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Constitutional conventions: best practice

Healing solidarity: re-imagining international development

NGOs and other aid agencies need to lead in the practice of re-distributing wealth and power—not just the theory.

Could NGOs flourish in a future without foreign aid?

Only when myths are revealed as myths can there be a clear-eyed conversation about the best ways forward.

Foreign aid is a waste of money—unless it’s used for transformation

Simplistic stories of saving children trap aid agencies inside a self-defeating logic

Horizontalising international NGOs: can it be done?

Alternative structures are available—if we have the courage to adopt them.

What’s to be done with Oxfam, part 2?

Is it gratuitous to link the scandal engulfing Oxfam with the need to transform NGOs and foreign aid?

Supporting refugee livelihoods or host stability? The two sides of the coin

For many refugees, the humanitarian programmes focusing on "livelihoods" end up having merely an "accessory" role rather than generating sustainable labour.

Laying the foundations for a totalitarian state

The Egyptian regime is moving decisively to close what remains of public space, dominating all aspects of political life for decades to come.   

Recomposing the fabric of affection

Living well together helps everyone to be connected, and it’s connection that makes us thrive as human beings. Español

Five disempowering traits that international NGOs must drop

Only one per cent of foreign aid reaches Southern NGOs directly. How long can this continue?

Wildlife conservationists need to break out of their Stockholm syndrome

Instead of fighting a destructive economic system, international conservation NGOs are bonding with its brutality.

What’s to be done with Oxfam?

Too small to influence economics, too bureaucratic to be social movements, banned from politics and removed from the societies they’re trying to change, where do NGOs go next? Part 2 here on the Haiti scandal.

Designer activism and post-democracy

For campaigners committed to transformational social change, the unscripted howl of celebrities is a weak peg on which to hang a movement.

Syrian civil society in Lebanon: challenges and opportunities

Instead of empowering Syrian civil society and helping it to build its capacity, the aid community is rendering us more fragile. 

When is civil society a force for social transformation?

There are more civil society organizations in the world today than at any other time in history, so why isn't their impact growing? 

‘Do as I say, not as I do!’: Why radicalism requires self-awareness

Organisations which claim to challenge or seek to change the power structures of society too often mimic those power structures in their own organisations.

Suffering happens, but Pakistan's Afghan refugees are more than just victims

The word 'refugee' conjures up images of rows of tents, barefoot children and saddened faces. The reality is more complex. My research shows that Afghan refugees have developed lives alongside Pakistani nationals in Karachi's poor katchi abadi areas: marrying, working, loving and learning together. 

On posh white blokes in NGOs

The world of development NGOs is full of white men from well off backgrounds. One of them wrote about how this is a problem in the Guardian last week, and here, one of their employees responds, looking at who speaks about these things and how; who is heard, and what should be done about it?

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