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

Food prices and politics: the IMF agrees with Bob Marley

I usually prefer ‘man bites dog’ research that comes up with unexpected answers, but sometimes it’s helpful to have the opposite – number crunchers who back up what you always suspected, thereby increasing your certainty and confidence. Food Prices and Political Instability, a new paper from the IMF, is in the latter category. Some highlights, […]

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Hans Rosling and co on Water – justice, development and liberation through washing machines

Last Tuesday was world water day, and I get the sense that water is one of those issues that is only going to rise further up the development agenda, both in terms of watsan (drinking water and sanitation), and because water is one of the key and ever-tighter pinchpoints of resource scarcity in farming and […]

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What’s New in Development?

An edited version of this piece went up on the Guardian Development website yesterday, summarizing the latest round of horizon-scanning powerpoints: How people understand and think about development is in a state of constant churn and upheaval. Some ideas are genuinely new, prompted by new technologies and ground-breaking political movements. Other ideas are old, previously […]

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Limits to environmentalism; a fire in New York; best job in Florida; how to influence China; Rwanda and James Bond on women's rights: links I liked

The Limits to Environmentalism: Matthew Lockwood delivers a brilliant series of critiques of Tim Jackson’s ‘Prosperity without growth’ on the Political Climate blog. Firstly, he argues that decoupling growth from carbon emissions may be difficult, but remains the best (or least worst) solution, and a lot better than giving up on growth. Secondly, he explores […]

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Really CGD? Really? The perils of attack blogs.

Update: A graceful apology from the CGD here.: ‘I deeply apologize to Oxfam and its partners and to our readers for the tone of my post. I should have dialed way back on the snark. Mea culpa.’ Kudos to Amanda Glassman for that. She doesn’t give on inch on the issues, so there will doubtless […]

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Yemen: Arab Spring meets Fragile State + Resource Constraints

Our regional director for the Middle East, Olga Ghazaryan, recently pointed out just how many development buzzwords are being bloodily explored in her region right now – transition to democracy in Egypt; Responsibility to Protect in Libya, and Yemen is looking like a combination of revolution in a fragile state and a dystopian vision of […]

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Inequality: what difference does it make to NGOs' work?

What difference does an inequality ‘lens’ make to the way we think about development and advocacy at national level? I’ve just been reading ‘Time for Equality: Closing Gaps, Opening Trails’, an excellent paper by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – one of the most innovative and interesting bits of the […]

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Land grabs: what's in the contracts? And an Indian land grab in Ethiopia

One of the problems with so-called ‘land grabs’ is secrecy. Most of the contracts that seal such deals are hidden from public scrutiny, which makes it very hard to establish what is really going on. The International Institute for Environment and Development, which is rapidly becoming the ‘go to’ thinktank on a whole range of […]

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Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding. Review of Charles Kenny's new book

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding—And How We Can Improve the World Even More, published this month, is an exercise in ‘framing’ – trying to shift the way we feel, as well as think, about development and aid. It does it rather well. Two big frames: 1. Lives are getting better everywhere, including in […]

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Arab uprising update; Wellbeing v GDP in China; IMF analyses cricket; aid reality checks in Bangladesh; India's cyber-city; DFID and India; another aid satire: links I liked

Arab Uprising Update: Alina Rocha Menocal assesses Egypt’s transition to democracy. Is the Arab Revolution a women’s rights revolution? Yes argues Soumaya Ghannoushi – Exhibit A:  International Women’s Day in Cairo’s Tahrir Square [h/t Caroline Sweetman]. And protests in Burkina Faso – is the ferment spilling over into sub-Saharan Africa? Rich in misery? Wellbeing v GDP in […]

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So where have we got to on Value for Money, Results etc?

Great posts, great comments. My head is now spinning as I try and disentangle some of the different threads that have emerged over the last two days. First: horses for courses. Some aid work is akin to Ros’ bathroom problem – linear, measurable, and suitable for a logframe + results approach. Other areas are emergent […]

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If not results, then what? The risks of not having a results agenda

The ODI’s Claire Melamed replies to yesterday’s guest post from Ros Eyben: “Ros Eyben suggests that instead of a results agenda, we should rely on good relationships to deliver good aid.  And indeed, if all relationships were good, and all the people involved in making decisions about aid were thoroughly well-informed, open to new ideas, […]

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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.