Handwashing innovation

Joel Trotter describes how it feels to see Oxfam’s brand-new handwashing kit tested, refined, and ready to go into action. Oxfam’s Promotion and Practice Handwashing Kit is a robust, user-friendly handwashing station that is easily assembled in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. It allows for improved, timely handwashing and reduces people’s health risks in emergency displacement camps. It was …

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 …

Evolving ICTs in humanitarian: The power of networks

Amy O’Donnell unpacks the idea that ICTs save time, money and improve accuracy, whilst exploring the conditions needed for them to add value in humanitarian response. For three years, the Scaling Humanitarian ICTs Network (SHINE) funded by Sida has been exploring the role of Information Communications Technologies in humanitarian response. Last month all five countries in the network: Ethiopia, DRC, …

Cash transfer programming in Zimbabwe

Khodeza Rume, a Humanitarian Support Personnel in Food Security and Livelihoods, reflects on a recent electronic cash programme with the World Food Programme and Econet.  With the 2008 financial crash, Zimbabwe suffered a cash crisis and economic collapse which resulted in chronic food insecurity. The situation has since been exacerbated by the effects of El Niño with an estimated 4.1 million …

Wikipedia: A tool for advocacy?

Esther Shaylor explains why she’s cleaning up Wikipedia and how it relates to her work as a water and sanitation engineer. When I was at college I was sternly warned to stay away from Wikipedia. The reason; because it can’t be verified as a resource, anyone can edit it and put anything up there. But increasingly over the years I …

The impatient optimist: Urine-tricity to light humanitarian camps

In this blog we’re introduced to two sides of the ‘Urine-tricity’ story. Firstly, we hear from Oxfam’s Head of Water and Sanitation Andy Bastable, who shares his eager observations on the project, which produces electrical power from urine. To conclude,  Ioannis Ieropoulos, Professor of Bioenergy and Self-sustainable Systems at University of the West of England, maps out the history of the research …

Ha-Joon Chang on How Change Happens

Ahead of the official release date, we introduce Duncan Green’s new book, How change Happens.  ctober is upon us, and with it the publication of How Change Happens on the 27th. I am already suffering about my levels of authorial self-obsession: I entered the personal shorthand of ‘Narcissistic Peak’ for launch day, unaware that my diary synchs with my wife’s …

What can tech do for tax justice?

How can we use technology to support the work towards better fiscal systems and the citizens they affect? Sue Moore takes us through a recent hackathon in Kenya, run with this goal in mind, and explores its potential. espite Kenya’s notable economic growth, inequality levels have been rising. In a country with a tax gap of 40%, there is huge …

I’ve got the power! Calculating statistical power for matching models by simulation

Calculating statistical power – or working out how many people to interview before a survey – can be a challenge, especially if we want to use matching models to estimate projects’ impacts. In this blog post, we discuss how computer simulations might make power calculations easier and explain how we’ve tried this out in the evaluation team at Oxfam. How …

Result oriented reflection: Notes on the recent Stories of Change workshop for the Inclusion Project

Oxfam Novib’s World Citizens Panel team recently held a workshop to analyze Stories of Change, a qualitative research method which aims to help practitioners understand how a particular change happens. Ruben De Winne, a Qualitative Researcher at Oxfam Novib, talks us through how they organised the workshop and the outcomes the participants walked away with.  ast April, the World Citizens Panel …