Deconstructing gender identities and power structures

Daniel Morchain Climate Change, Gender Leave a Comment

Can working within existing structures lead to breakthroughs in gender equality? Daniel Morchain reflects on the contrast between points of view at the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings last month. The 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, organised by UN Women, was just getting underway. ‘Colonisation is a huge problem in Canada and we …

Soledad Carrasco Sanchez, Communications Officer at CHIRAPAQ, an Oxfam partner in Peru with Catherine Perras a member of Oxfam-Québec’s Youth Observatory, at UN headquarters. Credit: Soledad Carrasco

Raising the voices of indigenous youth at the UN

Soledad Carrasco Climate Change, Youth Leave a Comment

Soledad Carrasco reflects on her experience of attending the UN youth forum as a representative of the indigenous peoples of Peru. Youth are often accused of being indifferent to the political events unfolding in our society. But I saw no evidence of that at the Youth Forum of the United Nations which I attended recently in New York. The forum, organized …

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

Georgina Cundill Kemp Climate Change, Research Leave a Comment

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

Jessica Fullwood-Thomas Climate Change, General Leave a Comment

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

Martin Walsh Climate Change, Debating Drought, Food security, General Leave a Comment

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

Jessica Fullwood-Thomas Climate Change Leave a Comment

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?

Anna Warwick Climate Change, Disasters Leave a Comment

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

Dr Lisa Horrocks Climate Change Leave a Comment

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

Rosalind Cornforth Climate Change Leave a Comment

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?

Swenja Surminski Climate Change Leave a Comment

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 …