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

Links I liked: mobiles v coke; Obama’s Mandela moment etc

Are mobiles the new Coca Cola? Mobile phones are held up as the most promising aspect of new technology in terms of helping poor people improve their lives, but some new research suggests people are cutting back on food and other essentials to pay for the all important status symbol. See here for a summary […]

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Pregnancy and childbirth still killing 500,000 women a year, nearly all in Africa and South Asia

Gender injustice is toxic to development, nowhere more clearly than in the stark fact that having a child remains one of the biggest health risks for women worldwide. Fifteen hundred women die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. That’s half a million women every year, and the number has hardly budged in […]

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Brazil is top of the world on an environmental issue – recycling

I’m mugging up on green jobs as part of the research for a forthcoming paper on the need for a ‘global green new deal’ and came across this great and (to me) unexpected example from Brazil. It’s drawn from UNEP’s ‘Green Jobs’ paper. Brazil is the global leader in aluminium can recycling — some 10.3 billion […]

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Promises v Reality: The Widening Credibility Gap on Aid

The backsliding began almost as soon as the ink was dry on the promises of increased aid made at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles. Have a look at the graphic, based on the latest figures.     It comes from a recent analysis of the latest aid numbers by ace crunchers, Development Initiatives, by […]

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Dreams From My Father – what does his book tell us about Obama’s presidency?

Imagine someone a bit like dozens of social movement and NGO activists who you’ve worked with over the years. Raised across three continents; a spell of community activism that tempers romanticism with hard knocks; all this interspersed with wrestling with the sense of identity to make sense of being of mixed race, the absent father, […]

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Ah, so that’s how you sell books…..

Identifying and promoting the writings of brilliant dissidents like Ha-Joon Chang, the Cambridge economist, has always struck me as a particularly useful role for NGOs. In 2001 Ha-Joon published ‘Kicking Away the Ladder‘, which had a significant impact in the Doha trade negotiations, helping to demonstrate the double standards being employed by rich countries who used […]

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Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries now around $1 trillion a year

According to a new paper from the Global Financial Integrity watchdog. The paper defines illicit financial flows as ‘the proceeds from both illicit activities such as corruption (bribery and embezzlement of national wealth), criminal activity, and the proceeds of licit business that become illicit when transported across borders in contravention of applicable laws and regulatory frameworks (most […]

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Financial Crisis: Calvin and Hobbes called it 15 years ago

thanks to an unlikely source for this. the World Bank’s Crisis Talk website.  

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Financial crises at a glance: bank crashes, geopolitics and how long til the rebound?

Here are two illuminating graphics from the Financial Times and Economist. First up is a figure from Martin Wolf’s latest column in the FT, itself based on a new paper by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, showing the proportion of the world economy affected by banking crises, from 1900-2008. Its main features are a spike around […]

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Final thought on Complexity Economics

This week, I’ve been mulling over Eric Beinhocker’s book, ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’ (see previous posts – an overview and a discussion of the implications for our models of change). One question that remains is ‘why aren’t there more books like this?’ The initial idea of  ‘Complexity Economics’ […]

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Harrowing blogs from Oxfam staff in Gaza

To get a feel for life in besieged Gaza right now, have a look at some riveting eye witness accounts here. Oxfam staffer Mohamed Ali writes ‘We have one day left of food and the nappies I bought two weeks ago are nearly gone. They are not good quality as little has been able to […]

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Complexity Economics, Evolution and How Change Happens

Eric Beinhocker’s book, ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’ (for review see previous post) challenges our understanding of how change happens and the role of would-be ‘change agents’ like Oxfam.

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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.