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

Are women really 70% of the world's poor? How do we know?

Doing research for advocacy (which is a large part of my job) is a balancing act. The pressure to come up with clear findings and ‘killer facts’ that speak to policy-makers can easily tip over into something much more questionable. I once challenged a colleague at another NGO on a ‘fact’ she was using on Bolivia. ‘Well, it’s […]

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Some things governments can do to support development even without spending more money

Before any general election, anyone involved in advocacy indulges in ‘what would my dream manifesto look like?’ fantasies. (And then usually goes off to lobby the political parties and be told why their ideas are silly). 2010 is no exception, with the impending (probably 6 May) UK general election followed by decisive moments this year on […]

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Twitter, haiku and the unveiling of the wonku

Sharp eyed readers will have noticed that you can now sign up for twitter feeds of new posts from this blog (under my mug shot to the right of this). I have no intention of tweeting separately for the moment, partly because my son informed me, in a voice dripping with scorn, that twitter is […]

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Haiti Reconstruction: Two cheers (and one big boo) for Paul Collier’s plan

Oxford economics professor Paul Collier is the policy entrepreneur’s policy entrepreneur. The man who coined the phrase ‘bottom billion’ has an unparalleled ability to reach decision makers with cogent, timely and well written arguments. Paul has a long-standing connection with Haiti – he was previously Ban Ki-Moon’s special adviser on the country, (read his January […]

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How to turn knowledge into policy (without losing your job)

Together with Martin Walsh, our team’s research methods adviser, I’ve been browsing through some of the literature on how to ensure our work has impact…… After a year in which Britain’s top drugs adviser, Professor David Nutt, was sacked by the Home Secretary (interior minister) for overstepping the line between providing advice and advocating specific […]

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Can you comment on Oxfam’s analysis of the global economic crisis?

Since early 2009, Oxfam has been researching the impact of the global economic crisis on poverty and poor communities, and the way governments and others have responded. With co-authors Richard King and May Miller Dawkins, I’ve now pulled together focus group discussions and in depth interviews with 2,500 people, 11 country case studies and regional […]

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Reconstruction in Haiti, what do we know from previous disasters?

The Haiti operation is moving rapidly from rescue to reconstruction . What major challenges can we expect to emerge? What sort of policies have delivered results after previous earthquakes? One of the best sources on this is Responding to Earthquakes 2008: Learning from earthquake relief and recovery operations, by the ALNAP network.  Here are some […]

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Zero rupee notes; MLK and powerpoint; Millennium professors; new sites on globalization and politics of climate change and what Obama could learn from Bartlett: links I liked

Battling corruption with a zero rupee note [h/t Jo Rowlands] If Martin Luther King had had powerpoint….. Owen Barder:   What is it like being a Millennium Village? Shopkeeper:     Very good. We have lots of things. O:                           Does everything work well? Shopkeeper:     No, not all of it.  But we are much better off now. O:                          Who decides what to […]

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This is why I work for Oxfam

Yolette Etienne, the Oxfam GB country director in Haiti, in an extraordinary interview with Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, matter of factly discusses burying her mother in her garden before rejoining the relief effort. For regular updates (audio, video, text), links etc from the relief effort, go to this website set up by some tech […]

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Why is humanitarian work so hard in cities?

By chance, the day before the Haiti earthquake, we were having a discussion at Oxfam about why, when it comes to feeding programmes, disaster relief etc urban work tends to be both harder and less attractive to NGOs than doing equivalent things in rural settings. This reflected an increasing conviction that we need to do […]

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Can we stay the course on education?

Education is an aid good news story, but one that needs renewed commitment if it is not to turn sour. This from ‘Rescuing Education for All’, published by Oxfam yesterday: ‘Remarkable progress was being forged across the developing world, spurred by a new global commitment to the Education For All (EFA) goals. These goals were […]

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Degrowth – is it useful or feasible?

Thought I’d check out what this ‘degrowth’ idea is about so went to a public meeting organized by a couple of new economics thinktanks (CEECEC and nef). It was a combination of seriously old school (standing room only; two and a half hours of speeches) and new (the bar was open throughout the event; death […]

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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.