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

Cash on Delivery: a big new aid idea? Actually, the EC’s been doing it for years!

One of the more exciting proposals in the UK Conservative’s recent Green Paper on development (see previous post here) is the idea of making aid ‘Cash on Delivery’ (CoD). ‘We will commit to pay a certain amount to a recipient government for a specific measure of progress – for example £100 for every extra child […]

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Poverty scorecards – a cheap way to identify who's poor?

Finding out which people in any given community live below the poverty line is actually quite hard. Why do it? To target services like microfinance  (let’s not get into the targetting v universal provision argument here); comparing poverty rates in different regions and countries, and tracking changes over time. But both income and consumption poverty […]

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Giving cash to poor people and reducing inequality: lessons from Latin America

Two interesting ‘one pagers’ from the consistently excellent International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, run by the UNDP and based in Brazil. In ‘Do Conditional Cash Tranfer (CCT) Programmes Work in Low-Income Countries?’ Simone Cecchini of ECLAC takes the well-known successes of cash transfers in large middle income countries such as Brazil (Bolsa Familia) and […]

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Asia rebounds and the G2 consolidates – the world's 9 biggest companies are now either Chinese or American

Back from a blissful and disconnected few days in Italy, and now paying the price in terms of catching up with the backlog of reading and emails, so this week will mostly be signposting interesting stuff, rather than trying to write anything original. Two graphics from this week’s Economist underline the rise of the G2 […]

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Obama in Africa; Easterly v Collier; Justin Lin on the joy of small banks and a Fox News journo bottles it on Rupert Murdoch: links I liked (and see you in two weeks)

Before I head off for two blog-free weeks in Italy, here is some final reading material. In Ghana on his first presidential visit to Sub-Saharan Africa, Barrack Obama hands out some tough love – colonial legacies are no longer an excuse for corruption. Chris Blattman analyses the speech para by para (and gives it an […]

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What does the British Conservative Party think about development?

This week I attended the launch of ‘One World Conservatism’, a ‘Green Paper’ (i.e. discussion document) in which the Conservative Party (who if you believe the opinion polls, are highly likely to take over from Gordon Brown’s Labour at the next election, due before next June) set out its thinking on international development. The Green […]

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How has Indonesia coped with the crisis, compared to the crash of 1998?

How has Indonesia, the country worst affected in the late 90s by the last major financial crisis in the developing world, been coping with the current one? Quite well, according to the IMF, which predicts the economy will grow at 2.5% in 2009 and 3.5% in 2010. That’s down from the 6% average in the […]

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The Pope's New Broadside on Globalization, the Crisis and Everything

One of the more unusual curtain raiser documents for the G8 summit last week was ‘Caritas in Veritate’ (Charity in Truth), the latest encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI. NGOs and development wonks tend to ignore these kinds of documents, but research shows that churches matter far more in the lives of poor people than NGOs […]

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Is the organic movement missing a big opportunity on climate change?

Oh dear, not only has climate change turned me into a reluctant green, but now I’m having to rethink my attitudes to organic farming. This is all the fault of a conversation with Peter Melchett and Ken Hayes from the Soil Association, who are both fervent advocates of organic agriculture (which Peter puts into practice on […]

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Bamboo bikes; dodgy banks; social housing; bankslaughter; Brown goes green; France in Africa; why missionaries are better than aid workers and a spectacular marketing disaster from Nigeria: links I liked

Ditch your Prius: the latest must have greener than thou accessory is ….. a bamboo bike from Zambia ‘ ‘Already, the panic of the autumn of 2008 is fading. The period within which lessons can be learnt and changes made is closing. Yet without radical changes, another crisis is certain. It may not even be that […]

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Latest Growth Projections for Developing Countries: Asia doing better, everywhere else worse

The IMF has just revised April’s World Economic Outlook growth projections for 2009 and 2010 (see table). Here’s the summary on developing countries: ‘Emerging and developing economies are projected to regain growth momentum during the second half of 2009, albeit with notable regional differences. Low-income countries are facing important challenges of their own because official […]

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WOCA load of rubbish – fiddling aid numbers at the G8

As expected, some of the more aid sceptic governments will be seeking ways to wriggle out of their commitments at the G8 summit, which opens in Italy today. But rather than just say ‘we’re breaking our promises – tough’, they are floating various kinds of creative accounting to allow them to meet their commitments without […]

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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.