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

The rise of the informal sector and why it should be taxed

I’ve been reading a couple of interesting things on the informal economy recently. The OECD has a new book out with the engaging title ‘Is Informal Normal?’ which gives a pretty decent overview. Informal employment refers to jobs or activities that are not registered or protected by the state. Informal workers are excluded from social […]

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Who's grabbing land?; Afghan women rise up; will corporate social responsibility survive the crisis?; China's global moment; the story of ‘oh dear-ism’ and I'm speaking in Dublin tonight: links I liked

Dani Rodrik takes the long view and asks if it actually matters whether globalization is in retreat Global Dashboard provides a helpful map of the current spate of land grabs in which wealthy countries ensure their food security by buying up large chunks of poor ones. ‘Afghanistan’s women find their voice’, according to the Guardian, […]

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Why the UK held the line on aid spending, despite the recession

Apologies for a bit of British parochialism, but this story has wider ramifications. A combination of political leadership and grassroots activism scored a real victory for the UK aid budget yesterday. Here’s why. All the headlines on Wednesday’s budget statement by Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Alistair Darling were about the dire state of […]

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Taxation and development: a great new book

Finally finished an illuminating book on the link between taxation and development: (Taxation and state-building in Developing Countries), edited by Deborah Brautigam, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Mick Moore). Here are a few highlights – a bit long, but I’m trying to summarize a densely argued 260 page book, so bear with me. Taxation is the new […]

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Natural disasters will hurt 50% more people by 2015. Why? Climate Change + Inequality

There has been some striking progress in reducing the death toll from natural disasters in recent decades. While Cyclone Sidr killed around 3,000 people in Bangladesh in 2007, similar or weaker storms killed 100 times that number in 1972 and 45 times more people in 1991, largely because governments and local communities have since taken […]

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Is the world running out of water?

Excellent overview of water scarcity in last week’s Economist. Here are a few highlights ‘The overthrow of Madagascar’s president in mid-March was partly caused by water problems—in South Korea. Worried by the difficulties of increasing food supplies in its water-stressed homeland, Daewoo, a South Korean conglomerate, signed a deal to lease no less than half […]

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What the IMF will be discussing this weekend

The global diplomatic circus that so recently met at the G20 summit in London is reconvening in Washington for the IMF and World Bank spring meetings this weekend. These are usually the lesser of the Bretton Woods Institutions’ (BWIs) two yearly jamborees (the Annual Meetings are held in September) but the momentum provided by both the […]

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Getting women into paid employment has more impact on poverty than formalizing women's work or equalizing wage rates – findings from Latin America

The International Poverty Centre (IPC) in Brazil churns out some interesting analysis and summarizes them in reader-friendly ‘one pagers’. One recent study looks at the role of gender inequality in explaining income growth, poverty and inequality. Here’s a summary of the one pager. The full paper is here.

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Cash for Coffins? What happened when Oxfam gave poor Vietnamese a lump sum

I’ve just been reading the latest evaluation of an Oxfam project I’ve started to call ‘cash for coffins’ in Viet Nam. From mid-2006 Oxfam GB directly disbursed non-emergency cash grants to 550 poor and near poor households in An Loc commune, a poor rice-growing community on the Central coast of Viet Nam. Not only is this […]

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Oxfam campaigns in Britain too – the latest on poverty and the UK recession

For many years, Oxfam has been running a programme in the UK (Oxfam America and Oxfam Australia, among others, also run domestic programmes). The UK work focuses on the rights of vulnerable workers, living standards, women’s poverty, influencing public attitudes to poverty and building strong and diverse communities.

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A sneak prevew of the FT in 2020, why anti-aid African writers get all the headlines, the worst NGO ever and economics goes post-autistic: links I liked

A copy of the Financial Times from 2020? Ah, it’s dated 1 April…… (h/t Global Dashboard) Chris Blattman muses (and gets into a row with Bill Easterly) over why anti-aid African voices seem to get all the press attention and a follow up And Chris’ outstanding candidate for worst NGO ever The real-world economics review (formerly […]

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Barrack Obama has some oratorical competition – from Michelle

A riveting performance from the First Lady at a girls’ school in North London last week. I’ve posted the full 15 minute speech up here, rather than than 2 minute youtube clip. Hard to imagine that Michelle Obama can keep up this level of emotional intensity for the full term – in a year or […]

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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.