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

Live coverage and analysis of (maybe) final day in Copenhagen

A few newspapers are running the kind of minute by minute commentaries normally reserved for soccer matches. Gripping stuff, but will it make history? The Guardian The Times

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Between microfinance and big bank lending there is…. a Missing Middle

Credit is the lifeblood of farming – you need cash to plant seeds, buy fertiliser and stay alive long long enough to reap and sell your harvest and pay off your loan. But you can’t always get it when you need it. A new Oxfam research paper identifies one of the main market failures resulting […]

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Tobin tax update: how momentum is building for a Financial Transactions Tax

The momentum behind the Financial Transactions Tax (a tiny levy of 0.005% on all financial trades would raise about $30bn a year for climate change, development and/or filling fiscal holes) continues to grow since my last post (Why has the Tobin Tax gone mainstream?). The French government, which as far back as 2003 was the […]

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Breakfast (and climate change megabucks) with George Soros

Last week George Soros was passing through London and invited a bunch of NGO types for breakfast at his very nice house in South Kensington. (In case you’re interested we all got sticky pastries, but George made do with grapefruit and muesli). He was en route to Copenhagen to launch his big new idea – […]

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What's on the Copenhagen table part 2: developing countries

As ministers and heads of state start to fly in, and Copenhagen (hopefully) gets serious,  here’s the companion to my previous post, summarizing key developing country positions in the negotiations. Let me know if there are any mistakes/additions and I’ll pass them on. [sorry for two blogs in one day, but this week is a […]

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Copenhagen: What have Developed Countries put on the table so far?

Here’s a handy guide from our Copenhagen team to all the offers currently on the table from developed countries (I’m now off to do a companion post on developing country positions). Do let me know if there are any mistakes/additions and I’ll pass them on. European Union Emission Reductions At last week’s EU summit, leaders […]

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World Bank and dirty coal; rain makes you taller; IMF v Brazil on capital controls; Oxfam in Copenhagen; climate rows in graphics and the onward march of US unemployment: links I liked

How can the World Bank bid for becoming the big climate change financing agency when it continues to subsidise dirty coal? Update: a vehement response to the article from the World Bank The amount of rain that fell during your first year of life affects subsequent educational achievement, health, height and wealth [h/t Keith Johnston] […]

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Population: why it's a dangerous distraction on climate change (and makes us feel uncomfortable)

Trust the military to give it to me straight. Population comes up at virtually every talk I give – on climate change, development or just about anything else. But usually my questioners are a bit more circumspect than the man from the armed forces who recently asked what could be done about ‘women popping them […]

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What to Read on Copenhagen

OK, the Copenhagen climate summit is warming up nicely (even faster than the rest of the world), and I am trying to sift through the information overload. What on earth to read for those of us with limited time and not at the summit? I’ve been asking a few climate change guru chums and here’s […]

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Bad aid to agriculture: lessons from West Africa

After decades of decline, aid to agriculture has started to rise in the last few years in response to a renewed understanding of the role of agriculture in triggering growth and reducing poverty (see previous blog). But some recent research from 3 countries in West Africa (Niger, Burkina Faso and Ghana) suggests that quality is […]

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Hell is Good for Growth (or maybe vice versa)

The Protestant Work Ethic is back, this time supported by econometrics….. A recent article in the Boston Globe summed up research showing that a belief in hell is good for growth, and other linkages between religion and development. Highlights: ‘A pair of Harvard researchers recently examined 40 years of data from dozens of countries, trying […]

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Monsanto; top wonks; winning African journalism; Copenhagen polemics and dancing pink gloves: Links I liked

Monsanto – sinner or saint? It may be random and right-wing, but Foreign Policy’s list of the top 100 Global Thinkers is still fun (I particularly enjoyed how they made Bill Easterly and Jeff Sachs share 39th place – how they must hate that…) The Guardian has announced the winners of its international development journalism […]

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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.