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  1. Research

    'Flash blending' development finance: how to make aid donor-private sector partnerships help meet the SDGs

    Aid donors, development advocates, and finance experts increasingly look to the private sector to fill the estimated $2.5 trillion annual Sustainable Development Goals financing gap, an amount likely to increase due to effects of COVID-19. Donors use a variety of partnerships with the private sector to realize development objectives. We use the term donor-private partnerships (DPPs) to describe the broad range of arrangements between donors and private-sector actors. Using ODA to leverage private finance, innovation testing, or service delivery, modalities include blended finance, de-risking instruments, public-private partnerships, and more. Does the reality match donors’ enthusiastic rhetoric? There are success stories but civil society actors and others question whether private-sector engagement in development reduces poverty and inequality, advances gender justice, and achieves environmental sustainability. There may be trade-offs between development and profit making. We present our research based on frameworks we developed to categorize and assess DPPs. We applied these to 20 partnerships involving nine donors and found that donors fail to sufficiently integrate development, human rights, and environmental standards. They inconsistently implement due diligence and risk management requirements, and impact assessments are inadequate. Our frameworks offer practitioners and academics valuable tools to examine how DPPs can advance sustainable development.

  2. Research

    Gender and Technology: A rights-based and intersectional analysis of key trends

    This report employs an intersectional feminist framework to identify and analyze key trends related to gender and technology. It aims to provide a holistic picture of how gender and technology are embedded in and influenced by a myriad of intersecting issues and challenges that complicate how ICT for development (ICT4D) initiatives concretely impact women’s lives. Based on synthesized research, the report provides recommendations for relevant stakeholders on how to approach the field of international development using technology as a tool for social good in ways that benefit the most marginalized members of our global community.

    Many of the report’s key findings highlight the fact that women’s lack of access to digital technologies and ICTs is a principal reason why gender inequalities persist in today’s technologically driven world. Particularly in low-and middle-income countries, many women still struggle with basic access to ICTs; for instance, they may be unable to afford ICT devices, or they may face barriers to joining online networks because of a lack of digital connectivity owing to geographic, economic, social, or political factors. This contributes to a gendered digital divide that impacts women’s potential to use ICTs and digital technologies for social, civic, and economic purposes.

    This report urges stakeholders to develop gender-sensitive, context-specific, evidence-based, and accountable legal frameworks and policies that promote and formalize digital rights for all. What is most essential, however, beyond legal frameworks, is truly listening to the needs and priorities of women and marginalized communities as they relate to digital technologies. Ultimately, fostering gender equality through ICT4D must begin with the recognition that, by virtue of a shared humanity, every woman is inherently entitled to digital rights and citizenship. As such, women must be centered in all ongoing and future conversations about ICTs’ capacity for systemic and transformative change.

  3. Research

    Oxfam Natural Resource Justice Strategic Plan 2021-2025

    Oxfam has been working in partnership with communities adversely impacted by the mining, oil, and gas sector for over two decades. Our work takes us to these communities; to regulators and treasury officials in national capitals; to the boardrooms of multinational companies and those financing extractive industry project development, including the international financial institutions; and to those forums where many of the standards and rules governing the sector are made.

    Wherever we are, we work alongside and for the benefit of those communities that are impacted by the sector and for those people who, despite the tremendous oil and mineral wealth with which their country is endowed, continue to live in poverty.

    This strategic plan will guide Oxfam’s natural resource research, advocacy and influencing, partnerships, and programming work from 2021 to 2025. It will guide our work at the country level, and regionally and globally. We will implement our new strategic plan in over 30 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, contributing to Oxfam's mission of creating a more just and sustainable world.

  4. Research

    Funding the Frontline: How an Oxfam Emergency Response Fund facilitated local humanitarian action

    From 2014 to 2020 Oxfam embedded an Emergency Response Fund (ERF) in its multiyear disaster risk reduction programs in Asia-Pacific and Central America. The Oxfam ERF was designed as a flexible funding mechanism to prioritize small-scale, under-the-radar, and forgotten emergencies and help local actors respond to and mitigate the impacts of disasters in their communities. ERF grants totaling US$1.9 million were disbursed and supported 24 small-scale responses led by 15 local organizations in nine countries. The ERF, through the support of a donor who values local leadership, helped local actors shape humanitarian responses, and the simplicity of fund administration unlocked creativity and delivered speed without compromising the quality and accountability of humanitarian aid.

  5. Research

    Copper for Development Report

    The mining sector remains the bedrock of Zambia’s economy. It contributes significantly to GDP and has been the fastest growing sector in the economy. Nevertheless, Zambia’s reliance on copper mining has often been cited as a contributing factor to its fragile economy owing to shocks in global copper prices that often have resultant effects on economic variables such as the exchange rate, inflation, and interest rates, among others. This is evidenced by economic shocks that the country has experienced in the wake of the
    COVID-19 pandemic prior to which the economy faced turbulent times due to its debt servicing obligations and other considerations.

    This report provides analysis of mining revenue management in Zambia and recommends several measures that might allow the country to benefit from its mineral resources.

  6. Research

    Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD): Game changer or mirage?

    Total Official Support for Sustainable Development, or TOSSD is a new statistical metric that has been in the making for almost 10 years. It is meant to capture a broad range of global flows of public money in support of sustainable development. These include aid, loans on non-concessional terms, and public funds aimed at mobilising private finance for development.

    Metrics matter. It is essential to track the resources that the international community is allocating to turn the ambitions of Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into reality. Without such data, it is impossible to determine whether there is progress.

    ActionAid, AidWatch Canada and Oxfam International are publishing this discussion paper to shed light on how TOSSD works in practice as well as on its ambitions, shortcomings and the contending political perspectives on this new metric. The paper emphasizes that TOSSD could significantly shape the future of development finance.

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