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Retrofitting: A housing policy that saves lives

When a hurricane, earthquake or other natural disaster strikes a poor country, families too often suffer a double tragedy: the loss of loved ones and their most valuable asset, their home. An easy and inexpensive way to make housing more resilient—and save thousands of lives in the next natural disaster—is to help the millions living in informal settlements retrofit their houses to at least minimal standards of safety.

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The importance of investing in leadership

Vice President of the American National Council of Nonprofits, Jennifer Chandler, considers the importance of developing leaders within a nonprofit's strategic plan, reflecting on proposed methods of attracting and retaining effective leaders within the sector. 

 

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$10M of philanthropy funds restructured for greater impact

One of Australia’s largest distributors of philanthropic funds has restructured its grant program to direct more than $10 million of annual discretionary charitable giving into five key areas.

 

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Future of NGO's: Let's focus on opportunities

This week we have a reply to Michael Edwards controversial blog - What’s to be done with Oxfam? - that we ran in the last newsletter. Edwards argued that NGOs are too small to influence and too bureaucratic to be social movements. Uwe Gneiting of Oxfam America welcomes the debate and takes it further.

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HIV prevention drugs could halve new cases

People at high risk of contracting a HIV infection could be protected by taking anti-retroviral medicines (ARV) regularly, a conference in Durban, South Africa, has heard.

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Human rights activists are being portrayed as terrorists and foreign puppets

Governments around the world are closing down our rights to free speech and assembly - we mustn’t stop fighting back, writes Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah.

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Aleppo doctor: 'Shedding tears for the injured children of Syria is not enough'

Light has been shed on the plight of children in Syria recently as pictures of a young injured boy in an ambulance captured the world's attention. Yet a medical emergency has been unfolding in slow motion in Syria for five years, says a critical care physician from Chicago who has worked in Aleppo.

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Can enough development professionals speak the language of finance?

Aid workers can't be grouped together with hedge fund managers, nor can the tasks of an NGO program officer be directly compared to those of a Wall Street banker. Yet the principles of finance are seemingly becoming more and more intertwined with how development is pursued. Are development professionals becoming adequately versed in the discipline of traditional finance as these trends continue to take hold?

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Saudi-led coalition says it regrets MSF decision to evacuate staff from Yemen

As Yemeni civilians and health facilities continue to be bombarded in air strikes carried out by a Saudi-led coalition, Medecins Sans Frontieres have decided to evacuate their staff from six hospitals in northern Yemen. The coalition have responded to this move, claiming their ongoing commitment to international law and an intention to set up an independent investigation of these incidents.

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A new point seven

In an environment of increasing aid cuts, Terence Wood of the Development Policy Centre is arguing for a new 0.7% target - Australian aid NGOs should give 0.7% of the revenue they receive from private donations to fund a collective effort to persuade the Australian public and their elected representatives that Australia should give more, and better, ODA.

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