Turning waste into work in Za’atari refugee camp

As Za’atari refugee camp continues to hosts a large amount of Syrian refugees, new recycling initiatives are offering opportunities for work. Soman Moodley and Alixandra Buck, introduce a new case study on the ‘cash for work’ initiative.  Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan is home to nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees. With no immediate prospect of returning home and limited opportunities to …

How recycling helped me regain my purpose

As a Syrian refugee living in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, Jasem Al-Wrewir’s opportunities to work are very limited. However, Jasem is using his skills and expertise, developed over a 15 year career in waste management, to improve camp conditions for refugees and minimize environmental impact. Here he reflects on the opportunities and limitations of cash-for-work programmes, as well as …

Vlog: Have you ever had a poo in the dark?

Oxfam’s Protection Project Manager, Kerry Akers, vlogs about research into the use of lighting around latrines in emergencies. Partnered with the Water Engineering and Development Centre at Loughborough University to undertake research, with the support of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, the research aims to establish how best to decrease the perceived risk of GBV around WASH facilities.

Protection of women and girls: a bright idea

How can humanitarians help to protect women and girls from sexual violence in conflict situations? First we must ensure that our interventions don’t inadvertently place them in greater danger. For World Humanitarian Day, Kerry Akers explains why Oxfam is conducting research into the use of lighting around latrines in emergencies. Sometimes we harm the people we try to help. As …

Under pressure: building resilience into water systems

With global water resources increasingly stretched, how do we ensure that building resilience into water systems in not an afterthought? This is the question we put to the audience at the recent Resilient Solutions Symposium hosted by Oxfam and the Oxford University Department for International Development. We kicked off by hearing from three speakers on the complex environmental challenges and …

Bringing a market-based approach to humanitarian response design

Oxfam has been working with the BEAM Exchange to find out how market-based programming can be applied to WASH based programmes. Katie Whitehouse shares how it works. There is a movement catalysing within the humanitarian community calling for increased consideration of local market systems when preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. The movement is towards market-based programming. The …

How humanitarian effectiveness reviews impact our WASH programming

How Oxfam is using monitoring and evaluation to improve programming on water, sanitation and hygiene in Zimbabwe and beyond. By Katie Whitehouse (Global Urban WASH & Markets Advisor, Oxfam) and Parvin Ngala (WASH & Markets Project Manager, Oxfam Zimbabwe). A key challenge for the sector is translating monitoring and evaluation activities into programme change in the future. The recent publication of WASH …

A harvest of dysfunction: Causes and impacts of drought in South Africa

John Magrath introduces the report, A Harvest of Dysfunction: rethinking the approach to drought, its causes and impacts in South Africa. “Interventions to assist poor people affected by drought must start with how drought itself is defined and understood” – so says Sipho Mthathi, Executive Director of Oxfam South Africa  in her introduction to a new report that challenges the …

Podcast – Tiger worms: An innovative solution to sanitation

The Oxfam Podcast: Humanitarian learning In the first of our new podcast series on humanitarian learning, we’re diving into the world of tiger worms. Oxfam’s Sophie Mack Smith talks to Angus McBride, Public Health Engineering Team Leader. Speaking to her from Ethiopia, Angus tells us how these worms are being tested in refugee camps and why they could be the answer to …