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

How is Climate Change affecting South Africa?

Here’s my ‘summary of the summary’ of a report published today by Earthlife Africa and Oxfam International. ‘In climate terms, South Africa is already living on the edge. Much of it is arid or semi-arid and the whole country is subject to droughts and floods. Even small variations in rainfall or temperatures would exacerbate this already […]

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Obama’s lemon socialism; a globalization-fest; William Easterly loves aid and youtube factoid overkill: links I liked

Paul Krugman at his caustic best on why Obama should nationalize the banks: ‘what we have now isn’t private enterprise, it’s lemon socialism: banks get the upside but taxpayers bear the risks. And it’s perpetuating zombie banks, blocking economic recovery. What we want is a system in which banks own the downs as well as […]

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Can NGO advocacy influence states? Social Protection in Georgia

Here’s an example from Georgia of how well designed advocacy gets results: in this case helping 34,000 poor families gain access to state benefits and winning the introduction of an appeals procedure for those who feel unfairly excluded. It’s not glamorous, but it made a real difference, so bear with me. Like other post-Soviet Eastern […]

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They don’t half butcher your prose at The Economist

In a strictly personal capacity, I recently sent in a whimsical letter to The Economist in response to its piece on the changing names of London coined by journalists – ‘Reykjavik-on-Thames‘. What I sent: ‘Sir Given the combination of accelerating disappearance of the polar ice caps, and slow motion (glacial?) climate change negotiations, we could be […]

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From Poverty to Power in South Africa

Just spent a week promoting the South African edition of From Poverty to Power, published by Jacana Media with a nice foreword from Francis Wilson, an authority on poverty and labour markets in SA who also chaired the launch event at the Book Lounge in Cape Town. Jacana put on a great programme of public […]

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The future of capitalism; why a world war might help; pay politicians more; the global crisis outside Oxfam’s window and the People’s Front of Judea: links I liked

Dani Rodrik gets seriously long term on the future of capitalism Paul Krugman contrasts the Obama rescue plan with ‘the large public works program, otherwise known as World War II, that ended the Great Depression’ and says we’re in for a long slow slump. Please pay politicians more: Chris Blattman reports a paper on Brazil […]

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How are effective states going to emerge in Africa?

[Sorry to anyone who got a premature alert yesterday – hit the wrong button!] There’s nothing like a visit to Africa – in this case ten days of book promo and financial crisis impact interviews in South Africa and Zambia, to get you thinking about the role of the state. In Southern Africa, as on […]

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Another 100m in poverty; 700,000 dead children in Africa: the latest World Bank predictions on the crisis

Chilling new numbers from the World Bank on the human impact of the global economic crisis. New estimates for 2009 suggest that lower economic growth rates will trap 46 million more people on less than $1.25 a day than was expected prior to the crisis. An extra 53 million will stay trapped on less than […]

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Can 17th Century Britain help us design better social protection?

I recently listened enthralled to Simon Szreter of Cambridge University at an ODI conference on growth and equity (more on that later). Simon set out some of the history of social protection in the UK and its possible implications for today’s developing countries. For the two centuries before the industrial revolution, the UK had a universal […]

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Who reads this blog? Analysis of the first hundred posts

Google Analytics is a wonderful thing – it means I can see how many people read this blog, and which country and even city they come from (don’t worry, I can’t get your emails). So what does a trawl of the results for the first hundred posts reveal? Overall the site received over 25,000 visits […]

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Peasant activists v King Arthur; future geopolitics; nuclear self-love and an environmental good news story: links I liked

Monty Python and Development part 2: peasant activists debate good governance with King Arthur (thanks to Richard Cunliffe for that one) Katharina Pintor sets out some alternative geopolitical orders emerging from the crisis Extreme self promotion from AQ Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, c/o global Dashboard Ngaire Woods and co at Oxford’s Global […]

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Medical myth-busting: Why public beats private on health care provision

Today Oxfam publishes Blind Optimism: Challenging the myths about private health care in poor countries, written by my colleague Anna Marriott. She summed up the arguments in this op-ed on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website, and was in Washington this week driving the message home to the World Bank, whose default position of ‘private good, public bad’ […]

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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.