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

Private v Public education in poor countries: What’s new? Interview with Prachi Srivastava

I recently caught up with Prachi Srivastava, of the University of Western Ontario, who’s my go-to person on the heated development debates on public v private schools. Private v Public: I started working on this topic 18 years ago as a doctoral student. We were just entering the MDG and Education for All (EFA) era […]

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The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why RCTs aren’t a magic bullet.

Lant Pritchett once likened Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to flared jeans. On the way out and soon we’d be wondering what on earth we’d seen in them. Not so fast. Yesterday, three of the leading ‘Randomistas’ won the Nobel economics prize (before the pedants jump in, strictly speaking it’s the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic […]

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7 steps to improving Conference Presentations

Went to the big and fascinating conference put on by the Effective States in International Development (ESID) programme last month (see Sam Hickey’s podcast for what it was all about). But the structure didn’t live up to some excellent content. 3 days of plenary-panel-plenary-panel. Some things have got better – the organizers largely avoided manels, […]

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Audio summary (15m) of the last 3 weeks’ aid and development posts on From Poverty to Power

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Microfinance has been a nightmare for the Global South. Sri Lanka shows that there is an alternative

Ahilan Kadirgamar and Niyanthini Kadirgamar write how women’s groups and the co-operative movement are leading the way out of the debt trap promoted by microfinance strategies. Ahilan is a member of the Collective for Economic Democratisation. Niyanthini is a PhD Student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and was previously engaged with people affected by […]

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What’s going on with civil society and philanthropy in India? Interview + transcript with Ingrid Srinath

Ingrid Srinath runs the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University in Delhi. She recently talked me through the current situation in India. She asked me to clarify that these are her personal views, not those of the university. The work of the Centre: as the first academic centre in South Asia to […]

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No one is objective about poverty: here’s why that matters

Eric Meade consults to nonprofits, foundations, and NGOs and teaches at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. His book, Reframing Poverty: New Thinking and Feeling About Humanity’s Greatest Challenge, invites readers to explore how their emotions about poverty shape their responses to it. We do not like to see other humans suffer. […]

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Njoki Njehu on inequality and African Feminism: Podcast + transcript

I interviewed feminist inequality activist Njoki Njehu, Pan-African Coordinator for the Fight Inequality Alliance, at a recent meeting in Nairobi. Here’s some excerpts: The Fight Inequality Alliance is a broad alliance and has everybody, the big INGOs like Oxfam, and local organizations like Dandora Hip Hop City – how do you manage the power relations […]

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“Let’s Eat Right”: women tackling malnutrition through urban farming

Maureen Muketha is a 24 year-old nutritionist and founder of Tule Vyema, a community-based organization focused on targeting malnutrition and food insecurity in Kenya.  I grew up in Kiserian in Kajiado County, Kenya, an arid and marginalized environment where malnutrition and poverty were prevalent. I have seen how persistently women and children are the hardest hit by changing environmental conditions and […]

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Greta Thunberg goes Death Metal and other Links I Liked

Note to would-be future politicians – destroy your school correspondence. Here’s young Boris Johnson’s (supposedly – I have no idea if it is a spoof). ‘How to analyse change processes’. My short paper is now Oxfam’s research guidelines series. 5% of the world’s population live less than 4m above sea level – the predicted rise […]

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#PowerShifts Resources: Lessons from the Global South for Surviving the Climate Crisis

Since the start of the #ClimateStrike past Friday September 20th, I have been moved by the avalanche of actions across the world to foreground the climate crisis, its devastating effects (present and future) and the demand for collective solutions. It is a tremendous glimpse of hope that so many voices have come together to call for a world where people’s existence, and their right to a […]

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What are the headlines of 8 years of research into Effective States and Inclusive Development?

At the end of a mind-bending 3 day conference on the findings of Manchester University’s ESID programme since 2011, I sat down with one of its masterminds, Sam Hickey and asked him to summarize it. He thinks and talks scarily fast, but stay with it – it’s great. We have summarized our findings as 3 […]

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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.