Video: Celebrating three years of Behind the Brands

In February 2013, Oxfam launched ‘Behind the Brands’, a global campaign which aims to provide people with the information they need to hold the Big 10 food and beverage companies to account for what happens in their supply chains. In putting together a scorecard based entirely on publicly available information on company policies, Oxfam posed the question “what are they …

Video: How I stopped the Taliban from shutting down my school

“When the Taliban closed all the girls’ schools in Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi set up new schools, in secret, educating thousands of women and men. In this fierce, funny talk, she tells the jaw-dropping story of two times when she was threatened to stop teaching — and shares her vision for rebuilding her beloved country.” Share this Post

Advocating for Gulf Coast Restoration in the Wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Oxfam America’s domestic programme was already active in the Gulf Coast states when the 2010 BP oil spill occurred. Building on its community links, backed by clever use of national advocacy, the programme was able to take advantage of a ‘shock as opportunity’, helping ensure that the subsequent wave of compensation and other support benefited local people and communities – …

Somali state agencies and local organisations’ capacities to manage humanitarian action

In Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia, the International Community is mixing its political interests with its humanitarian agenda. Insecurity severely hampers access in many parts, making it difficult to implement and monitor humanitarian responses. International humanitarian actors need to revisit their strategies and invest more in working with local agencies to deliver aid. Local humanitarian actors need to take …

Grassroots women’s leadership and ‘Deepening Democracy’: the Huairou Commission’s Local to Local Dialogue replication

Grassroots women’s leadership is important if democracy is to be ‘deepened’ – that is, if representative democracies are to formally include citizen participation in more ways than simply voting in elections. One approach to deepening democracy is to encourage and support spaces – both literal and metaphorical – that enable grassroots women to organise as leaders and engage with local …

Strengthening local humanitarian leadership to save lives and strengthen communities

Tens of millions of people receive vital humanitarian aid every year, but millions more suffer without adequate help and protection, and their number is relentlessly rising. Far too often their suffering is because their governments cannot, or intentionally will not, ensure their citizens’ access to aid and protection. This paper looks at how we can improve the humanitarian system and …

Saving lives and livelihoods by strengthening local capacity and shifting leadership to local actors

The global humanitarian system is overstretched; inadequately investing in risk reduction and prevention, and providing assistance that is often insufficient, inappropriate and late. Humanitarian action led by governments in crisis-affected countries, assisted and held accountable by civil society, is usually faster and more appropriate, saving more lives and alleviating the suffering of many more men, women and children. Yet, during …

Food justice and the ‘Big 10’ food and beverage companies

Over the past century, powerful food and beverage companies have enjoyed unprecedented commercial success. But these companies have grown prosperous while the millions who supply the land, labor and water needed for their products face increased hardship. Now, a rapidly changing environment, affected communities and an increasingly savvy consumer base are pushing the industry to rethink ‘business as usual’. In …

Food and beverage companies slowly start turning policy into practice

Oxfam launched its award-winning international ‘Behind the Brands’ campaign in February 2013. It ranks the biggest international food and beverage companies, the ‘Big 10’, on the strength of their policies on transparency, women, agricultural workers, farmers, land, water and climate change. The aim of the campaign is to create a race to the top, encouraging the Big 10 (Associated British …

A case study of Unilever in Indonesia

The role of big business in poverty reduction cannot be overemphasized. This study looks at one of the corporate giants in Indonesia, Unilever, and examines its business activities for their impacts on the poor who along the line link with these activities either directly or indirectly. The study suggests the extent to which the wealth created by business can reduce …