Presentation on theme: "Duncan Green Head of Research, Oxfam GB ODI/INASP Symposium, Oxford November 2006 Oxfam and Research."— Presentation transcript:
Duncan Green Head of Research, Oxfam GB ODI/INASP Symposium, Oxford November 2006 Oxfam and Research
The rise of research, advocacy and campaigning among INGOs Roots in programmes (islands of success in a sea of failure) NGOs saw need to shape/check northern policies (anti-apartheid, Central America, IFIs, debt, trade) And need to change attitudes and beliefs to build a mass constituency for change Leading to the rise of global advocacy and campaigning But bulk of staff still involved in grassroots development and emergencies
Sound research provides an INGO campaign with Credibility with decision makers and high end journalists (e.g. Rigged Rules and Double Standards) A coherent campaign narrative and ask Confidence!
What do we mean by research Limited primary research (e.g. Water Provision in Sierra Leone; SCF on User Fees; Programme examples elsewhere) But mainly narrative, bridging the journalist- academic divide, combining –Literature review –Case Studies (usually from programme) –Recommendations for decision makers –Killer Facts [eg EU cow] –Executive Summary –Media Launch (stunts, op-eds, exclusives)
Campaigning The best campaigns (and therefore research) have –A villain –A problem –A solution –Example: TRIPS/Access to Medicines Villains of choice: Northern Governments, IFIs, WTO, TNCs But can be an easy ride for: domestic capital, DC governments and NGOs themselves!
Campaign Favourites Northern Governments –Aid; Make Poverty History; Jubilee 2000 IFIs –Debt; conditionality; megaprojects UN –Civilian protection; Arms; humanitarian aid TNCs –Extractives; Pharma; Labour standards Trade –WTO; Northern agricultural subsidies; regional trade agreements
How does Oxfam campaign? Internationally (via Oxfam International) Insider –Lobbying –Research: combined primary, secondary and killer facts Outsider –Pop Mob; media; celebrities; branding (white bands) Alliances –Trade Justice Movement, Control Arms, Make Poverty History, Jubilee 2000
Why do governments listen to NGOs? They usually dont, but when they do, its because NGOs: –Talk their language/ tell a story –Adapt message to legislative/negotiating timetables (eg Development Box) –Move the public (eg Church NGOs on debt) –Are skilled media operators –Sometimes spot emerging issues before civil servants (PWYP)
Why dont governments listen to (most) academics? Academic incentive structure all wrong –Risk averse (on the one hand, on the other…) –Impenetrable post modernist or economicist jargon –Talk to peers, not politicians Do not adapt message to decision makers realities (e.g. timetables) Think like lecturers, not lobbyists (e.g. Cambridge economists and Development White Paper, 2000) Result? A very restricted gene pool of insider academics (including ODI!)
Constraints on NGO Research The sensibilist conspiracy – self censorship and the financial-intellectual complex Dominance of mathematical economics leads to political naivete (problem/solution/exhortation) and historical amnesia Power Analysis (Government is not a faculty) – policy-based evidence making is widespread!
What needs to change? Increase national research and advocacy capacity (e.g. Basic Services and South Asia) Shift to political economy/how change happens Intellectual Pluralism (Rodrik on the World Bank)