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

Chronic Poverty Report, published 8 July

This is the second report by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, a consortium of universities and thinktanks led by the Overseas Development Institute. It builds on many of the themes in the first (2004-5) report, but adds some important new issues and twists. Not an easy read, but there is real meat in here and […]

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Meltdowns compared: Financial v Climate Crises

Some highlights from a thought-provoking exchange with my colleague Sarah Best, who works on private sector and climate change issues. Similar causes · The roots of the financial crisis lie in a failure to properly assess risk (e.g. of sub-prime loans), an absence of proper oversight and regulation (e.g. of complex financial instruments) and consumption beyond […]

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Killer facts: a user's guide

‘Killer Facts’, are those punchy, memorable, headline-grabbing statistics that are picked up by the media and politicians and have immediate impact. In influencing terms, the right killer fact can be more effective than dozens of well-researched reports.

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It's G8 time again

In Hokkaido, Japan, this week, staff from across Oxfam International will be lobbying governments, talking to the press, and periodically donning the ‘big heads’ – giant replicas of the G8 leaders, which we lug around from conference to conference. Dreaming up stunts for the big heads is one of the more fun bits of summitry, […]

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Can we measure inequality of opportunity? The World Bank has a go.

The World Bank has come up with a ‘Human Opportunity Index’ which pulls together in a single composite indicator both how many opportunities (e.g. overall access to primary education, clean water etc) are available in a given country or region, and how equitably those opportunities are distributed between rich and poor. The idea is to […]

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Wales in the World: what can a small country do on climate change, trade etc?

I’ve just got back from promoting the book in Wales – the universities in Aberystwyth and Swansea, followed by a launch at the National Assembly of Wales. Since the Assembly was established in 1999, it seems to have galvanized a sense of nationhood – Welsh is much more widely spoken these days and more schools […]

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The changing understanding of poverty; the latest on growth diagnostics – 2 new papers to read while you’re awaiting the US election result……

I was saddened to see that the wonderfully named Post Autistic Economics Review has presumably succumbed to political correctness in renaming itself the Real-World Economics Review, but the quality is still great and email subscription is still free. The latest issue has a very handy guide by Paul Shaffer of the University of Toronto to […]

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Does Grassroots Activism Work? Two new collections of case studies

NGOs talk a lot about empowerment, voice, agency, grassroots mobilisation etc but it sometimes sounds a little woolly and you can’t help wondering if it actually amounts to much more than talk. Still those doubts. Two new collections of case studies, from the Institute of Development Studies and Oxfam, provide a gold mine of real […]

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Is the World Bank’s New Chief Economist a Heretic?

It’s not every day that you meet a man who swam across the Taiwan Strait to defect to China. Legend (or at least the World Bank’s press department) has it that Justin Lin was in his 20s when he did so in 1979 – he must have been a fit young man as it’s about […]

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The Food Price Crisis and Trade

Last week I shared a panel on the food price crisis with Alex Evans, a thinktanker who runs the excellent ‘global dashboard’ blog. See here for his excellent post on Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel on the economic crisis as a driver of change. Alex, who has written some excellent stuff on food prices […]

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Two great new books on Africa

Just got back from launching the book in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia (more of that later). Between powerpoints, I read two great but contrasting new books on the region, both by ‘muzungus’, as whites are known in East Africa.

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What needs to happen in the climate change talks in Poznan?

Two new Oxfam papers set the scene for the climate change talks getting under way in Poznan this week. ‘Climate, Poverty and Justice’gives an overview, while ‘Turning Carbon into Gold’ crunches some numbers on how to raise the kinds of amounts needed to finance adaptation to climate change in developing countries.

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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.