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

Development Nutshell: round-up (16m) of FP2P posts, w/b 7th December

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You can’t rethink humanitarianism without also rethinking the money. Here’s one way to do it.

I have a confession to make. I don’t listen to podcasts, even though I inflict them on others. When I’m at my desk, I’m much happier skimming documents (using my mad speed reading skills). If I’m out and about, I hate having something jabbering away in my ears. But my resolve is being sorely tested […]

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Who wins/loses if Mexico legalizes Cannabis? Not as straightforward as you might think

A recent piece in the Economist on Mexico’s debates is an interesting addition to my library of ‘how change happens’ case studies, and reminded me of conversations I had thirty years ago, when legalization seemed a purely theoretical possibility. Would legalization mean small farmers get a new and stable market for their crop, free from […]

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Philanthropy: a History. Kevin Watkins reviews a big new book

Guest post from Kevin Watkins Have you ever wondered what links Bono and Bill Gates to Moses, Socrates, Basil the Great, a 4th Century AD bishop in Asia Minor, and the ‘gilded age’ industrialist Andrew Carnegie? Me neither. But Paul Vallely’s magisterial book Philanthropyprovides the answer. Tracing the ties that bind contemporary philanthropists to the […]

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Coronavirus as a Catalyst for Global Civil Society: new report

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is doing some great research on civil society responses to Covid. It’s latest, published yesterday, is Coronavirus as a Catalyst for Global Civil Society. Its a bit more distanced and neutral than the Civicus work I highlighted recently, and the two approaches complement each other nicely. The Carnegie report’s […]

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Clare Short on the ‘Demise of DFID’ + some other development superstar lectures

When you organize a series of lectures with the rather grandiose title ‘Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking and Practice’, it really helps if the speaker’s topic is in the news at the time of their talk. So given recent turmoil over the fate of UK aid, when Clare Short rocked up (metaphorically) last week […]

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Development Nutshell: audio round-up (13m) of FP2P posts, w/b 30th November

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How is Climate Change affecting Bolivia ten years on?

Interesting new paper written by James Painter for Oxfam Bolivia, “Bolivia – Climate Change, Inequality and Resilience” (available in both Spanish and English). What’s novel is that this is a follow-up to his 2009 report – I wish more organizations did this kind of thing – building up a longitudinal picture of change, rather than […]

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How has the Pandemic Affected the Ecosystem on Open Government?

A thought-provoking new paper from Abigael Bellows and Nada Zohdy on how the pandemic is influencing the ecosystem of advocacy, campaigns and experimentation to promote open government (aka transparency and accountability). Based on interviews with 125 civil society leaders in 20 countries, in a paper published by the Carnegie Endowment, the authors find that the […]

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Links I Liked

Researchers left 17,000 wallets on the streets of 355 cities, some empty, some with money. Contrary to the predictions of economists, people everywhere were more likely to return wallets with money in them. But rates did vary from country to country. Ht Ethan Mollick ‘Moving mountains’: How Pakistan’s ‘invisible’ women won workers’ rights (‘Bano is […]

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Rubber Ducks for Revolution: the power of humour in protest movements

I’m loving the theatre of the protests in Thailand. First the adoption of the Hunger Games’ three finger salute, which actually started in 2014, and was promptly banned by the military. In that earlier round of protest, popular culture figures from cartoon hamsters to the Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort were all invoked. Now it’s […]

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Next phase in making sense of ’emergent agency in a time of Covid’ kicking off this Wednesday – please join us

A plug for two rounds of online conversation taking place on Wednesday (2nd December) around the theme of ‘Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid’ The Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid project is definitely the most fun thing in my work at Oxfam right now. Why? First, the discussions so far have been […]

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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.