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

Europe v America; Cheesy songs; planners v searchers; war in Southern Sudan; torturing English and the Gazprom song: links I liked

‘what European experience actually demonstrates is that social justice and progress can go hand in hand’ Paul Krugman hits back at one of the US health reform critics’ key arguments: that a welfare state undermines economic dynamism. Cheesy idea and corny song , but people from 156 countries simultaneously singing ‘love is all you need’ to […]

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Hillary Clinton on development: aid, agriculture, health and women

Hillary Clinton gave a big speech at the CGD development thinktank on Wednesday. Here are some of the things that jumped out for me: Strategic importance of development policy: ‘Development was once the province of humanitarians, charities, and governments looking to gain allies in global struggles. Today it is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative […]

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How can tax reform build effective states?

Taxation is one of those issues that usually causes the eyes of development types to glaze over. At best it’s relegated to the ‘important but braindeath’ category. When we do talk about tax, it’s often just as a way to raise money for schools and hospitals (if aid isn’t enough to do the job, that […]

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Can we improve aid through evolution rather than planning?

Finally got round to reading ‘Beyond Planning’ Owen Barder’s CGD paper on aid reform. Owen’s a former DFID bigwig turned Ethiopia-based consultant and blogger. Here he writes like a true economist, which can be pretty heavy going, but the paper is worth persevering with. He can also write like a human being, for example in […]

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Aid Satire; Berlusconi's horrible year; migration in the recession; Bono does climate change (but the US media doesn't): links I liked

Satire wars anyone? A flurry of New Year spoofs – what does that say about the next 12 months (or the effect of Christmas with the family) I wonder? Bill Easterly goes for the bludgeon rather than the rapier with ‘How to Write About Poor People’ Owen Barder sets out the arguments we will inevitably […]

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Using mobile phones to combat medicine shortages in Africa

Most of the coverage (and hype) around mobile phones and development is based on their potential to improve access to markets for small farmers, especially those in remote areas and to provide easy ways to transfer small amounts of money in the absence of functioning bank networks. But mobiles, which are rapidly becoming ubiquitous in […]

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Are dogs the real population problem on climate change?

After Copenhagen, allow me some bleak Christmas humour. If you’re a dog lover, look away now. But before you reach for the green ink, remember this is an attempt at satire. I got some fairly aggressive responses to my recent posts on population, and one of the core arguments of the population controllers seemed to […]

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Copenhagen: where do we go from here?

Wow, where to begin. I wasn’t in Copenhagen, but followed it from afar. A couple of reflections and then some highlights from two of the more comprehensive post mortems. Firstly, geopolitics. 2009 began with The G7 still apparently in the driving seat, saw the formal recognition of the shift from G7 to G20 in Pittsburgh, […]

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Expanders v restrainers; garlic bubbles; AJ Ayer v Mike Tyson; cash on delivery and martial ping pong: links I liked

Copenhagen round up to follow tomorrow, but in the meantime……. A couple of Copencurtain raisers worth reading: ‘Humanity is no longer split between conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and progressives. Today the battle lines are drawn between expanders and restrainers.’ George Monbiot gets better and better (and I never thought I’d say that). HelpAge International’s Copenhagen […]

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Live coverage and analysis of (maybe) final day in Copenhagen

A few newspapers are running the kind of minute by minute commentaries normally reserved for soccer matches. Gripping stuff, but will it make history? The Guardian The Times

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Between microfinance and big bank lending there is…. a Missing Middle

Credit is the lifeblood of farming – you need cash to plant seeds, buy fertiliser and stay alive long long enough to reap and sell your harvest and pay off your loan. But you can’t always get it when you need it. A new Oxfam research paper identifies one of the main market failures resulting […]

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Tobin tax update: how momentum is building for a Financial Transactions Tax

The momentum behind the Financial Transactions Tax (a tiny levy of 0.005% on all financial trades would raise about $30bn a year for climate change, development and/or filling fiscal holes) continues to grow since my last post (Why has the Tobin Tax gone mainstream?). The French government, which as far back as 2003 was the […]

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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.