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 Climate Campaign v Make Poverty History

Over on the Political Climate blog, Andrew Pendleton has been musing on the difference between the 2005 ‘make poverty history’ and ‘stop climate chaos’ campaigns. In his view the climate campaigners have failed to break out of the ‘green wedge’ of environmentalists, whereas MPH went mainstream. His explanation for the differences? MPH used one simple […]

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Hedge Funds for Development? An evening with Ark

I spoke earlier this week at an annual retreat of a very different kind of charity – ARK. Set up by a bunch of hedge fund managers (it prefers the term ‘alternative investment industry’) in 2002, ARK raises a pile of money from glitzy gala dinners (see pic), and uses it to do what it […]

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Channel 16: a new crowdsourcing initiative on disasters and conflict

This is exciting – a new crowdsourcing initiative on humanitarian emergencies that combines wikipedia, youtube and Ushahidi to dig deeper, be more user-generated and more linked to taking action than standard media coverage. It’s called Channel 16, and here’s the blurb: “Named after the broadcast frequency of an international distress signal, Channel 16 creates a […]

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Live where you want; powerpoint MLK; world's most isolated man; Aid data galore; development jobs and Soviet Union meets tetris on youtube: links I liked

So if everyone in the world could live wherever they wanted, where would they all end up? Not the countries you might suspect – biggest proportional population increases would be in Singapore and New Zealand, according to a survey by Gallup. Biggest losers less surprising – Sierra Leone, Haiti and Zimbabwe would each lose half […]

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Is food the new oil? Fertiliser wars and Brazil as food superpower

In the Financial Times, Javier Blas gives us the back-story to the attempt by the world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton, to buy its largest fertiliser company, PotashCorp. Suddenly fertiliser is big business: in the first eight months of the year, deals valued at $61bn have been announced by companies in the industry, a high that […]

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How about some MDGs for the TOP billion?

In the run up to the big UN MDG summit next month, this sweet idea comes from Andrew Revkin on his dot earth blog: “Here comes a question to ponder over the weekend. There is a set of Millennium Development Goals for the poorest of the poor – a cohort of humanity sometimes described as […]

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Locked latrines, meat offsetting and development apps

I just spent an enthralling couple of days at a get together of Oxfam GB’s country directors (CDs). A combination of group discussions and speed-dating as I talked to as many as possible of the incredibly impressive people who are on Oxfam’s frontline, lobbying ministers and officials, consulting poor communities and doing (lots of) management stuff. […]

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Africa's four different kinds of economies

I’m a sucker for typologies. I guess they’re a wonk’s equivalent of those ‘what were the ten best punk/ska/heavy metal albums of all time?’ discussions in the pub. Here’s a nice one from ‘Lions on the Move’, a breathlessly upbeat new McKinsey report on Africa. It finds four clusters of African economies + a few […]

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Fun with data: the history of the world 1960-2008, and you're in charge

I just spent a happy half hour playing with this – the first of many, I suspect. It’s the latest version of the Hans Rosling/Gapminder graphs that I’ve blogged on before and this one is really user friendly – even I can get it to work. Just click here to start messing around. It allows […]

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Missing revolutionaries; food regulation; localism is wrong; China v Japan; invasion of the Austerians; liberalism and 21st Century enlightenment and hello, humanitarian workers: links I liked

‘What have all the African Revolutionaries Gone?’ muses Chris Blattman (I think he means ‘where’) Food corner: It’s time to regulate food markets, reckons former IFPRI director-general Joachim von Braun, reacting to the wheat price spike caused by the Russian export ban. Is eating local food environmentally virtuous? Nope, says James Choi in the New York […]

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Visual metaphor of the week – the hanging donkey

My colleague Kate Raworth includes this gem in her presentations on research methods. It illustrates the tendency for policy papers to endlessly expand their remits – ‘just add it to the terms of reference’. Sharp, focussed initial ideas come to resemble Christmas trees decorated with everybody’s particular passion. From working on many Oxfam papers over […]

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What are African countries already doing to adapt to climate change?

While climate change negotiators seem to be wading through metaphorical cement, national governments have no choice but to get on with adapting to current and future climate change, as far as they are able. A recent review of 10 African countries’ adaptation plans by IFPRI shows some patterns to the response. (The countries were Burundi, […]

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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.