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

Is this guy the world's best lecturer on development?

I’m conscious that this blog has been somewhat heavy going this week, so here’s a reward to anyone who got through to Friday (especially for any saddoes like me who end up watching youtube at the weekend). Hans Rosling is a youtube phenomenon, a Swedish economist whose lectures on data and development have deservedly become […]

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The UN lays into finance, speculation and the IMF: UNCTAD's Trade and Development Report 2009

Another day, another UN report, this time the Trade and Development Report 2009, from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), released last week. It’s surprisingly forthright. Set up in 1964, in the table-thumping days of the New International Economic Order, in recent years UNCTAD had become markedly more cautious, not least under its current […]

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Cash for Climate: how the financing numbers break down

Cash will be king in the next few months as the crescendo of climate change negotiations builds to the big December summit in Copenhagen. In the words of Alf Wills, a South African negotiator, ‘no money, no deal’ (although European Commission President José Manuel Barroso is also credited with the soundbite). If developing countries are […]

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World Bank pronounces on climate change: WDR 2010, published today

This year’s World Bank flagship publication, the World Development Report 2010, is on climate change – a significant departure from the tradition of devoting turn of the decade WDRs to an overview of poverty. It’s an unabashed bit of climate change advocacy, remorselessly upbeat and optimistic (even when the story it tells suggests rather more […]

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Golf courses v solar power; Africa is big; climate change in Nepal; Krugman v maths; renewable energy awards and what success in Copenhagen might look like: links I liked

According to the United Nations 170,000 square kilometres of forest is destroyed each year. If we constructed solar farms at the same rate, we would be finished in 3 years. This would require only 12 times the land area currently devoted to golf courses. The influence of the Mercator projection runs deep –Africa is much […]

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Development v Climate Change: a new UN report tries to square the circle

September is the start of report season, an avalanche of global roundups from UN agencies, thinktanks etc that seems to grow in number every year. As it coincides with the party conference season, start of the college year in the Northern hemisphere etc etc, it all makes for a horrific backlog. So to ease the […]

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Game on (finally) in climate change talks

After months of futile and wearying paralysis, marked by interminable meetings full of little more than posturing and the endless repetition of fixed positions, the climate change talks seem to be entering full negotiating mode, and not before time, with the Copenhagen climate summit only 3 months away. For the ‘glass half full’ optimistic version, […]

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Update on US aid reform

These are exciting times for anyone who wants to reform the US aid system, as years of preparation and lobbying start to bear fruit (see my previous blog and click here for an excellent introduction to US aid from Oxfam America). Congress has taken an early lead on reform – with three pieces of legislation currently […]

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Watching Bill Easterly; Africa's falling fertility; Krugman misses Nixon; more microcredit; well-being and big numbers: links I liked

Some aid supporters, fed up with Bill Easterly whinging on about aid on his Aid Watch blog, have started a ‘Bill Easterly Watch’ blog, and announced it on…. Aid Watch of course. The Economist predicts a much-needed ‘demographic dividend’ from Africa’s falling fertility rates The raucous healthcare debate has Paul Krugman missing the rationalism of […]

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Socialism in the USA. Yes, really.

It’s Labor Day in the USA today, and so it seems a good moment to talk about a flourishing US industry that is built on socialist lines. Every year, by general agreement, the most talented new staff are allocated to the weakest firms to ‘keep things fair’. Firms are subject to salary caps and/or taxes […]

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How to find $280bn for poor countries this weekend

This weekend the finance ministers of the G20 – the world’s most powerful nations -will meet in London.  While the rich world’s green shootists apparently feel that the worst of the economic crisis is behind us, the poorest countries are being hammered, with those living on the margins of the global economy paying the highest […]

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Do the poorest countries need industrial policy? The UN says yes.

Jetlag is a wonderful way to catch up on your paper backlog. Just been reading UNCTAD’s 2009 Least Developed Countries report (published in July). Limpid prose it ain’t, but it sets out a coherent case for a post-Washington Consensus push for state-led industrialization in the world’s poorest countries. (I blame the turgid nature of UN-speak […]

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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.