Putting the public back into public services

As we launch Held to Account, Oxfam’s new briefing paper on public service accountability, guest blogger from India Dr Abhay Shukla – activist, physician and public health specialist – calls for donors and CSOs to support moves to put responsiveness and accountability at the heart of public services. Today, societies across the world face a challenge: how to bring public …

Can we use the wisdom of the crowd to build resilience?

In the first in a series of blog posts Dante Dalabajan,  project manager of an Oxfam GB adaptation programme in the Philippines, reflects on the importance of consulting local communities. The series is based on an email exchange between Dante, and Daniel Morchain, our global adviser on resilience. Can we use the wisdom of the crowd to build resilience? I’m going to …

Have we tipped the balance?

To celebrate World Food Day, we are releasing Tipping the Balance – 2012’s report on agricultural investment and market governance – as an eBook. Maria Michalopoulou ponders how the debate has evolved since the launch of this landmark report. Consider this little paradox: 500 million small-scale farms around the world feed almost 2 billion people, nearly one-third of the global population. …

Small is beautiful on World Food Day

With ‘Sustainable Food Systems’ the theme of this year’s World Food Day, Erinch Sahan reminds both governments and private sector investors of their duty to actively support small-scale farmers, the unsung heroes of global food security.  In agriculture, small is beautiful. Small farms generate jobs, food and development for some of the poorest people on the planet. In fact, 500 million …

Lining up life and economy to create a good society

I did a bit of thinking over the summer. Mulling over ideas such as what is ‘good development’? What is a good society? What is ‘good growth’ rather than just recovery of the old economic model? And what I’ve come up with thus far is that the answer lies in better alignment between what people and the planet want, and …

In double jeopardy: adolescent girls and disasters

On the International Day of the Girl Child Tess Dico-Young welcomes the findings from a new report by Plan International on the need to better address the needs of adolescent girls in humanitarian response. In 2009, following the devastation of Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh, Oxfam WASH staff noticed that  women and girls were not bathing regularly due to lack of …

Health insurance schemes are leaving the poor behind

In the name of Universal Health Coverage, some donors and governments are promoting health insurance schemes that leave the poor behind. Here, Anna Marriott calls instead for tax reform to finance universal and equitable health care for all, rather than unworkable insurance schemes. In a new report published today, Oxfam is warning that health insurance schemes introduced in the name of universal …

Looking beyond GDP with the Humankind Index

As we launch the Humankind Index policy assessment tool, guest bloggers Charles Seaford and Juliet Michaelson of the new economics foundation explain how the Humankind Index is helping to make measurement matter. The ‘Beyond GDP‘ agenda – the idea that we need to correct the current policy bias towards pursuing growth above all else – has gathered considerable pace in the …

Care work discussions happening in rural communities?! What next?

On the day the UN launches a new report linking unequal care responsibilities to human rights, we are  publishing resources to help practitioners to address care work in local development. Here, Thalia Kidder, Oxfam’s Senior Adviser on Women’s Economic Rights, celebrates the fact that care work is now firmly on the development agenda. In March, Oxfam staff in northern Sri …