Oxfam 2020 - A Combined Voice for a Stronger Future

Oxfam 2020 commitment

Oxfam colleagues review the commitment on Oxfam 2020's commitment chart. The commitment was marked during Oxfam Go-Live on 1 April 2016. Photo: Naratevy Kek/Oxfam

“Cambodia is one of the most complex countries to transition as there were multiple affiliates and regional programmes, and Cambodia was the first country to make the shift"
Andrew Hartwich, Oxfam Asia Transition Manager and Chair of Asia Program Governance Group

“Oxfam is not about changing ourselves, it is about changing the world,” Oxfam International Programme Director, Franc Cortada, said.

Oxfam International is implementing a new initiative that places the focus on global connections to increase the organisations collective strength.

On April 21st, Mr Cortada visited the Oxfam Cambodia office to discuss the structural changes and said using the organisations international framework would “make the most of Oxfam’s scale, to leverage our voice.”

“A shared learning strategy and global goals; that’s the future,” he said.

The shift to one collective Oxfam identity will be implemented through programmes in each region that aim to shape each regions future by raising the voice of individual countries to a global platform.

“It’s about transforming the region, not individual programmes,” Mr Cortada said.

The traditionally affiliate driven programmes will look for donor support for country strategies rather than individual projects.

The Asia Transition Group works to bridge the gap between country and affiliate teams and Chair Andrew Hartwich said the focus is now moving from the initial changes at country level to implementing the Asia Regional Platform  

“It is about designing a regional platform in the spirit of a country and region working as one.

“There has to be synergy between the two layers,” Mr Hartwich said to staff in the Cambodia office.

Countries will take the lead in implementing their projects under the new system but they will be accountable to the Regional Director.

Mr Cortada said a country’s individual needs will remain the principal influence in the design of the programmes.

“Oxfam’s regional programmes are not top down.

“They are not made at Head Quarters and parachuted in to the countries, they are, and will be, country owned,” he said.

Mr Hartwich said the cross-country learning through the new regional programme structure will strengthen the projects in individual countries.

“It’s creating a common understanding between the countries in the region to make a cohesive structural change,” he said.

Not so long ago, seven individual country programmes operated in Cambodia and the process to combine into one financial and structural country management team is continuing.

“Cambodia is one of the most complex countries to transition as there were multiple affiliates and regional programmes, and Cambodia was the first country to make the shift.

“Hopefully the Cambodian experience will drive the development in other complex Oxfam countries,” Mr Hartwich said.

NGO resources are expected to remain stagnant for the foreseeable future and Oxfam International’s new strategy aims to sustainably increase the quality of the programmes.

“It’s not about increasing money, it’s about leveraging money to bring change to the people,” Mr Cortada said.

Text by: Sarahj Bell/Oxfam