matter

Climate Change, General 0 Comments

Jessica Fullwood-Thomas introduces a new online tool by Oxfam, which can help practitioners to better listen to the viewpoints of the communities we’re working in.  TS Elliot famously said, ‘Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’ Increasingly we have ever greater quantities and sources of data, but do we …

Farmers at Ruti irrigation scheme, Gutu District, Masvingo Province (from left to right: Elastos Manyanga, Katinos Mudadi, Davison Chara, and Ipaishe Masvingise). Photo: Martin Walsh/Oxfam, December 2013

Love in the drylands, how irrigation is changing lives in Zimbabwe

Climate Change, Debating Drought, Food security, General 0 Comments

Climate change is placing increasing stress upon the livelihoods of people living in the world’s drylands. Smallholder irrigation can help improve food security in areas with unpredictable rainfall. Here Senior Researcher Martin Walsh discusses the findings from an evaluation of an Oxfam-supported irrigation scheme in Zimbabwe. Reports about irrigation schemes are typically quite dry compendia of facts and figures about intakes …

Credit: Adam Patterson/Oxfam

Embracing transformation in the face of climate change

Climate Change 0 Comments

Researchers and development practitioners need to think big in the face of irreversible climate change argues Jessica Fullwood-Thomas. There is no doubt that we are now past the tipping point for irreversible global climate change. The ever escalating disasters from Houston to Bangladesh and Sierra Leone to the Caribbean tell us that privilege and poverty continue to shape our relationship …

Daw Ah Nu lives in a flood affected area of Myanmar and has been involved in range of Oxfam activities to build resilience. Credit: Dustin Barter/Oxfam 2016

Disaster insurance: propaganda or the future of aid?

Climate Change, Disasters 0 Comments

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 …

Water supply system in Armenia.

Decision-making for an uncertain future

Climate Change 0 Comments

Lisa Horrocks, Principal Climate Resilience Consultant at Mott MacDonald, comments on some initiatives tackling the issue around long term climate change solutions.  Wherever we are in the world, economic development requires us to take decisions which either have short or very long lifetimes. Long lifetime decisions can be extremely costly and risky, especially with shifting baselines. This is the situation with …

Working with communities in Senegal to build resilience against climate change. Credit: Rosalind Cornforth

We need to flip science on its head

Climate Change 0 Comments

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 …

Damage cause by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. Credit: Fran Afonso/Oxfam Intermón

Climate insurance: closing the protection or the resilience gap?

Climate Change 0 Comments

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 …

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.

Transformational climate adaptation: beyond business-as-usual

Climate Change 0 Comments

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 …

Amina Hassen collecting water from a well dug by villagers in Harisso. They have been working for more than three hours to fill their leather bags (Kerid) with water. The holes are getting drier making it more difficult to get water from them. Often water collected this way is not suitable for drinking. Amina is seven months pregnant. Ethiopia. Credit: Abiy Getahun/Oxfam

Does knowledge matter in setting the development agenda?

Climate Change, Governance 0 Comments

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 …