Beyond Gender Mainstreaming: what’s changed since Beijing 1995?

Two decades after the phrase ‘gender mainstreaming’ was first coined at the 1995 Beijing UN World Conference on Women, the Gender & Development journal gathered leading feminists from across the world together at a conference in London to examine what has been achieved and what challenges remain.  Gender mainstreaming.  The phrase may remind me sometimes of Jane Austen’s comment on …

A shift in focus: putting the interests of Somalis first

As delegates gather for the London Somali Conference, a new Oxfam briefing note calls for the country’s humanitarian and developmental needs to be the top priority. Regional Campaigns and Policy Manager Ed Pomfret gives his view here. Somalia has gone through periods of being ignored by the international community and then subjected to intense interference. In the absence of a …

Is doughnut economics too Western? Critique from a Latin American environmentalist

Latin American environmentalist Eduardo Gudynas takes on the doughnut from a deeper green perspective for uncritically accepting western concepts of ‘development’. The discussion paper just launched by Oxfam, A Safe and Just Space for Humanity, has many positive aspects that can be shared with organisations and movements in the Global South. It also contains elements that are in line with …

Sustainability meets development: earth scientists respond to the doughnut.

Leading earth scientists, Mark Stafford Smith and Will Steffen respond to Kate Raworth’s ‘doughnut’ concept. Will Steffen is a co-author of the original paper on nine planetary boundaries that inspired Kate’s idea. The doughnut ‘compass’ is a powerful idea. The original ‘planetary boundaries’ concept focused on biophysical factors: there was some internal logic to this – it aimed to identify the …

Can we live inside the doughnut? Why we need planetary and social boundaries

Kate Raworth summarises Oxfam’s new discussion paper, as she asks whether we can ensure both a sustainable planet and social equity. This builds on a concept she launched in October 2011. When crossing unknown territory, a compass can be pretty handy. Achieving sustainable development for nine billion people has to be high on the list of humanity’s great uncharted journeys. So here’s an …

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 …

Is digital campaigning just ‘clicktivism’?

Digital campaigning has been an undoubted success, but can it move beyond mere clicktivism? Digital campaigning’s growing influence over policymakers means that it is rapidly rising up the political agenda. Petitions on issues as wide-ranging as Steven Hestor’s bonus, to the selloff of national forests, have made full use of social media advances. It is the biggest innovation in campaigning …

Seasonality is back in season

“Seasonality” has re-emerged as a topic in development after a long lull – but will it gain more traction this time round? Seasonality is the observation that rural livelihoods in developing countries undergo regular, predictable, and often massive, changes according to the pattern of the seasons. In particular, the annual rains bring about – or bring to a peak – …