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 …

Agile research in the risky realities of the Central African Republic

Conducting research in volatile locations like the Central African Republic (CAR) requires the agility to constantly adapt. Irene Guijt and Franziska Mager report back from a recent trip with unexpected twists and turns. Conducting research in a country like the Central African Republic with chronic conflict – and around half a million internally displaced people (1/8th of the national population!) …

Transformational climate adaptation: beyond business-as-usual

People around the world are faced with the challenge of adapting to changing climatic conditions, but what happens when small changes are not enough or are not even possible? Nick Brooks, Director of Garama 3C Ltd makes the case for transformational adaptation. Most of today’s adaptation interventions involve incremental approaches intended to protect and sustain existing systems and practices, rather …

A holistic approach to women’s economic empowerment

What does economic empowerment look like and how can it be achieved? Vincent Trousseau looks at examples from Oxfam’s programmes in Zambia and Morocco and introduces our new conceptual framework. What is women’s economic empowerment? Oxfam believes that effective economic empowerment for women (WEE) occurs when women enjoy their rights to control and benefit from resources, assets, income and their …

Does knowledge matter in setting the development agenda?

Are marginalised people being overlooked in decision making processes around development and adaptation? Daniel Morchain reflects on the relationship between knowledge and power to influence outcomes. The more I think about development challenges, and the more I see and hear people talking about them, the more I think they come down to a struggle between knowledge and power. Knowledge in the …

Dear Family: Refugees in Greece write to their loved ones

Forced migration separates families. It wrenches children from their parents and grandparents, separates siblings, forces partners to live apart, and destroys extended family networks. During the past months Oxfam has interviewed people that have been stranded in Greece and asked them to share their experiences during their perilous journeys to Europe and the separation from their families. The right to …

ICTs in emergency response – what we’ve learnt

How can and should information and communication technologies (ICTs) be employed in humanitarian contexts to improve the quality and efficiency of aid delivery? Laura Eldon reflects on the findings of the Scaling Humanitarian ICTs Network (SHINE). Over the last three years Oxfam has sought to show how ICTs can best be used in emergency programmes through the Scaling Humanitarian ICTs …