Welcome to From Poverty to Power

This platform explores the latest thinking and action on international development, highlighting issues of power, politics, hope and justice. It is curated by Duncan Green and Maria Faciolince.

Latest Posts

The first ever World Disability Report – what took them so long?

North-South convergence is undeniable (and a bit of a development cliche), but it’s not just about economies or political power. There’s also a growing recognition that social issues look increasingly similar across the North-South divide. Similar, but not identical – obesity may be on the rise in countries like Mexico and South Africa, but there, […]

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The Globalization Paradox, a great new book from Dani Rodrik

Dani Rodrik is one of the handful of heterodox heroes, prominent economists who took on the lazy thinking of the Washington Consensus in its prime, and continue to dance productively on its grave. His latest book, The Globalization Paradox: Why Global Markets, States and Democracy Can’t Coexist, feels like a Big Book, one that may […]

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How can you do influencing work in one party states?

Fascinating conversation during a recent visit to East Africa about how we work in Rwanda and Ethiopia, both arguably effective but authoritarian states, with little time for ‘people on the streets’- style campaigning. Does that mean it is impossible to influence the state’s policies and practices? Definitely not, but you need to do things differently, […]

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What Brits say v what they mean – handy de-coding device

A handy guide for our fellow Europeans, and others trying to fathom weaselly Brit-speak. Suggest you have this to hand at the next meeting [h/t Nicholas Pialek]

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Africa is big; interactive Arab Spring; DIY glasses; gendercide and global imbalances; IMFboss.org; blaming China; mass lipsynching American Pie: links I liked

The true size of Africa (keep clicking to enlarge). That Mercator’s got a lot to answer for. More examples of ‘immapancy’ here. [h/t Martin Walsh and Richard King].   The Arab Spring at your fingertips – brilliant interactive timeline from the Guardian DIY specs for the developing world, but why do they have to be under patent? […]

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Why is the new Oxfam campaign called 'GROW'? The importance of framing

What kind of a campaign calls itself ‘GROW’? Answer, a different kind. My first reaction on hearing the aural equivalent of puffs of smoke was a small jolt of surprise, and then a pleasurable ‘hey, that could be interesting.’ I’ve seen the same baffled curiosity on a few other people’s faces when they hear the […]

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The Killer Facts behind the GROW campaign

I’m a big fan of killer facts in campaigning – they summarize the issue and stick in the minds of policy makers and activists alike. So here’s a selection from yesterday’s launch of the GROW campaign, many of them ground out by ace number-crunching colleague Richard King: Extent of the problem · The poorest people spend […]

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GROW: Oxfam’s new Global Campaign

As promised, here’s the outline of the new 4 year Oxfam mega-campaign, GROW. The website is here, with the launch report ‘Growing a Better Future’ and lots of background papers and case studies. The point of departure for Grow is that the survival and flourishing of humanity in this century will be determined by its […]

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The biggest Oxfam campaign ever launches tomorrow (but it's a secret)

OK it’s imminent: fasten seat belts for the impending wonk, campaign, celeb and media fest around Oxfam’s campaign launch tomorrow. Biggest thing ever; simultaneous launches in 45 countries; bigger (at least in ambition) than Make Poverty History or Make Trade Fair, yadda yadda yadda. But due to the arcane rules of press work, I can’t tell you […]

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Inspiring action on shit (getting rid of it) – guest post from Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers is a participatory development guru with a nice line in modesty. The one line bio he sent for this post reads ‘Robert Chambers is a research associate at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, currently working on Community-Led Total Sanitation’. Well OK, but he’s also author of books that have changed the way […]

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Stuff Ex-pat Aid Workers Like; soap operas as change agents; gender traps; are crowdsourcing and cash transfers overrated?; wonderful waves: links I liked

Varying degrees of off-message links for the weekend: The Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like blog is like having a beer with a jaundiced aid worker after a crap day. It’s all cynicism and self-loathing (and some ferocious cartoons), with the commitment (one hopes) taken for granted. Highlights include a post on ‘facipulation’ (facilitation + manipulation), […]

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Random highlights of a week in Tanzania (workshop dancing, hyenas v goats, cricket attack – that kind of thing)

Any trip contains numerous golden moments that don’t fit into a neat blogpost. Here are some of them: The way a training session with activists regularly breaks into singing, dancing and general hilarity. If only all Oxfam meetings were like this. A vote on export bans: the government reintroduced a ban on exports of maize […]

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Managed and curated by

Duncan Green

Duncan is strategic adviser for Oxfam GB, author of ‘How Change Happens’ and Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics.

Maria Faciolince

Maria is an anthropologist, activist - researcher and multimedia communicator working with Oxfam GB.