Cookies on oxfam

We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all our cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Close

Research

Drying books in the sun in Vanuatu (Credit: Vlad Sokhin/Panos/OxfamAUS)

Research enables Oxfam to look ahead and plan strategically in a fast-changing world. It sharpens and underpins the credibility of our campaigns and helps us to design high-quality country-level programmes and learn important lessons from our work. We are known globally for our 'research with a human face', providing local perspectives and voices that academic papers and statistical compilations often lack.

Oxfam's Global Research team has a wealth of skills, experience, and regional expertise.

  • We work with others to produce high-quality research that informs Oxfam's programming, campaigns, and advocacy, helps to identify new priorities, and contributes to external debates.
  • We work to improve the quality of Oxfam's research by ensuring rigorous research methods and a strong evidence base. This includes supporting staff and partners by providing advice, training, and technical resources.
  • We assist with conducting and commissioning research, as well as with communicating findings so they are best placed to inform effective practice.

Approach

Oxfam is committed to producing high quality research. Through the pursuit of systematic enquiry, we help work towards our vision of a just world without poverty. 

Our research is varied in approach and methods. For example, we are responsible for the analysis behind the global headline-grabbing statistic "In 2014 just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity", but we also conduct in-depth research around Oxfam's Effectiveness Reviews (rigorous evaluations of Oxfam projects around the world), such as the study of a community-based disaster reduction management and livelihoods programme, 'Information Flows Faster than Water: How livelihoods were saved in Pakistan's 2010 floods'. 

In order to ensure that our research is of the highest quality, we provide training and support to our staff and partners around the world. Oxfam employs a mixed methods approach to research, combining quantitative and qualitative methods. Much of our research is undertaken in collaboration with local partners, and seeks to raise the voices of local communities. We employ participatory approaches where appropriate. 

Research partnerships

Many of our research projects are conducted globally, involving Oxfam staff and partners around the world. Oxfam has numerous links to academia and research institutions in the countries where we work; many of these relationships are developed through our Regional Research Coordinators. We also actively seek to engage in formal research partnerships and funded consortia that are aligned with our strategic priorities, and where we can add value through drawing on the breadth of Oxfam's programmes and influencing experience.

Oxfam's strategic advantage

  • Our experience and global reach: across the Oxfam confederation we mobilise the power of people against poverty in over 90 countries worldwide. We have more than 70 years of development, humanitarian, and campaigning experience.
  • Our research impact: Our research findings are featured by media outlets throughout the world; we are quoted by CEOs, prime ministers, and presidents; we inform policy-makers decisions. We help make change happen.
  • Our commitment to rigour: We are committed to high standards of research methods and approaches, as demonstrated through our research guidelines and high impact research reports.

Existing research partnerships

Contact

If your research institution is interested in partnering or working with Oxfam please contact us at research@oxfam.org.uk

Research Guidelines

We also seek to ensure high quality research within our own organisation and the broader development and humanitarian sectors through publishing Oxfam Research Guidelines. These began as internal guidelines for our own staff, but have proved of interest to a much wider audience, especially in places where access to published guides to research is limited. 

Doughnut Economics

Former Oxfam senior researcher and previous co-author of the UN's annual Human Development Report Kate Raworth explains 'doughnut economics'.

The Scottish Doughnut

Katherine Trebeck talks about a new measure of Scotland's prosperity that goes beyond pounds and pence to look at what really matters to communities and society.

Related staff