Strengthening the democratic contribution of NGOs and nonprofit organisations


Not sure why it has taken me a month to write this blog post.  But I did submit at the end of July. It has been a long and intense slog since Christmas; I kept up some contracting and volunteer work but the PhD really hoovered up every bit of time it could, including all those weekends.  It is certainly nice to move away from that intensity. Jake came with.. Read More


Its been a hectic few months.  I have been working towards putting a full draft of the thesis together and getting it off to my supervisors.  Which meant lots of editing and re-drafting, as well as writing my conclusion and introduction.  One thing that really helped is that I had to write an abstract (to send to prospective externs), which was a really tricky thing to write, but it meant.. Read More


Right, so this is different, I am trying to finish. Sorry. I can’t, I need to just do … Sorry. Nervous, anxious, stressed. Bored. How’s it going? Oh, fine… I think. There is a lot to do … Loads. Can I work, do you think? Coffee. Facebook. Tea. Yes, no. I don’t know. Comma…. splice. Quiet. Chaos. Thank you. Ok?

Confetti time

Soooooo, this blog has been even quieter than usual, but in my defence I have been busy. Helen was born on 4th of February just before we moved out of our house for renovations. We are back now though and I have a desk, a computer, and a creche. I did do some work while on maternity leave, and I think it has been important in terms of keeping in.. Read More

On the edges…

The experience of being a working mother, Phd student and activist is one of being half there.  Involved but not really at the heart of things. The obvious exemption is being a mother (there is no half way on that one). I am director of The Advocacy initiative, but in 2.5 days a week I know I am not at every event I should be, don’t read everything, and certainly.. Read More

Another world

“Another world is not only possible, she’s on her way.  Maybe many of us won’t be here to greet her, but on a quiet day, if I listen carefully, I can her her breathing.” Arundhati Roy (2003)

Work in Phd. Phd into work.

I think I had thought about this Phd topic before I started working with The Advocacy Initiative, after all funding is an issue that is very hard to get away from, but I did intend it to be as complementary as possible. That said, I don’t really think there has been as much ‘feeding in and feeding out’ as I initially would have anticipated.  I think the Phd reading is.. Read More

What does it do?

This is the published text of a letter I wrote to the Irish Times just before Christmas, and was published on 31 December.  It responds to a particular editorial, but reflects some of the reading I have been doing about associative democracy and the functions of nonprofit organisations. Sir, – In reading your editorial, I am struck that you pose a challenge to the community and voluntary sector which is not without.. Read More