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

Global price chaos – is another food crisis on the way?

Today in the FT: “Sugar prices suffered their biggest one-day sell-off in 30 years on Thursday, tumbling by as much as 11 per cent after speculators pulled out from the market in the wake of dizzying gains. The sell-off, which came just hours after the sweetener hit a 30-year high, started after the European Commission […]

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How is the G20 shaping up as the new global steering committee?

The G20 summit takes place in Seoul today and tomorrow, the first such gathering in a non-G8 country. I’ve been following the G20 process from a distance and it’s fascinating – here’s a few reflections. The moment: the financial crisis of 2008/9 saw the G8 publicly hand over the reins of international coordination to the G20. […]

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How to halve world poverty – ignore J. Paul Getty

An intriguing new paper from Paul Segal at the University of Sussex kicks off with a great quote from Mr Getty “The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights”. Segal wonders what might happen if governments defied that prediction, and just handed over the income from oil, mining etc directly to poor […]

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Eliminate poverty, don't reduce it: Victor Hugo disses the MDGs

“I am one of those who think and say that it is possible to destroy extreme poverty. Mark you, gentlemen, I am not saying ‘reduce’, ‘lessen’, ‘limit’, ‘control’, I said destroy. Poverty is a disease of society such as leprosy was a disease of the human body, and can be eliminated just as leprosy has […]

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Sanity is funny; bashing the bashers on fair trade; MDGs for the top billion; a moratorium on geo-engineering?; Africans' views of China; new diseases and vaccines v clean water: links I liked

The best 50 placards from Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, to go along with the one I put up on Friday [h/t Alex Evans] Bashing the bashers on fair trade. The Guardian’s John Vidal takes aim at the latest anti fair-trade report Update: OK, no-one like’s Vidal’s piece – anyone seen anything more rational […]

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What development issues do we need more research on?

Every development research paper I ever absent-mindedly skim pore over with fascination seems to end with NMR (needs more research) – a blatant piece of self-justification, but usually justified (anyone got any candidates for areas where we need less research? Anything involving cross country regressions or ‘discourse analysis’ perhaps?) But research on what? Research funders […]

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Is the IMF getting serious about inequality? Looks like it

Is the IMF going socialist? Hardly, but on Monday Dominique Strauss-Kahn, its Managing Director, gave a pretty extraordinary (and welcome) speech, entitled “Human Development and Wealth Distribution”. Here are a few excerpts: “Adam Smith—one of the founders of modern economics—recognized clearly that a poor distribution of wealth could undermine the free market system, noting that: […]

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Annual cost of global environmental damage? 11% of world GDP. And investors need to sort it out.

Ever wondered how much global environmental damage is caused by human activity? A new study puts it at 11% of global GDP ($6.6 trillion), a third of it caused by the world’s 3,000 largest companies. The study was commissioned by two UN-backed initiatives, Principles for Responsible Investment and the UNEP Finance Initiative with a clear purpose […]

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Are Grey Panthers the next big thing in campaigning?

It’s probably a sign of my advancing years, but I’ve been wondering whether NGOs are missing a trick by endlessly targeting young people to become their activists. Sure, they’re the leaders of tomorrow, but what about us wrinklies? This all came to a head when I went out for a beer with a friend of […]

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My first podcast; Jeff Sachs v the rest; Stiglitz meets Robin Hood; disability and development; men and gender; women's economic empowerment and Africa's middle classes: links I liked

Want to hear me rant on about food security, hunger and development? Now’s your chance on this Guardian podcast. Interviewer is Felicity Lawrence, clips from Olivier de Schutter, Jayati Ghosh and Raj Patel. Very promising wonk-wars building over quite what the Millennium Villages Project is trying to achieve, and how it will assess its success, judging by […]

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The Five Standard Excuses of all politicians, everywhere, for everything: this week’s Friday Formula

Listening to the exchanges in the British Parliament recently brings back the genius of Yes Minister, a long gone British political comedy that, I am told, has been used to train French civil servants in understanding their Brit rivals, counterparts. The references are from 1981 (with links for younger readers, non-anglophiles and amnesiacs), but the excuses […]

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What does the end of North-South mean for the development sector?

I spoke last night at an event in the House of Commons. It was held at Portcullis House, an architectural monstrosity next to Big Ben which despite its name is a new bit, so no-one’s been executed there. Yet. The subject was a BS (blue skies) session on ‘Beyond the MDG Summit: What next for […]

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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.