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

Whatever happened to Robin Hood? Update on the Financial Transaction Tax

  From deep inside the boilerhouse of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, this helpful update comes from Max Lawson, Oxfam’s man in the green mask….. The weeks up to the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Washington DC on 23 April (on the margins of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings) and the UK election […]

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Do the MDGs influence national development policies?

Expect a lot of soul searching around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) this year, in the run up to the UN high level event in September (see previous posts here and here). A recent issue of the IDS bulletin covered ‘The MDGs and Beyond’. The piece that caught my eye was an analysis of national Poverty […]

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Urinals; development songs; nail salons; economics v physics; state-building; Obamacare; Global Health Fund; apologies to Haiti; guns and anthropologists and more data for aid geeks: links I liked

A graphic history of the urinal [h/t a seriously underemployed John Magrath] It’s a brave man who publishes his musical preferences, so hats off to IDS director Lawrence Haddad for this list of top development songs Job  clusters among US immigrants – Bill Easterly finds that Vietnamese work in nail salons and Chaldeans (Roman Catholics […]

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Final Thoughts on Vietnam and the American War

As you’ll probably have realized by now, I spent last week in Vietnam, managing to take in everything from debating industrial policy with the IMF in the Hanoi Hilton to discussing survival strategies with lottery ticket sellers in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City (working for an NGO can be amazing sometimes). Everywhere you […]

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What makes Vietnam's informal economy tick?

Inside Vietnam’s informal economy – heroic struggles! Spent Wednesday talking to a range of people in the ‘informal economy’ of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). I was accompanying our excellent Vietnam team, who together with Action Aid Vietnam, are running a 5-year ‘poverty monitoring programme’ in 9 rural and 3 urban sites, including this […]

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How to insure crops with a mobile phone – an experiment from Kenya

For technophiles everywhere, an uplifting story from a recent issue of The Economist: ‘One of the things holding back agriculture in developing countries is the unwillingness of farmers with small plots of land to invest in better seed and fertiliser. Only half of Kenyan farmers buy improved seed or spend money on other inputs. Many […]

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How does change happen in Vietnam?

Fascinating talk with an academic insider in the Vietnamese establishment, who set out some thoughts on how big changes happen in Vietnam (eg the introduction of the Doi Moi process of economic opening or the land reform of the early 1990s). Particularly important because Vietnam’s record on growth with equity, and poverty reduction, is second […]

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The IMF debates the crisis and industrial policy

The Hanoi Hilton, IMF, Robert Wade and jet lag. One strange day. [any feedback on these wonku summaries, introduced in response to the reader survey?] My week in Vietnam kicks off with a weird jet-lagged day at the Hanoi Hilton c/o the IMF and the Vietnam State Bank, who organized a conference on ‘Post Crisis […]

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Today's World Water Day, and here's what you need to be reading/watching

It’s world water day Bad watsan ruins lives but gets ignored. So act! Today is world water day, and reader Steve Cockburn, coordinator of a global coalition called End Water Poverty, of which Oxfam is a member, has kindly done my job for me by sending over some links and analysis. This is all him, […]

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What do readers think of this blog? Results of audience survey

Executive wonku (see below): Lots of folk like it but want fights, shorter posts and more southern voices Wow. As promised here are the results of the online survey of users of this blog, crunched by the amazing elves in Oxfam’s market research department. Just as well, as the response was far greater than I […]

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Why no-one believes what scientists tell them

The Guardian’s George Monbiot is a former environmental scientist turned journalist-activist. Many moons ago I studied physics, before joining the development and human rights dark/light side (depending on your point of view). So his recent meditation on the nature of science and ‘public reason’ as Amartya Sen would call it, struck a chord, (and not just […]

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Climate change, shrinking glaciers and poverty in Tajikistan

A million miles from climategate and the post-Copenhagen blame game, spare a thought for the people of Tajikistan, a small, mountainous country in Central Asia. Around 53 percent of its population of seven million people live on less than $1.33 per day. And, although less than seven percent of its land is arable, around two […]

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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.