What did I learn from 2 days of intense discussions on empowerment and accountability in messy places?

I wish I was one of those people who can sit zen-like through a two day academic conference, smiling and constructive throughout. Instead I fear I come across as slightly unhinged – fidgety; big mood swings as I get excited, irritated or bored in rapid succession. The most recent example of my failings was a…

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Why is Latin America Going Backwards?

Simon Ticehurst, Oxfam’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, (who is not nearly as scary as this mugshot suggests), delves into the background of some worrying times for Latin America Just a few years ago Latin America was being lauded as a success story, with stable economic growth, political stability and historical progress in…

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Why is Latin America Going Backwards?

Simon Ticehurst, Oxfam’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, (who is not nearly as scary as this mugshot suggests), delves into the background of some worrying times for Latin America Just a few years ago Latin America was being lauded as a success story, with stable economic growth, political stability and historical progress in…

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What I’ve learned about how the structures of businesses determine their social mission

Exfamer Erinch Sahan reflects on his first 100 days as boss of the World Fair Trade Organization 100 days ago. I left Oxfam to lead the World Fair Trade Organization. After seven years in Oxfam I had got hooked on one specific question: ‘are business structures that maximise power and returns for investors the only…

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What I’ve learned about how the structures of businesses determine their social mission

Exfamer Erinch Sahan reflects on his first 100 days as boss of the World Fair Trade Organization 100 days ago. I left Oxfam to lead the World Fair Trade Organization. After seven years in Oxfam I had got hooked on one specific question: ‘are business structures that maximise power and returns for investors the only…

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What can the Thinking and Working Politically community learn from peace and conflict mediation?

Alex Douglas from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue adds some useful insights for adaptive management/TWP from his vantage point in peace building Wily aid practitioners have long understood the importance of adapting their programs to the political environment, and even use their activities to push politics in a progressive direction.  But this magic was spun…

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What can the Thinking and Working Politically community learn from peace and conflict mediation?

Alex Douglas from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue adds some useful insights for adaptive management/TWP from his vantage point in peace building Wily aid practitioners have long understood the importance of adapting their programs to the political environment, and even use their activities to push politics in a progressive direction.  But this magic was spun…

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Links I Liked

I’m topping and tailing today’s post with the African origins of France’s World Cup winning football team. Ht Winnie  Byanyima for this infographic This is an enchanting and uplifting 45 secs. Anyone know which country these kids are in? Special props to the ‘little hype man’. New ”Practical Guide to Measuring Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment…

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Some whacky ideas for a future Oxfam – draft paper for your comments

Milton Friedman once said “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible…

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Escaping the Fragility Trap? Why is it so hard to think constructively about fragile states?

Just been reading the report of the ‘Commission on Fragility, Growth and Development’. Hosted by LSE and Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government; big name chairs (David Cameron, Donald Kaberuka and the LSE’s Adnan Khan). And I think it’s a bit disappointing. But the reasons for that are actually quite interesting and instructive. First the positives.…

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