Syria: the world must unite

The human cost of Syria’s conflict has risen beyond all expectations. There are already more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. Inside Syria itself, 6.8 million people struggle in urgent need of assistance. As we publish a new briefing note on the crisis, Ed Cairns describes how, as the numbers grow, the money to help some of those …

The Upper Nile refugee crisis – a view from the ground

For its size, the humanitarian response to the Upper Nile State refugee crisis was one of the most expensive in the world,  but what did it look like on the ground? Away from the chaos of flooding and  mismanagement that plagued the humanitarian agencies working there, what has it been like for the refugees themselves? From her point of view …

Women and girls: the smart choice and the right choice

Oxfam’s Deputy International Director Sue Turrell reflects on the Secretary of State for Development’s Speech on women and girls. When Justine Greening was made Secretary of State for Development in the summer – a surprise to all and possibly most of all to her – it was anybody’s guess what her focus would be.  Unlike her predecessor Andrew Mitchell who …

Lessons learned from a year of advocacy impact evaluation

Evaluation gurus Kimberly Bowman and Claire Hutchings reflect on what Oxfam has learnt in our efforts to monitor the effectiveness of our advocacy campaigns. Those of you who regularly read this blog might already be aware of some of Oxfam’s efforts to “tackle the effectiveness challenge.”  Back in October, Jennie Richmond explained Oxfam’s efforts to address learning and accountability through Performance …

Aid: a musty relic of a bygone age, or a lifesaver needed today?

Ben Phillips gives a personal reflection on the struggle for aid justice and why the time is right to give aid the credit it deserves.   2013 is set to be an exciting year for Oxfam. Issues  we’ve long campaigned on, taxation and land, are finally on the agenda of a G8. And we’re part of a big coalition that …

Mali’s conflict refugees: time to step up our aid effort

Caroline Baudot, humanitarian policy advisor, describes her experiences working with Oxfam in camps in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger, hosting refugees fleeing Mali’s conflict. To many in Europe, the conflict in Mali and hostage crisis in Algeria seemed to come out of nowhere. I’ve been working in the countries around Mali for months. The events of recent weeks shocked me …

All stations to aid: Global Humanitarian Assistance’s new interactive guide

Senior policy adviser Ed Cairns casts his eye over the latest resource for making sense of humanitarian funding.  I’m quite a fan of the Global Humanitarian Assistance reports produced every year by the Development Initiatives think tank. They combine invaluable data on funding with thoughtful commentary on what is and is not changing in the humanitarian world.  So I was …

Oxfam Marks 60 years of working in India

Oxfam India’s CEO Nisha Agrawal is here in the UK this week to mark 60 years of Oxfam working in India, responding to emergencies and helping to pull millions of people out of poverty.    Oxfam first started working in India in response to the famine in Bihar in 1951. Today Oxfam works to help people find ways of making …

What’s the point of overseas aid? Max Lawson versus Stephen Davies of the IEA

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Public Policy and Advocacy, recently went head-to-head with Dr. Stephen Davies, Education Director, Institute of Economic Affairs on the benefit of overseas aid for the Speakers’ Corner Trust. Senior Policy Adviser, Claire Godfrey, took a ringside seat and summarises the debate here.   Oxfam’s Head of Public Policy and Advocacy Max Lawson and Dr. Stephen …

Crises in a new world order: challenging the humanitarian project

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on this kind of thing, introduces a big rethink of Oxfam’s humanitarian work. When it comes to humanitarian crises, Oxfam specialises in the appropriate acronym of ‘WASH’ (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Promotion ). In 2011, hundreds of Oxfam staff delivered water and sanitation and other relief to millions of people afflicted by drought, floods …