Building a social contract in South Sudan

Long term governance programming in fragile contexts is painstaking but rewarding work. Rama Anthony shares experiences from South Sudan and explains why development efforts should focus on building the whole nation, by facilitating dialogue between civil society and the state. What motivates people in a conflict or fragile state to avoid violence, and seek to engage positively with state authorities? This is …

Behind the Brands: what progress one year on?

In February 2013 we launched an ambitious campaign using the power of consumers and investors to hold the world’s biggest food and drinks companies to account for what happens in their supply chains. One year on, private sector adviser Erinch Sahan reveals how the policies of the Big 10 have changed. It’s a year since we launched our scorecard. Having clawed …

Eradicating hunger in West Africa: learning from Brazil

Next week, see the launch of the West Africa Zero Hunger Initiative in Accra, Ghana. Here, Jérôme Gérard shares his hopes that West Africa can learn from Brazil’s strategy which has seen 28 million people escape the cycle of hunger.  West Africa has historically suffered from chronic food insecurity, punctuated by peaks of acute hunger triggered by extreme weather events: …

More than words: observing changes in confidence

Many women’s economic empowerment projects aim to help build women’s confidence. How can we measure whether change has been achieved? Kimberly Bowman identifies some starting points. Think of the last time you met a confident person, what were the indicators you used to come to that conclusion? Eye contract, strong tone of voice, willingness to give their opinion, these are …

Fighting inequality starts with housing

As housing costs in the UK spiral out of control, Chris Johnes thinks the time has come for tougher rules to prevent the wealthiest from making housing unaffordable for the majority of people.  In the last few years, the issue of rising inequality gained prominence in academic circles or discussions on social justice… But it’s not exactly been a dominant …

Gender and Rights: our Quick Guides to success

How can you incorporate gender considerations into humanitarian, development and campaigns work? As Jemma Stringer explains, if you’re pushed for time reading a Quick Guide would be a good start. Colleagues regularly ask me about tools and guides on including gender considerations in their work. I have two answers. My long answer is: do your research – read this or …

What will it take to really tackle inequality?

Economic growth and poverty reduction do not always go hand in hand. Katherine Trebeck argues that if we’re serious about tackling inequality we need to rethink our economic model. You may have noticed that recently Oxfam has been highlighting the stark inequalities of our world. Most notably,(how could anyone not note it?), our inequality report, published for the World Economic …

Hopes for the new Malian government

Elections in 2013 restored democratic order in Mali. Now the new government needs to bring about justice, reconciliation and development. Our briefing paper identifies key governance priorities, here Surendrini Wijeyaratne explains how Oxfam partners are helping communities to claim their rights. Trust, confidence, dignity. These are words that come up repeatedly when I ask people in crisis-stricken northern Mali what they want from …

UK housing strategy will let the poor fall through the cracks

From April this year, the UK government will cap overall spending on welfare. Chris Johnes hoped this would encourage government departments to invest in long-term programmes tackling poverty to cut future spending… but the current social housing strategy seems to be aiming for exactly the opposite. Tackling the high cost of welfare is one of the government’s top priorities. Isn’t …