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

What can we learn from Chinese aid?

I’m at a two day EU conference ‘Development in times of crisis and Achieving the MDGs’ (snappy eh?). It’s in Madrid, but you wouldn’t know it. We’re in an airless, windowless room in an aircraft hangar of a conference centre miles out from the city. I was on a panel on the impact of the […]

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Who runs the world? The rise of the G5

The G5 countries will police each other and everyone else A thought-provoking and perversely optimistic take on 21st Century geopolitics from Paul Collier in this month’s issue of Prospect. It’s too well-written to edit, but in short, what he is saying is that the world will be run by the US, China, Japan, India and the […]

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What will this year’s World Development Report say about Conflict?

The WDR is published in the fall, but this year’s WDR director, Sarah Cliffe, gave a preview of its contents at Harvard recently. The Report will focus on ‘conflict affected countries’ (CACs). What most caught my attention was her typology of three types of ‘neglected violence’ that offer particular challenges for policy-makers (comments from Ed […]

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Africa's oil spill; great book titles; microfinance gabfest; global crisis 2.0; is health improving?; magnificent migrants; efficient blog-browsing and a real market failure: links I liked

What if the Gulf Oil Spill happened in Africa? Oh, wait, it already has…. Chris Blattman celebrates a truly great book title If you enjoyed Portfolios of the Poor, you might want to join this virtual conference. Here’s the blurb: “The Financial Access Initiative and MicroSave invites you to a free virtual conference on Reimagining Microfinance Around […]

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Top captions, winning wonkus, and a new and seriously embarrassing photo competition

It’s Friday, and in the interests of accountability, transparency, yadda yadda yadda it’s time to announce the winners of two previous competitions, and launch a third. First up, the winner of the photocaption competition is quite clearly Matt (see pic). But thanks also for “I never pictured Hugo Chavez and John Cleese hooking up” (Soren). […]

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Four big trends that advocacy NGOs need to watch

It’s obviously that strategic planning time of year again. Owen Barder recently posted his top tips for up and coming megatrends that should shape thinking in advocacy NGOs and last week I spent a self-indulgent morning doing my crystal ball thing with Traidcraft, an excellent UK NGO currently immersed in some long-term navel-gazing, (sorry I […]

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Morality or self-interest? Chatham House's new paper on UK Foreign Policy

Moral suasion or enlightened self-interest? Surely we need both! Are development advocates more convincing when they adopt the language of hard-bitten realism, or should they stick to starry-eyed idealism? This old conundrum returned as I read Alex Evans and David Steven’s new paper, ‘Organizing for Influence: UK Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty’, published […]

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Is South-South migration better at reducing poverty than South-North?

Interesting research on migration in the June issue of World Development. Sorry, no ungated version available. Two papers contrast the poverty and inequality impacts of North-South and South-South migration: Mexicans migrating to the US and Nicaraguans migrating elsewhere in Central America. The Mexican study, by Alejandro de la Fuente from the World Bank, finds that […]

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User fees are bad; India's middle class; disgraced professions; a good bank; Aesop and the Euromeltdown; the Amnesty ad the FT rejected; bad news from Rwanda and mangled lyrics: links I liked

Charging even very small user fees sharply limits access to preventive health care. MIT’s Poverty Action Lab summarizes the evidence and comes to an unequivocal  conclusion. Hope everyone’s listening Does India’s middle class care about poverty and inequality? SCF’s Ben Phillips is hopeful ‘I write to you from a disgraced profession’ (guess which one…..). James […]

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Who's better at preparing tomorrow's campaigners: LSE or Harvard?

Enough about aid, let’s talk about campaigning. By pure coincidence, I’ve been spending time with a bunch of Master in Public Adminstration (MPA) students recently – fascinating, not least because of the different approaches taken by their courses. Last week, the winning team from this year’s crop at the London School of Economics came in […]

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What is the future of UK development policy?

Consensus on size But tensions on coherence And definition This run of posts on aid is starting to seem endless (you probably agree….). But this one, on the outlook for UK aid, is the last of the series, at least for now. From tomorrow, I’ll be getting back to the usual random scattergun stuff, but […]

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Are aid workers living a lie? And does it matter?

These are the questions posed by Rosalind Eyben in an intriguing new paper in the European Journal of Development Research (no ungated version, sorry). Ros, formerly of DFID and now attached to the Institute of Development Studies, knows the aid industry backwards and is struck by “the dissonance between what [aid workers] do and what they report […]

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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.