How can the global system manage scarcity?

November 17, 2010

Twelve months to secure a Robin Hood Tax?

November 17, 2010

I'm taking a blog break, but some new talent is arriving….

November 17, 2010
empty image
empty image

The idea of stopping blogging fills me with a disturbing mix of reluctance, relief and alarm at the impending withdrawal symptoms, but I have no choice. It’s getting on for two and a half years since I started this blog, and I’m taking a break, probably til the end of the year.

The reason, as always, is workload – I’m writing a report for Oxfam International’s forthcoming campaign on ‘food mouse and toadjustice in a resource-constrained world’ (don’t worry, that won’t be its final name), and as anyone knows who’s tried to write a report in a large international bureaucracy with lots of clever, different, passionate people, it’s both a time-consuming and gruelling process. See right for my current favourite visual metaphor – I am definitely the mouse, but I’m naming no names on who/what is the toad…… Actually my previous favourite works pretty well too.

So while I disappear into the toad, I thought we’d run an experiment and throw the blog open to some of Oxfam’s advocacy gurus, working on climate change, aid, the Robin Hood Tax, the G20, essential services etc etc. They’ll be strutting their stuff over the next few weeks. Make sure you give them a hard time or I might never be allowed back……

If I can’t stand the cold turkey, I might drop in the odd post. If not, see you all in 2011.

best wishes



  1. How about being more active in Facebook during your leave from this blog?

    Duncan: no chance, purdah is purdah. Also (confession) I have no idea how Facebook works!

  2. My dear Duncan,

    We will miss you because your blog is an important reference for us and a tool for our work as well, but it is for a good cause and you will be back in January with a renewed energy and a lot of good ideas and analysis!
    Nathalie from Oxfam in Brazil

  3. Duncan,

    I will miss reading your blog. I will use the past issues relentlessly as I research my own book (provisional title) Money and Power for the World’s Poorest Women: The Critical First Step in building Village Economies in a Resource Constrained World” . The book starts with our work with women’s savings groups over the past decade. Let’s keep in touch. How can I view the entire archive of the two and a half years of blogs?

    Jeff Ashe
    Director of Community Finance
    Oxfam America

    Duncan: blimey, no idea Jeff, no-one has ever asked to see the lot – must be a couple of books’ worth by now. I’ll see if I can find out.

  4. Good luck with the report Duncan – I will definitely miss your blog and your unique insight, but look forward to reading the other Oxfam bloggers in your (temporary) absence.

    Know what you mean about workload though!
    Angela Lovell

  5. Duncan,

    Good work and a happy end of the year for you!

    It will be kind of frustrating to come to FP2P without your presence on the other side of the line, on the other hand it will be pretty exciting to wait for the report ‘food justice in a resource-constrained world’. Such a report will definitely justify your absence in our lives. Good luck with the bureaucrats, they are nothing but narcissists after all…


  6. NOOOOOO! Duncan, I just started teaching development studies at London Met when I discovered your blog – and think it is FANTASTIC, I learn so much through it, the latest debates (and not at all ideologically stunted, as so much debate in this area) – what will I do without you????

  7. Please come back soon to this blog. I have immensely benefited reading your stuff.

    Good luck for your work on the report.

    best regards,

    Traidcraft Exchange

  8. Duncan,
    I’m not into ‘blogging’, but I do read yours, when I can, so I hope you do come back. Just wanted to congratulate you on your book ‘From Poverty to Power’ which I referenced extensively in an essay I had to write for my masters on poverty and Sub-Saharan Africa (yes, another one of those..). Despite the reluctance of having to talk yet again about poverty in Africa (as supposed to doing something about it), it filled me with pride to talk about Oxfam’s model of change in comparison to other ones proposed. I hope that by doing so it does become more mainstream at least in the academic world. Any yes, I am an Oxfamer myself…
    Happy Christmas from Dublin,

Leave a comment

Translate »