John Magrath

Programme Researcher

John Magrath

John has worked for Oxfam GB for over 25 years in a variety of roles. His background is a journalist and writer. Since joining the Policy Research Team, he has looked particularly at climate change and its implications for Oxfam GB's work, and also at renewable energy. 

He has recently worked with Practical Action and Christian Aid to complete a field guide to using renewable energy, which aims to help development practitioners deliver energy access projects worldwide. You can view this resource here:

All posts by John Magrath

Former ski resort on Chacaltaya close to La Paz. Credit: Sally Rangecroft

Finding hidden water resources in Bolivia

With demand for water growing, new research by Sally Rangecroft has identified 54 rock glaciers in Bolivia that could provide an important source of all-year round water supply to local communities....

Maximino Beringue is a tenant farmer in the Philippines, he had a two storey house but it was completely destroyed during Typhoon Haiyan. Credit: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

Climate change and resilience: campaigns Tom and development Geri discuss

Is it possible to reconcile the views of campaigners and development practitioners on the place of climate change within programming through the concept of 'resilience'? On Tuesday John Magrath...

Tens of thousands fill the streets for The Wave Climate Rally in London, December 2009. Credit: Chris Worrell/Oxfam

Climate change: exceptional or unexceptional? Campaigns Tom and development Geri discuss

Why are there divergent views on where climate change fits within the development and humanitarian communities? Programme researcher John Magrath presents an imaginary conversation. ...

In Nicaragua, 64000 jobs were lost in 2013 due to the destruction of coffee plantations caused by the roya (coffee rust). These numbers are likely to increase in the years to come. (Credit: Mathieu-Etienne Gagnon/Oxfam)

Prolonged drought, rising temperatures and coffee rust — the growing crisis in Central America

Increasingly severe climate conditions are having a devastating impact on food security and livelihoods in Central America. Here, John Magrath looks at how prolonged droughts alone are serious concern,...

Women and children eating

Hidden hunger: South Africans speak out on World Food Day

On World Food Day John Magrath shares the findings of an Oxfam South Africa report which reveals that one in four citizens are going hungry. The causes of poverty, the cost of food, and related issues...

"Chorti" Indigenous woman of the community of Tunuco Arriba Jocotan (Guatemala). Saul Martinez/Oxfam

Could coffee rust and El Niño cause hunger for millions?

John Magrath explains how poor coffee harvests and drought are already threatening millions in Central America with hunger. Now, with meteorologists predicting an onset of El Niño later this year,...

credit: Nick Danziger/Oxfam, Ethiopia Food Crisis

How climate change made the development agenda

How did climate change rise up the agenda of the UK's environment and development agencies? Oxfam's Programme Researcher John Magrath reflects on the 'Up in Smoke' coalition and the...

A satellite image of the super El Niño of 1997-1998. The seesaw-like effect of an El Niño, with sea level along the equator down in the west and up in the eastern Pacific, can be seen in this image. White and red indicate higher-than-normal sea levels (warm water) and purple represents lower-than-normal sea height and cooler water. Credit: NASA/JPL

Increase in super El Niños will impact the poorest most

Scientists may have cracked a big climate puzzle:  whether rising global temperatures will influence the weather phenomenon known as El Niño. Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes. Here,...

Muhammed Abrahim in his destroyed field in Shikapur, Sindh Province, which he can no longer cultivate. Credit: Timothy Allen/Oxfam

Four years of floods have left Pakistan hungry – getting real about the human cost of climate change

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) release their report on the physical science behind climate change, John Magrath reminds us of the harsh reality of regional...

Aminata Yero uses her hands to make mud channels for irrigation in Mauritania. Credit: Pablo Tosco/Intermon Oxfam

A hotter world is a hungrier world

The latest assessment of global climate change enters a new phase today as scientists and civil servants gather in Stockholm to discuss the new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change...