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

How to insure crops with a mobile phone – an experiment from Kenya

For technophiles everywhere, an uplifting story from a recent issue of The Economist: ‘One of the things holding back agriculture in developing countries is the unwillingness of farmers with small plots of land to invest in better seed and fertiliser. Only half of Kenyan farmers buy improved seed or spend money on other inputs. Many […]

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How does change happen in Vietnam?

Fascinating talk with an academic insider in the Vietnamese establishment, who set out some thoughts on how big changes happen in Vietnam (eg the introduction of the Doi Moi process of economic opening or the land reform of the early 1990s). Particularly important because Vietnam’s record on growth with equity, and poverty reduction, is second […]

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The IMF debates the crisis and industrial policy

The Hanoi Hilton, IMF, Robert Wade and jet lag. One strange day. [any feedback on these wonku summaries, introduced in response to the reader survey?] My week in Vietnam kicks off with a weird jet-lagged day at the Hanoi Hilton c/o the IMF and the Vietnam State Bank, who organized a conference on ‘Post Crisis […]

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Today's World Water Day, and here's what you need to be reading/watching

It’s world water day Bad watsan ruins lives but gets ignored. So act! Today is world water day, and reader Steve Cockburn, coordinator of a global coalition called End Water Poverty, of which Oxfam is a member, has kindly done my job for me by sending over some links and analysis. This is all him, […]

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What do readers think of this blog? Results of audience survey

Executive wonku (see below): Lots of folk like it but want fights, shorter posts and more southern voices Wow. As promised here are the results of the online survey of users of this blog, crunched by the amazing elves in Oxfam’s market research department. Just as well, as the response was far greater than I […]

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Why no-one believes what scientists tell them

The Guardian’s George Monbiot is a former environmental scientist turned journalist-activist. Many moons ago I studied physics, before joining the development and human rights dark/light side (depending on your point of view). So his recent meditation on the nature of science and ‘public reason’ as Amartya Sen would call it, struck a chord, (and not just […]

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Climate change, shrinking glaciers and poverty in Tajikistan

A million miles from climategate and the post-Copenhagen blame game, spare a thought for the people of Tajikistan, a small, mountainous country in Central Asia. Around 53 percent of its population of seven million people live on less than $1.33 per day. And, although less than seven percent of its land is arable, around two […]

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How do you help people cope with shocks? A liquid brainstorm with Robert Chambers

At an IDS seminar last week, part of its excellent Crisis Watch initiative, Steve Wiggins from ODI argued that his research on the food price crisis shows that during an actual shock, state initiatives are much less important to poor people than their own social coping mechanisms as individuals, communities or through local institutions like […]

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Rodrik revolution; none of the above; retro KKK; gay rights in Africa; banned words; Easterly's wobble and cause and effect: links I liked

Dani Rodrik sees the IMF’s rethink on capital controls as the sign of a revolutionary shift on the role of finance and argues ‘With this battle won, the next worthy goal is a global financial transaction tax.’ Martin Wolf looks at the plans of Labour and the Tories and concludes that both big parties deserve […]

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Why the Today Programme leads to premature ageing

I feel terrible today, all thanks to the Today programme. For non-UK readers, it’s the flagship drivetime radio news show – the one that politicians and chattering classes listen to as they scan the newspapers and munch on their cornflakes. I was on this morning, talking about aid and corruption. What you heard on the […]

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Will this time be different? Financial crises and aid collapses over the last 30 years.

What impact do financial crises in rich countries have on their aid budgets? You would probably expect them to lead to a big bank bailout, producing a debt burden and a fiscal hangover, triggering bouts of cabinet infighting over public spending with aid coming off worst (after all, aid beneficiaries aren’t voters, at least in […]

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Some big development brains ask 'what's next?'

The Institute for Development Studies is a Good Thing. Located on the brutal 60s campus of the University of Sussex near Brighton, its gurus like Robert Chambers and Hans Singer have educated and inspired generations of Masters and PhD students, who then scattered to every corner of the aid industry and beyond (diplomats, politicians etc). […]

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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.