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

Bureaucrats; discussants; climate-beating technologies; development lists; books save lives; Banksy and the Manganiyar Seduction: links I liked

Photos of bureaucrats at their desks around the world [h/t Chris Blattman] Also from Chris Blattman, how to be a good discussant Matthew Lockwood surveys the emerging technologies that give him most hope for beating climate change Time for some development lists: Nancy Birdsall and Owen Barder give their top ten things to do now […]

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Gendercide, International Women's Day and The Economist

The Economist magazine combines liberal economic orthodoxy (pro liberalization, anti state etc) with a politically liberal commitment to individual human rights. The latter presumably prompted this week’s cover story, Gendercide: What happened to 100 million baby girls?’ Even if it does come with the rest of the ideological baggage, (more on that later) it’s hard […]

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Is BRAC the first international NGO from the South?

Thinking Big, Going Global is a new IDS working paper on what is arguably the first fully fledged international NGO from the South. Since 2002, BRAC, a Bangladeshi NGO, has gone global, expanding its programme of ‘microfinance plus’ (education, health, enterprise support, etc) to Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Pakistan, formally […]

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Ending the Doomsday Cycle of global finance

‘Each time the system runs into problems, the Federal Reserve quickly lowers interest rates to revive it. These crises appear to be getting worse and worse.’ So begins a sobering analysis by Peter Boone and Simon Johnson in the CentrePiece, the journal of the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance. The argument is contained in the […]

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The State of World Hunger in Graphs

This from the FAO’s ‘State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009’. Click on the graphs. After decades of improvements, the number of undernourished people (in millions) in the world has been rising rapidly since the mid 1990s.       Even as a proportion of total population, hunger started rising in the middle of […]

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Gonzalo's blogging; Labour rights in China; insider stupidity; we're all doomed; precision v knowledge; hamster economics; hope in Haiti and putting the UN to music: links I liked

Hablas Espanhol? Because my compadre, free spirit and innovative thinker on development, Gonzalo Fanjul at Oxfam Intermon in Spain has just started a new blog on development issues. First few posts include why conflict leads to reduced infant mortality and agonizing over human rights in Cuba.  Brainfood guaranteed. Strengthening the rule of law in China one […]

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The Robin Hood Tax takes off: update, arguments and counterarguments

The Robin Hood Tax campaign has certainly struck a nerve. On the one hand, huge public support (within three weeks of the launch, 300,000 views of the Bill Nighy youtube, 120,000 fans on Facebook, 30,000 signed up on email) and serious political interest (UK parliamentary launch with 80 MPs, lobby meetings with all the major parties). […]

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Why 'Human Capital' is an abomination

I’ve always felt uneasy with using the term ‘human capital’ as a synonym for ‘people’. In this month’s issue of the consistently excellent Prospect magazine, philosopher Edward Skidelsky beautifully nails the arguments: ‘Economists, said John Maynard Keynes, should think of themselves as humble specialists, on a par with dentists. But his advice has gone unheeded. […]

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Lifting the Resource Curse (or how to make finding oil a blessing)

‘Lifting the Resource Curse’, a new Oxfam paper, revisits the difficult question of how to ensure natural resources are a blessing, and not a curse, for poor countries. Countries like Angola, where oil revenues (which represent 80 per cent of national income) are estimated at $10bn per year, yet 70 per cent of the population […]

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The gender impact of the global meltdown: 7 new papers and a video

One of the aspects which is almost invariably missing from substantive discussions on the global economic crisis (and which quite often, doesn’t even get lip service) is the gender dimension. Women and men experience crises in different ways, and are unequally affected by government responses. Often, pre-existing inequalities, which include under-representation of women at all […]

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Deadlines; zapping mosquitoes; Rodrik is blogging again; Paul Collier is blaming the NGOs; why isn't Britain more like Norway?, and pregnant breakdancers: links I liked

The end of this week (26 February) is the deadline both for commenting on our new draft paper on the impact and response to the global economic crisis, and to take the ultra-quick online survey to help sharpen up the contents of this blog. After that, I promise not to request participation of any kind […]

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More IMF revisionism, this time on capital controls

Another day, another IMF U turn, this time in a ‘Staff Position Note’ on capital controls by Ostry, Ghosh, Habermeier, Chamon, Qureshi, and Reinhardt (they seem to prefer writing by committee at the Fund – personally, I’m with Sartre: ‘hell is other people’). This comes hard on the heels of its recent rethink on inflation, […]

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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.