Fit for purpose or fit for payment?

Should payment by results be the new normal in programme funding? In this guest post, Nathaniel Mason, Research Fellow at the ODI, considers the experience of the SWIFT Consortium (Sustainable WASH in Fragile Contexts). He looks at what this funding approach means for the communities that SWIFT works with, and the challenges it presents for donors and implementing agencies. I’m involved in a payment by results programme providing …

Syria: Getting enough water has become my obsession

Razan is a 30-year-old accountant lives with her mother in the Syrian city of Salamiyah. Racha Chamoun reports on how Oxfam is working to improve access to water for people like her.   “My life is based around the need to get water. Sometimes I skip work or stay up all night, turning the domestic water pump on and off, …

Local humanitarian agencies: still short-changed by the world’s humanitarian donors

Today we publish a new report, Turning the Humanitarian System on its Head, which argues that to remain effective the humanitarian system must change. Here Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian affairs, reflects on the report’s findings and what the future holds for humanitarian action.  A couple of weeks ago, I blogged on From Poverty to Power that …

The law of the land

For marginalised men, women and communities across the developing world the threat of land dispossession is all too real. Here Ross Clarke, Law and Justice Adviser, introduces the Community Land Rights Programme, which aims to address tenure insecurity by empowering communities with the legal tools to protect their land.   For communities on the frontline of the ever increasing pressure …

Five issues the 2015 climate agreement needs to address

Small scale farmers in Asia and around the world are facing the stark reality of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. What issues do agricultural communities identify as most important to address? Last week Janice Ian Manlutac described the impact that unpredictable and extreme weather patterns are having on the farmers in Asia; here she identifies the five key issues which the …

Weathering it out: climate change and farming in Asia

As extreme and unpredictable weather patterns have become the norm many farmers in Asia have used their initiative to diversify their crops and engage in experimentation. But, as Janice Ian Manlutac, Regional Change Lead on Resilience, explains, if local adaptation efforts are to be successful the international community must deliver a strong and binding climate agreement. As I write this …

Our common future under climate change: where science meets social justice

What should our approach to climate change be? Is it time to elevate the importance of morals and ethics in climate change debates? Daniel Morchain, Global Adviser on Climate Change Adaptation, reflects on the key messages of last week’s Our Common Future under Climate Change conference.  ‘We are beyond the Copenhagen illusion!’ admitted the highly influential climate scientist John Schellnhuber, …

The disability and development gap

Is development further disadvantaging people with disabilities? Nora Ellen Groce, Director of the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre at University College London, recently gave a talk to Oxfam staff about development and disability. Here Nora expands on the issues discussed and explains why disability should be mainstreamed in development programming. While there is still a long way to …

Solar irrigation and refrigeration – improving incomes in Zimbabwe

Solar energy is transforming livelihoods in Zimbabwe from labour saving irrigation for crops to refrigeration for fresh produce. In the third in a series of blog posts about the impact of solar energy, John Magrath, Programme Researcher, explains how farming communities have been able to dramatically increase their yields and incomes. Water is life, and access to water is fundamental …

Lighting up learning – getting connected in Zimbabwe

Have you ever heard of a solar powered school? John Magrath, Programme Researcher, explains how the installation of solar panels has enabled remote schools in Zimbabwe to enter the internet age and to light up classrooms for study in the evenings. In a classroom in a remote rural area of Africa Sixth Form students are engaging in a history lesson, …