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Research

  1. Research

    Can Haiti's Peanut Value Chain Survive US Generosity? Political economy analysis

    Research by PAPDA (the Haitian Advocacy Platform for Alternative Development) and Oxfam found that peanut value chain actors in Haiti face a number of serious constraints, including nonexistence of state support; weak organization; use of traditional production methods; and lack of access to irrigation and inputs, including herbicides to control aflatoxin, all in a context of poverty and vulnerable livelihoods. Most of those interviewed have peanut-related earnings insufficient to cover living expenses. However, most expressed satisfaction with their value chain activities. Women in particular reported achieving a measure of economic empowerment, despite limited earnings. With the right policies and agricultural programs, Haiti has the potential to achieve self-sufficiency and pursue export opportunities.

    The US peanut value chain, in contrast, features highly subsidized production, precision technologies, and politically well-organized farmers who engage in unabashed rent seeking. This leads to overproduction and pressures to develop foreign markets and use peanuts in food aid, such as the 2016 donation of 500 metric tons of dry roasted peanuts to Haiti. But such surplus dumping is incoherent with longstanding US agricultural aid aimed at boosting Haitian peanut productivity and overcoming severe aflatoxin issues.

    The paper recommends that the Haitian government provide significant support to the peanut value chain. It encourages the United States and other donors to continue providing aid to Haitian peanut production, while avoiding agricultural trade policies that undermine such assistance.

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  2. Research

    Anchored in Local Reality: Case Studies on Local Humanitarian Action from Haiti, Colombia, and Iraq

    Critiques of international humanitarian aid have long suggested that it needs to be more inclusive of actors from crisis-affected countries. Increased attention to this issue over the past decade or so has coalesced into a set of agendas often referred to as the “localization” of humanitarian assistance, “local humanitarian leadership” (LHL), and “local humanitarian action” (LHA). However, there is little consensus about key definitions and concepts related to these terms. What does “local” actually mean? Who qualifies as a “local humanitarian actor”? What are the goals of these agendas? In general, these conversations have been led by and focused on the experiences of international humanitarian actors, which in turn has shaped the discourse about both the status quo and necessary reforms. Recently, there have been increased efforts to re-center the voices of local humanitarian actors in these conversations. This paper offers deep insight into fundamental questions of this discussion in three different contexts: a region of Haiti recovering from a hurricane, displacement and political crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the overlapping pressures of migration, conflict, and climate change in Colombia.

    Also included here are versions of this work that focus on Haiti and Colombia which are translated into Haitian Creole and Spanish respectively.

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  3. Research

    Voters Support A Response To The Coronavirus That Meets The Scale Of The Crisis

    The Covid-19 virus is posing enormous challenges to the United States and world at large. We are suffering both an acute public-health emergency and a staggering blow to the economy. In order to save lives, protect working families, and boost our economy in sustainable and healthy ways, we need to take actions that are swift, bold, and well beyond what Congress has thus far been willing to approve.

    Oxfam partnered with Data for Progress to poll a host of policies designed to combat the coronavirus and corresponding economic crises it has triggered. We find that the initial bill passed by the House has strong public support - but that there is a similarly strong appetite in the public for a substantially more ambitious response. Given the drastic situation at hand and the public mandate for action - Congress can and should pursue an ambitious recovery agenda.

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  4. Research

    Are They Really Gender Equality Projects? An examination of donors’ gender-mainstreamed and gender-equality focused projects to assess the quality of gender-marked projects

    There is an increasing focus on gender equality in development and humanitarian aid, including in donors' self-reported contributions to gender equality. More policies and laws are calling for an increased focus on gender equality, and some nations are calling for feminist aid or feminist foreign policy—all positive steps to address one of the world’s largest challenges: gender inequality. 

    Donors' self-reported gender equality funding figures have increased, but it is unclear if the funding is actually for gender equality work. Evaluations of donor equality policies suggest that they are inconsistently implemented. And until recently, assessing the quality of gender equality projects was problematic because it was difficult to link the reported funding figures to more detailed project information.

    This report draws on Oxfam's research using publicly available information to examine 72 projects from seven donors across various sectors that provided over $6bn worth of gender equality funding. Its findings suggest there is a major gap between self-reported funding and high-quality gender equality projects. This is especially concerning given the massive challenges to achieve gender equality and the incredible gains that could come from it. Donors and other partners need to act to fix these deficiencies in their gender equality projects by gender marking projects in the pre-design phase, and not allowing projects to be counted as gender equality projects if they do not include critical components. 

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  5. Research

    Women Leading Locally: Exploring Women's Leadership in Humanitarian Action in Bangladesh and South Sudan

    This report examines women’s leadership in locally led humanitarian action with case studies from Bangladesh and South Sudan. Co-authored with two women’s organizations, Ashroy Foundation of Bangladesh and Rural Women for Development in South Sudan, it seeks to understand whether and how local humanitarian leadership (LHL) can promote or constrain women’s leadership. The report finds that women’s leadership in LHL is limited in both countries, with women’s leadership facing many of the same challenges as LHL itself. However, by encouraging collaboration between women leaders, women’s organizations, and LHL actors, progress toward a more gender-transformative humanitarian system can be achieved.

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  6. Research

    Time to Care

    Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis

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