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  • Author: Marijke Deleu
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) used to make international headlines for the conflict that has flared up repeatedly over the past 20 years. When the M23 rebel group was defeated in November 2013, there seemed to be a shift away from these repeated cycles of violence. The country appeared to be turning a corner into a post-conflict phase. However, new research presented in this briefing paper shows that citizens continue to experience widespread exploitation. In many areas they are still vulnerable to brutal violence from armed groups and in some cases from government, including the police, army and local officials. The challenge - how to consolidate the authority of the state, in a way that serves its people and ensures a lasting peace - remains a huge but vital priority.
  • Author: Ben Murphy, Scott Paul, Anne-Marie Schryer-Roy, Ed Pomfret
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Every year, the Somali diaspora sends home approximately $1.3bn. Remittances account for 25–45 percent of Somalia's economy and exceed the amount it receives in humanitarian aid, development aid and foreign direct investment combined. As Somali money transfer operators lose their bank accounts, Somali families are losing their only formal or transparent channel through which to send money. Somalia needs long-term support to build sustainable financial institutions, and urgent help to maintain its current remittance flows. This briefing reviews international efforts to facilitate remittances to Somalia and focuses on the US and the UK, where the threat to the Somali remittance system is most acute. It also looks at the uncertain future viability of the Somali remittance industry in Australia.
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Jessica Hamer, Maria Dolores Bernabe, Mark Fried
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Asia is at a Crossroads. Rising inequality poses a dire threat to continued prosperity in Asia, where an estimated 500 million people remain trapped in extreme poverty, most of them women and girls. The huge gap between rich and poor hinders economic growth, undermines democratic institutions and can trigger conflict. If Asia's policymakers hold tight to yesterday's truths, hoping against hope that growth and prosperity will trickle down to all, they will put everyone's welfare at risk. But if there are courageous leaders, willing to tackle inequality head-on, they can ensure inclusive and sustainable development for all of Asia's people. Oxfam is calling on Asia's governments to make a determined effort to combat discrimination and improve policies on taxation and social spending. This is needed now if the region is to secure a stable and prosperous future.
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ellen T. Hoen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world, with 8.2 million deaths in 2012. More than 60 percent of the world's new cases of cancer occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America and these regions account for 70 percent of the world's cancer deaths. In low- and middle-income countries, expensive treatments for cancer are not widely available. Unsustainable cancer medication pricing has increasingly become a global issue, creating access challenges in low-and middle-income but also high-income countries. This report describes recent developments within the pricing of medicines for the treatment of cancer, discusses what lessons can be drawn from HIV/AIDS treatment scale-up and makes recommendations to help increase access to treatment for people with cancer.
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Asia
  • Author: Liesbeth Goossens, Soazic Dupuy, Baptiste Chapuis
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Sahrawi refugees are forced to live in very insecure humanitarian conditions. This situation in and of itself is a source of serious concern. It is, however, the exceptionally long duration of this crisis and the total lack of any prospects which is making this situation all the more unbearable for the men and women living in the Sahrawi refugee camps. The Sahrawi refugees – especially the young – are desperate to take control of their own lives. Even if they are particularly well informed and well educated, their options are severely limited. The frustration which stems from this is exacerbated by the sheer uncertainty of what their future holds. The words of young Sahrawis are growing sharper, and their views more critical, faced with an international community they consider incapable of ensuring that their rights will be respected. The majority we have spoken to are openly questioning whether their cause would not make more progress if they took up arms once again. Much of the responsibility for reaching a just and lasting resolution lies with the parties of the conflict, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front. However, in view of the two parties‟ inability to find such a solution, the cards are now in the hands of the international community, in particular the United Nations (UN) and the member states of the UN Security Council. Today, these bodies must demonstrate to the Sahrawi refugees that they are fully engaged in defending their rights. This report calls attention to the responsibility of the international community. The Security Council and members of the Group of Friends must do more to foster conditions conducive to bringing the decolonization process to an end and finding a solution to the conflict, in accordance with international law. They must also persuade the parties in the conflict to make changes to their positions, which are currently irreconcilable. Only a solution such as this can put an end to the refugee crisis and strengthen stability in the region.
  • Author: Lani Frerichs, Grazia Careccia, Laura Grant, Kirsten Hagon, Willow Heske
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Operation Protective Edge – the codename used by Israel for the 51 day military operation and the associated conflict between Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups – has inflicted unprecedented destruction and human suffering in Gaza. This was the third such major military operation in six years, further complicating recovery for a civilian population sealed off by a blockade and separated economically, socially and politically from Palestinians in the West Bank. Shortly after Israel and Palestinian armed groups agreed to a temporary ceasefire, donors from around the world gathered in Cairo to pledge $3.5bn for the reconstruction of Gaza. Six months later, there has been no accountability to address violations of international law, only 26.8 percent of the money has been released, reconstruction and recovery have barely begun, and people in Gaza remain in dire straits. This paper outlines an achievable course of action that, if implemented, could make significant progress in addressing the root causes of the recurrent conflict and towards the realization of a just, durable peace that would benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike. By directly addressing the different actors that have distinct responsibilities towards Gaza – from Israel and the international community to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas – the signatories to this report outline what each party can and must do to end the conflict and ensure Palestinians in Gaza can realize their rights. It is time for these actors to work together effectively to change the course for Gaza before it is too late.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Kate Geary
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Increasingly, development money is being channelled through third parties such as banks or private equity funds. The world's leading proponent of this financing model, the International Finance Corporation, spent $36bn this way in just the four years leading up to June 2013. But what does this 'hands-off' form of development financing mean for people? Are the risks to communities and their livelihoods just too high given the weaker social and environmental protections entailed? This report tells the human story behind the high finance and statistics, and asks whether reforms to this model of lending have gone far enough to protect communities.
  • Author: Abigael Baldoumas, Daniel Gorevan, Joelle Bassoul, Camilla Jelbart Mosse
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The numbers of people in need as a result of the conflict in Syria continues to rise, but the international humanitarian response has not kept pace. The donor conference in Kuwait on 31 March 2015 is an opportunity to reverse that trend and put Syrian civilians first. Oxfam has developed indicators to help guide the fair level of commitment that each wealthy country should make in 2015 to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the Syria crisis: The level of funding each country makes available for the humanitarian response, relative to the size of their economy (based on gross national income); The number of Syrian refugees each country has helped to find safety through offers of resettlement or other forms of humanitarian protection, again based on the size of the economy.
  • Topic: Civil War, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Kuwait, Syria
  • Author: Himanshu Upadhyaya
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: For over five years now, the central government has been in the process of framing and enacting a new legislation to develop and regulate India's mines and minerals. However, in a short span of less than two months, the NDA government promulgated an Ordinance, introduced and passed a new version of a Bill in both the houses of Parliament. The Bill provides a legal framework to regulate the mining sector. A host of unaddressed concerns in the Bill question the government's intent of protecting the interests of the indigenous populations.
  • Political Geography: India
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Tax dodging is receiving increasing political attention in Europe. From corporate transparency legislation to early reflections on a European wealth tax, European institutions are promoting tax reforms that have the potential to reduce economic inequality in Europe and beyond - if they are well designed and implemented. The need to find financial resources to restore European growth, combined with recent media scandals, have opened up opportunities for progressive reforms to fight tax evasion and tax avoidance which costs the European Union around €1 trillion a year. The European and global political context has never been so favourable, with new European institutions having to deliver on fighting tax havens, harmonizing corporate taxation, improving tax transparency and ensuring greater tax cooperation. This briefing explores some of the solutions for fighting corporate tax avoidance that the European Union shoultad present in 2015, and explains why it is important to adopt them as soon as possible.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gorevan, Martin Hartberg, Dominic Bowen
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The unanimous adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2139 (UNSCR 2139) at the end of February 2014 brought with it much needed hope for people in Syria and across the Middle East. In the resolution, the UN Security Council (UNSC) – the body responsible for international peace and security – called for an urgent increase in access to humanitarian aid in Syria and demanded that all parties immediately cease attacks against civilians, end arbitrary detention, kidnapping and torture, and lift sieges of populated areas.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Oommen C Kurian, Pooja Parvati
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A conscious neglect of school education in the initial decades of independent India is termed by Dreze and Sen (2013) as a 'home-grown folly'. Public services like education are key to nurture participatory growth as well as to ensure that growth improves peoples' living conditions. However, India's highly privatised and compartmentalised education system - largely unaccountable to the public-offers very different opportunities for various social groups and perpetuates social inequalities, instead of reducing them. Three out of four children currently out of school in India are either Dalit (32.4%), Muslim (25.7%) or Adivasi (16.6%). Enactment of the landmark RTE legislation has triggered significant improvements, but evidence shows that quality has often been neglected. While concerns regarding privatisation of education remain, RTE Act offers a first step towards an educational system in India that offers access, equity, and inclusion of all children.
  • Author: Sally Rangecroft
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Reduced water security is projected for the Bolivian Andes due to both an expected increase in demand and a decline in the supply of water. This will result in negative impacts on water availability, and therefore on food security, power generation and livelihoods. Rising temperatures due to climate change are associated with glacier retreat across the Andes, which is one factor affecting the supply of water. Therefore it is important to gather information about other sources of high altitude water in the Bolivian Andes and other similarly arid high mountain regions facing similar stresses. Rock glaciers are masses of ice that are covered by a thick layer of rock. Because of their ice content, they are potentially important water sources, especially in arid regions. However, little is known about their spatial distribution and nature. They are smaller, occur at lower altitudes and are less obvious than regular ice glaciers. With the purpose of better informing future water management in Bolivia, this research, which was conducted with the assistance of Oxfam and Agua Sustentable, has created the first rock glacier inventory for the country (15–22°S) and has established the number, size and distribution of these rock glaciers. In total, 94 rock glaciers were discovered in the Bolivian Andes, of which 54 are estimated to contain ice and are therefore active sources of water. It was possible to make an estimation of their importance as water stores for local communities, in comparison with regular glaciers. Climate change impacts on glaciers and other water resources are occurring at a rapid rate in the Bolivian Andes and Bolivia can be used as an early warning indicator of problems in arid regions worldwide. The rock cover on rock glaciers will insulate them to some extent and as temperatures rise, will make them more resilient to melting than ice glaciers. In highlighting the presence of rock glaciers and in setting out methods for identifying them, this research seeks to contribute to improving the knowledge of water resources in the Bolivian Andes and to make a contribution to similar studies elsewhere. It also highlights the need to prioritize the preservation of areas where rock glaciers are located in the interests of water security for vulnerable populations. The rock glacier inventory resulting from this research is held by Agua Sustentable, see http://www.aguasustentable.org
  • Political Geography: Bolivia
  • Author: Imane El Rhomri
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Malgré l‟abondance de la production alimentaire mondiale, les populations du Sahel et de l‟Afrique de l‟Ouest souffrent fréquemment de faim et de malnutrition. En 2012, tous les pays de la région ont été de nouveau exposés à une insécurité alimentaire massive, en raison de la sécheresse, des pluies rares, des piètres récoltes, de la flambée des prix des aliments et des déplacements intensifs de populations. Selon les estimations des Nations Unies, cette crise avait condamné plus de 18 millions de personnes à l‟insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle (FAO, 2012 : 9). Comprendre pourquoi les populations souffrent d‟insécurité alimentaire et analyser les causes sous-jacentes est fondamental pour planifier des interventions appropriées. Dans la pratique, la mesure et l‟analyse de la sécurité alimentaire présente un défi technique en raison de la complexité et de la multi-dimensionnalité de ce concept. Actuellement, l‟analyse de la sécurité alimentaire en situations d‟urgence repose sur trois piliers: i) les disponibilités alimentaires, ii) l‟accès à l‟alimentation et iii) l‟utilisation des aliments (PAM, 2009). L‟Approche de l‟Economie des Ménages (AEM/HEA), développée dans les années 90 par l‟ONG internationale Save the Children-UK, est actuellement l‟un des outils les plus utilisés par le système d‟alerte précoce dans la région du Sahel1 pour appréhender le pilier d‟accès. En partant du principe que les ménages ont un accès plus ou moins difficile aux aliments en fonction de leur niveau de pauvreté, cet outil cherche à comprendre leur économie alimentaire et à mesurer l‟impact des chocs sur celle-ci, en vue d‟orienter l‟aide vers ceux qui seraient les plus vulnérables. Seulement, le HEA, ne s‟intéresse pas à la situation spécifique de chaque individu à l‟intérieur du ménage, étant donc incapable d'analyser la manière dont les chocs touchent les femmes et les hommes et comment chacun d'entre eux essaie d‟y faire face. Cette lacune représente l‟une des grandes faiblesses de ce système puisqu‟il néglige une dimension clé dans la compréhension de « qui, aujourd‟hui, risque le plus d‟être exposé à l‟insécurité alimentaire et à la malnutrition au Sahel et pourquoi » -pour reprendre les termes de la brochure du projet HEA-SAHEL-. Ce rapport, structuré en trois parties, est le résultat d‟une étude lancée par Oxfam Intermón, dans le cadre du projet de recherche SARAO (Sécurité Alimentaire et Résilience en Afrique de l‟Ouest), qui cherche à apporter des réflexions critiques et des pistes d‟action pour perfectionner le cadre d‟analyse HEA grâce à une démarche qui tient compte des Inégalités de Genre. La première partie du rapport est consacrée à l‟approche méthodologique adoptée et aux techniques employées pour la collecte et l‟analyse de l‟information. D‟un côté, l‟analyse Genre a été au cœur de la démarche suivie et a consisté à examiner de nouvelles dimensions telles que la répartition et l'organisation des rôles, des responsabilités et des ressources entre les femmes et les hommes afin de mettre en lumière leur importance dans l‟analyse de la sécurité alimentaire. De l‟autre côté, la collecte des informations sur le terrain s‟est faite au Burkina Faso, à travers des entretiens semi-dirigés et des questionnaires auprès de profils différents, en fonction de l‟objectif recherché dans chaque étape de l‟étude. La deuxième partie du rapport entre dans le vif du sujet. Elle examine avec une approche Genre le cadre théorique et analytique du HEA pour montrer ses limites. Tout d‟abord, sur le plan théorique, trois limites sont signalées : L‟analyse de l‟insécurité alimentaire à l‟échelle du ménage n‟est pas suffisante pour cerner toutes ses causes, principalement parce qu‟il n‟est pas possible de dévoiler le fonctionnement interne des familles (les statuts, rôles, contribution et capacités des personnes y appartenant), ni les relations de pouvoir et les inégalités entre ses membres, en particulier entre les femmes et les hommes, les filles et les garçons. a) En l‟absence de la moindre analyse de Genre au niveau des ménages, notamment ceux dirigés par des hommes, l‟approche HEA rend invisible le rôle des femmes qui assument de plus en plus de responsabilités dans la gestion de la sécurité alimentaire alors que, paradoxalement, elles ont un accès précaire aux ressources et sont exclues du contrôle de quasiment toutes, en particulier des ressources productives. A titre d‟exemple, cette étude confirme qu‟au-delà d‟assumer tout le travail domestique, les femmes participent très activement à l‟agriculture familiale, cependant, elles sont exclues de la propriété de la terre, de la prise de décisions concernant la production et la gestion des stocks, ainsi que du travail rémunéré en tant que main d‟œuvre salariée. b) La richesse et la multi-dimensionnalité des concepts de Moyens d‟Existence Durables (MED), de Pauvreté et de Vulnérabilité se retrouvent fortement réduites dans l‟approche HEA. D‟une part, les apports de la théorie des MED, notamment, les concepts de capacités et de biens intangibles ne sont pas du tout exploités par l‟approche HEA. D‟autre part, cette dernière appréhende le niveau de pauvreté et de vulnérabilité d‟une manière très superficielle parce qu'elle ne va pas au-delà des aspects productifs et monétaires et ne prête aucune attention aux dimensions spécifiques qui expliquent la pauvreté et la vulnérabilité féminine, pas seulement en termes de revenu, mais aussi en termes de temps, de liberté ou de pouvoir décisionnel. c) Ensuite, sur le plan méthodologique, l‟étude révèle que les informations et données produites dans chaque étape du cadre d‟analyse HEA, servant à rétro-alimenter le système, sont complètement aveugles au Genre. Cette lacune est due, d‟une part, à la non-désagrégation par sexe des informations collectées par les méthodes et outils HEA et, d‟autre part, à la sous-représentation des femmes en tant qu‟objet et sujet d'étude. Ces limites techniques perpétuent une image incomplète de la réalité et relèguent les femmes et leurs apports à une zone d'ombre. La troisième et dernière partie représente la plus grande valeur ajoutée de cette étude dans la mesure où elle expose des propositions concrètes pour enrichir progressivement le système HEA. Le premier pas suggère principalement la désagrégation par sexe des informations actuellement collectées et analysées par le HEA ainsi que l‟introduction de nouvelles variables et indicateurs sensibles au Genre. Le deuxième pas, plus audacieux, invite à l‟adoption d‟un nouveau cadre d‟analyse pour caractériser la vulnérabilité alimentaire de manière intégrale. Ce nouveau cadre propose essentiellement trois critères à évaluer, en fonction du contexte spatio- temporel d‟exposition au risque d‟insécurité alimentaire. Ces critères sont : i) les besoins alimentaires spécifiques (dépendent du sexe, âge, état de santé, efforts physiques…) ; ii) l‟accès aux différents MED (dépend de la disponibilité et la qualité du capital naturel, humain, physique, financier et social) et iii) les capacités individuelles d‟exploiter les différents MED (dépendent du statut social, des conditions d‟utilisation, des modes d‟accès et du pouvoir décisionnel). Enfin, le troisième pas requiert logiquement l‟adaptation des méthodes de collecte et de traitement des informations à ce nouveau cadre d‟analyse.
  • Author: Abid A. Burki, Rashid Memon, Khalid Mir
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The growth–inequality nexus has long been debated by researchers, social commentators and politicians. Despite being controversial, there is growing evidence of multi-dimensional inequality in developing countries, including Pakistan. Economic growth seems to have benefitted only a few people while majority of them have remained deprived. Numerous manifestations of inequality can be pointed out, including inequalities of income, assets, public services, rural vs. urban and between regions. These inequalities lead to huge economic and social costs for society. This report focuses on multi-dimensional inequality in Pakistan with the aim to (1) highlight the nature and dimensions of inequality; (2) identify the inequality traps that tend to exacerbate multi-dimensional inequality; (3) examine strategies for mitigating multi-dimensional inequality; and (4) discuss the policy implications.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Tim Gore
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: New evidence of how climate change could damage food security is presented in a major new scientific report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Food
  • Author: Anna Ratcliff
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Hunger is not and need never be inevitable. However climate change threatens to put back the fight to eradicate it by decades – and our global food system is woefully unprepared to cope with the challenge.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Food
  • Author: Edmund Cairns
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The UK needs a safe world in which to trade and invest, and to be free from the security threats caused by conflicts or fragile states. Yet spiralling inequality and climate change, among many other factors, threaten to create a more dangerous, unequal world. As the continuing tragedy in Syria shows, the world's old and new powers have not yet found a way to unite to end conflicts. The age of interventions, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, is over. But a new rule-based world in which China, India, and others unite with Western powers to protect civilians and end conflicts has not yet come into being. Whoever wins the 2015 UK general election, the greatest test for UK foreign policy will be how much it can do to help build that world.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Poverty, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Britain, China, Iraq, United Kingdom, Europe, India, Syria
  • Author: Sarah Dransfield
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Inequality is a growing problem in the UK. Whilst austerity measures in Britain continue to hit the poorest families hardest, a wealthy elite have seen their incomes spiral upwards, exacerbating income inequality which has grown under successive governments over the last quarter of a century.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom
  • Author: Daniela Rosche
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: At least one in three women worldwide will experience some form of violence during their lifetime, often perpetrated by an intimate partner. Violence against women and girls is a fundamental human rights issue and a central challenge to development, democracy and peace.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Author: Olloriak Sawade
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: All people have a fundamental right to life and security. Oxfam works to ensure this right is respected, not only by responding to humanitarian emergencies, but by addressing the violent conflict which, as its Humanitarian Strategy 2020 recognises, is one of the key drivers of poverty. That is why conflict transformation has become one of the 'crosscutting issues' running through Oxfam's programmes and tackling some of the key driving factors that fuel direct, cultural and structural violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil Society, Humanitarian Aid, Power Politics
  • Author: Joel Rodriguez
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The most powerful storm ever to hit the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda) has affected about 16 million people. Four million people have been displaced; the majority of them are fisherfolk, and small-scale farmers and farm workers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Fishing communities, many of whom live in poverty, have been hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda). The UN estimates that 30,000 boats have been damaged or destroyed and nearly three-quarters of fishing communities have been severely affected, losing crucial equipment such as boats, nets, and cages.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters, Food
  • Political Geography: Philippines
  • Author: Nicolas Vercken, Surendrini Wijeyaratne
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The 2013 elections helped to restore constitutional order in Mali and marked the start of a period of hope for peace, stability and development. The challenge is now to respond to the Malian people's desire for improved governance.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steph Cousins, Liz Cameron
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: As Afghanistan prepares for Presidential elections and the withdrawal of international forces, insecurity is continuing to spread across the country with a devastating impact on civilians. UNAMA's role in advancing human rights, supporting humanitarian access and promoting peace and reconciliation efforts – particularly as they relate to the women, peace and security agenda in Afghanistan – must be strengthened in order to ensure the significant gains that have been made in the last decade are not lost.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Government, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Hannah Cooper
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: As 2014 starts, there are reasons to hope that peace may be in sight in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). National initiatives and committed regional and international political engagement in 2013 led to important advances and new framework agreements to resolve the conflict and insecurity. However, the people Oxfam talked to across eastern DRC reported that their situation remains precarious, particularly in remote areas where there is little state presence. Ongoing national, regional and international engagement is needed, as well as efforts to ensure that high level agreements and initiatives are systematically linked to community experiences. Without these, it is possible that this rare opportunity will be wasted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jasmine Burnley, Javier Pereira
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2011, following decades of isolation, Myanmar embarked on an unprecedented reform process, raising hopes for a new democracy. These reforms have been welcomed by the international community with rising levels of aid. If properly handled and spent, aid offers an opportunity to harness Myanmar's economic potential and make it work for poor people – reducing inequality, providing essential services, building resilience, and promoting sustainable investment. This paper explores what good-quality aid should look like for Myanmar, what it could deliver for those living in poverty, and what decision makers can learn from other countries, to ensure that aid is a catalyst for democratic reform, equitable growth, and peace.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Nicholas Galasso
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In November 2013, the World Economic Forum released its 'Outlook on the Global Agenda 2014', in which it ranked widening income d is parities as the second greatest worldwide risk in the coming 12 to 18 months. Based on those surveyed, inequality is 'impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale.' Oxfam shares its analysis, and wants to see the 2014 World Economic Forum make the commitments needed to counter the growing tide of inequality.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Economics, Political Economy, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Economic inequality – the skewed distribution of income and wealth – is soaring. Oxfam's own research has found that the 85 richest individuals in the world have as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population. Economic inequality is also putting lives on the line – more than 1.5 million lives are lost each year due to high income inequality in rich countries alone. A recent study of 93 countries estimated that reducing the income share of the richest 20 per cent by just one percentage point could save the lives of 90,000 infants each year. Estimates also show that failing to tackle inequality will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the price tag of ending poverty, putting the achievement of any new post-2015 poverty goals in jeopardy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Poverty, Monetary Policy, Reform
  • Political Geography: India
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Queen 'Mamohato Memorial Hospital, which opened in October 2011, was built to replace Lesotho's old main public hospital, the Queen Elizabeth II (QE II) Hospital, in the capital, Maseru. It is the first of its kind in Africa – and in any low-income country – because all the facilities were designed, built, financed, and operated under a public – private partnership (PPP) that includes delivery of all clinical services. The PPP was developed under the advice of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group. The promise was that the PPP would provide vastly improved, high-quality healthcare services for the same annual cost as the old public hospital.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Small-scale traditional agriculture provides the foundation of economic, political, and social life in Sudan's Darfur region. Traditionally, it included shifting crop cultivation and agro-pastoral livestock herding, with different ethnic groups specializing in each activity. Under this system, rights over land were not exclusive; various overlapping rights prevailed, and land use was not permanent. These arrangements allowed for the exchange of production inputs (manure for fertilizer, crop residues for animal feed), and permitted the different ethnic groups to coexist peacefully to their mutual advantage.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Agriculture, Climate Change, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Greater investment in agriculture is needed to reduce rural poverty and improve food security. This means not simply increasing supply but ensuring that adequate, nutritious food is accessible to every person at all times. How investment is made, its context and conditions, is at least as important as how much is invested.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Shawna Wakefield
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In its "World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development?, the World Bank asserted that gender equality was a core development objective in its own right and also "smart economics?. The same year, in their Los Cabos Declaration, G20 leaders committed to tackling the barriers to women?s full economic and social participation and to expanding opportunities for women in their countries. Oxfam supports this commitment, and calls on the G20 to go further and assess the entirety of their agenda and actions in the light of development and rights-based commitments to women?s rights and gender equality.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Reform
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Wakefield Shawna
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In its 'World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development', the World Bank asserted that gender equality was a core development objective in its own right and also 'smart economics' The same year, in their Los Cabos Declaration, G20 leaders committed to tackling the barriers to women's full economic and social participation and to expanding opportunities for women in their countries. Oxfam supports this commitment, and calls on the G20 to go further and assess the entirety of their agenda and actions in the light of development and rights-based commitments to women's rights and gender equality.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Politics, Labor Issues, Sociology
  • Author: Daniel Fitzpatrick, Caroline Compton
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, the Philippines authorities pledged to 'build back better' – a vision designed to ensure that affected communities were stronger and more resilient in the face of future storms. Significant efforts and some important steps have been taken by various authorities to begin fulfilling that vision.
  • Topic: Security, Environment
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Lani Frerichs, David Andrés Viñas, Nicola Bay
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The most recent escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel has come at an unacceptable human cost. To date, it has resulted in the deaths of more than 2,100 Palestinians, with roughly 85 per cent of those identified thought to be civilians. Six civilians in Israel and 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed. More than 10,000 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians, and more than 500 Israelis have been injured. Vital infrastructure in Gaza has been extensively damaged, with initial estimates for reconstruction well into the billions of dollars and 100,000 Palestinians left without a home.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Jodie Thorpe
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Myanmar is undergoing intense and rapid changes. Policies formulated today will determine the future path of political and economic development. Modernization of the country's agricultural sector is, rightly, a priority. However, mechanization and large–scale agricultural investment is not the only option. Small farm development provides a commercially viable option with better outcomes in terms of poverty reduction and positive impacts on other sectors. Small farms absorb labour, allow communities to build assets and help local markets flourish. It is crucial that Myanmar promotes the right type of agricultural investment – that which supports the country's millions of small-scale farmers and farm labourers, as well as their families.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Myanmar
  • Author: Robin Willoughby
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: After decades of underinvestment in agriculture, African governments are rightly looking at how best to mobilize funding for the sector. Donors in turn are keen to reverse a trend of neglect and to support initiatives that are simultaneously likely to enhance productivity, improve livelihoods and increase private sector investment. Private investors, concurrently, are looking for new consumer markets and production opportunities in Africa.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Food, Famine, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Daniel Gorevan
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: While the world's attention is on crises in Gaza, Ukraine and elsewhere, the humanitarian crisis in Syria continues to deteriorate beyond anything that could have been envisaged when protests broke out over three years ago. A staggering 190,000 people have been killed and 6.5 million displaced inside the country, and the conflict shows little sign of abating. There are three million registered refugees from Syria in neighbouring countries and an unknown number who have not registered. Jordan's planning minister has highlighted the fact that the presence of Syrian refugees in Jordan is akin to 'the United States absorbing the entire population of Canada'.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Canada, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Anna Marriott, Jessica Hamer
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has publicly stated that achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and equity in health are central to reaching the two new overarching World Bank Group goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity. Jim Kim has also rightly emphasized the need to close the gap in access to quality health services for the poorest 40 percent of the population and to eliminate point-of-service payments that impoverish people in every country.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Foreign Direct Investment, World Bank, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Itriago Déborah
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Despite economic growth and the reduction of both poverty and inequality that Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has experienced during the last decade, it still remains the most unequal region in the world.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Sophie Bloemen, Tessel Mellema, Leïla Bodeux
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The failure of the current pharmaceutical research and development (R) system is revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) alert about the lack of effective medicines to address antimicrobial resistance, and the absence of a treatment for the deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging communities in West Africa at the time of writing.
  • Topic: Health, International Trade and Finance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Debbie Hillier
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is totally unprecedented. The accelerating number of cases, the poor health infrastructure in affected countries, the short supply of skills, knowledge and personnel, and the fear surrounding this disease are providing a huge challenge to affected governments and the international community as they battle to bring the epidemic under control.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy, Ebola
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Hannah Stoddart, Lydia Prieg, Joseph Zacune
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The world produces enough food to feed everyone. But every day more than 800 million people go to bed hungry. This is a scandal and climate change is set to make things even worse.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Isabel Martins
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: South Sudan is facing the world's worst food crisis, driven by the conflict that erupted in December 2013. Unless there is an end to the fighting, this food crisis will continue. Without far stronger international pressure, the conflict is unlikely to be resolved. International diplomacy – as well as aid and the protection of civilians on the ground – is urgently needed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Humanitarian Aid, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Alison Kent
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: For many who survived typhoon Haiyan's brutal winds and deadly storm surge, their struggles continue one year later . As recovery efforts progress , a critical opportunity exists to ensure that these communities have the chance not only to rebuild their lives but to strengthen their resilience – to future disasters as well as to poverty.
  • Political Geography: Philippines
  • Author: Steph Cousins
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate-related disasters and food crises are devastating thousands of lives and holding back development across Asia. A year on from the devastating super-typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Oxfam calls for governments across Asia, backed by regional and global institutions and fair contributions from wealthy countries, to ramp up efforts to address these challenges. Without greater investment in climate and disaster-resilient development and more effective assistance for those at risk, super-typhoon Haiyan-scale disasters could fast become the norm, not the exception.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Environment, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Elizabeth Cameron, Jorrit Kamminga
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: As the Taliban regime fell in 2001 after six years of abuse and oppression, the international community made a promise to the women of Afghanistan, that it would never again abandon them. The protection of their rights, at least in part, became a key element to afterwards legitimize the war which followed. It is 13 years since Colin Powell, then- US Secretary of State, declared that, 'the rights of the women in Afghanistan will not be negotiable.' Now Afghan women are questioning what the future holds.
  • Topic: Democratization, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Tim Gore, Simon Bradshaw, Annaka Carvalho, Kiri Hanks, Jan Kowalzig
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Negotiations are currently under way to develop a new international climate change agreement that will cover all countries and curb global warming to below the internationally agreed limit of 2 degrees. The new agreement will be adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference – Conference of the Parties 21, or COP21 – to be held in Paris in November/December 2015, and will be implemented from 2020.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment