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

Why equity matters more than growth: The Spirit Level

‘Growth with Equity’ is motherhood and apple pie in economic policy-making these days. But in a great new book, Spirit Level, authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that ‘economic growth, for so long the great engine of progress, has, in the rich countries, largely finished its work.’ Above a certain average income (the authors […]

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China as the world's biggest aid donor; water grabs; how the FT overthrows governments; road safety in Kenya; why rich countries question capitalism more than poor ones and a new initiative on greening urban economies in poor countries: Links I liked

Paul Collier argues that China is the world’s biggest donor, and that it shows the case for attaching more conditions to lending. Alex Evans passes on some interesting thoughts from Nestle boss Peter Brabeck-Letmathe – the recent spate of land grabs are actually about getting access to the water that goes with the land, more […]

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Developing country governments are dragging their feet over the global crisis

What are developing country governments doing to respond to the damage being inflicted by the global economic crisis? Answer, according to two new papers: not much, and they could be doing a lot more. A study from the Overseas Development Institute pulls together the draft findings from studies in ten countries. The ODI finds that […]

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Is HIV a disease of inequality?

There is a strong statistical link between income inequality and the prevalence of HIV around the world. Göran Holmqvist, of  the Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm and Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, has an IPC paper out on it, and a one page summary.

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How do poor people see the impact of the global crisis? New research from five countries.

Some excellent new research on the impact of the global economic crisis: ‘Accounts of Crisis: Poor People’s Experiences of the Food, Fuel and Financial Crisis in Five Countries’. The project was run by the Institute of Development Studies, UK and builds on its pioneering work in participatory research methods to try and get inside poor […]

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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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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.