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 Open is Your Government? Find out here

The latest ‘Open Budget Index‘ (2008), produced by the Open Budget Initiative, ranks governments according to the information they make available to the public throughout the budget process. The main findings are: Only five countries of the 85 surveyed—France, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States—make extensive information publicly available as required by […]

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How do you manage people who don’t want to be led and may be smarter than you?

That’s the kicker question in a recent Harvard Business Review piece by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones which certainly struck a chord with me (not that I’m admitting that the people I manage are smarter than me, obviously…) Here are a few choice quotes: ‘They are acutely aware of the salaries and bonuses attached to […]

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What is Gordon Brown thinking on the G20 summit?

I joined a roomful of suits today for an hour with the PM. The venue was Lancaster House, the pink marble and gilt architectural cheesecake that will be the venue for the G20 summit on 2 April. Perhaps there’s guilt as well as gilt – Lancaster House previously hosted talks that led to the independence […]

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Why is development writing so turgid? George Orwell to the rescue

The literature on development can be pretty heavy going, littered with jargon, clunky prose, redundant phrases like ‘in the context of’ and euphemisms like ‘challenge’ (it means a problem). I spend a fair amount of my time reading draft papers, replacing ’employment opportunities are essential constituents of the livelihoods of the excluded population’ with ‘poor people need […]

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Links I liked: Rodrik reflates; Brown goes Green; Ireland backslides on aid; plus Life of Brian

Dani Rodrik talks sense as always, this time about how to engineer a quick bailout for poor countries – the IMF engineers a massive fiscal stimulus Gordon Brown nails his colours to the climate change mast in Davos: ‘we cannot afford to relegate climate change to the international pending tray because of our current economic […]

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Is The Economist going socialist?

The back half of The Economist (business, finance and economics) is having an excellent crisis. If you’re willing to filter out the gratuitous (and increasingly defensive) neoclassical riffs, there is some really excellent analysis in there and even some (perhaps inadvertent) progressive thinking. This week’s edition includes a three page briefing on the Asian economies and […]

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Protectionism – good or bad? It depends……

I wrote this for the ‘Development and the Crisis‘ website I plugged recently, but thought I’d recycle it here: It’s official. Protectionism is the Great Satan. Gordon Brown decries it in Davos; William Easterly crows over what he sees as Dani Rodrik’s conversion to the cause. All countries must eschew protectionism or risk a disastrous return to […]

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Global Social Democracy – Why I disagree with Walden Bello

Just came across ‘The Coming Capitalist Consensus’, a thought-provoking polemic by Walden Bello, the Filipino anti-globalization guru and sociology professor based at Focus on the Global South. Walden argues that a new form of ‘Global Social Democracy’ (GSD) is emerging from the crisis of market fundamentalism and finance capitalism. He sums up its key propositions as:

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Links I liked: celebrity cheese, aid sceptics and antidotes for cynicism

Celebrities, hope, cheese c/o Chris Blattman A clever video to help you rewind apathy here A happy day for all the aid sceptics out there – William Easterly is taking no prisoners on his new ‘Aid Watch’ blog James Meek in the Guardian on what it feels like to be living and thinking your way through […]

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A Promising new debate on the financial crisis

Take a look at Development and the Crisis, a new online debate moderated by Dani Rodrik, which has kicked off with contributions from Nancy Birdsall, Jose Antonio Ocampo, Arvind Subramanian, and Yung Chul Park. Here are some excerpted highlights from Dani’s opening pitch ‘Let developing nations rule’:

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Greed, Fear, Deregulation and previous crashes: the origins of the meltdown

Rich pickings in this week’s Economist with a special report on the future of finance, and a nice briefing on ‘global economic imbalances’ that ties together the East Asian crisis of the late 90s with the current mess. The story runs like this, (allowing for my non-Economist spin) The East Asian financial crisis of the […]

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What would a global food security policy look like?

Sticking to yesterday’s theme of food, check out ‘The Feeding of the Nine Billion‘, an excellent new paper by Alex Evans. Alex combines the skills of academic and consultant with his insider experience as a former special adviser to Hilary Benn, then UK Secretary of State for International Development. He specialises in what George Lakoff […]

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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.