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Adapting to a whole new climate

  Big sighs of relief about the climate change agreement reached in Paris last week. While it is far from perfect, many experts see it as a historic turning point that puts all of us in a better position to tackle the greatest challenge of our time. The least developed countries, however, are not so happy. From their perspective, very little has changed in terms of the resources that can help them better react to the negative impact of climate change, especially global warming. A few vague commitments were made in Paris with no immediate effect. Adaptation – the...

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Are climate change talks a privilege of the few?

Living in Paris and working on development and climate change issues, I couldn’t escape the deluge of updates on the ongoing Conference of the Parties (COP21) even if I tried. Curiously enough, for all the articles, policy analyses, recommendations, briefings and papers I have been reading, it is hard to find anything voicing the views of average citizens from developing countries on global warming and climate change. Virtually everything I have read reflects the positions of either experts or advocates. Many would agree that when it comes to these topics you really enter the realm of science and so...

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The world upside down

I am deeply honoured to publish my first co-authored post with my colleague and friend Cindy Dubble. She has worked on children’s rights in some of the worst conflict situations around the world – often risking her own life to improve the living conditions of forgotten children. Cindy is, quite simply, one of the best people and humanitarian professionals I have ever met. This blog post is an opportunity to share her wisdom from three decades of helping – and listening to – children affected by war and natural disasters.

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“I participate. You participate. They decide”.

I will always be grateful to my former colleague Rachel Scott for lending me her book Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid (2012). I must confess its small size was the second thing that caught my eye right after the title. At the time I was so snowed under with work that I didn’t think I would have any time left for extra reading, let alone for extra work-related reading. Surprisingly, it wasn’t long before this precious little book kept me up at night and had me nodding in agreement at each page....

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The elephant in the room

There’s a lot of talk these days about leaving no-one behind. In development circles it has become a mantra for making sure that everyone benefits from the ambitious agenda the world adopted last month to advance human progress between now and 2030. Every day I read of specific groups who shouldn’t be left behind: people affected by conflict, pandemics, climate disasters, disability…. the list could go on and on. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for including these groups and firmly believe we need to pay more attention to each one of them. That’s what my job is...

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