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

Links I Liked

Things I hate. This oldie-but-goodie has had me grinning to myself for the last 24 hours, on and off – can’t be bad. CGD is publishing some really excellent thinking around the pandemic. Here’s an example: Beyond Lockdown⁠—Sustainable COVID Control for Low-Income Countries. As is Oxfam. ‘Care work must be at the heart of a […]

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Development Nutshell: Audio summary (20m) of FP2P posts, w/b 29th June

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Localization in Advocacy? Don’t hold your breath (and look outside the aid system)

Johns Hopkins University and the Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health are doing some thinking on the future of advocacy, especially on health-related issues, but of wider relevance. The first of three papers is now out, on Local Ownership, Sustainability, and Grant-making. Two other briefs in the series are in the pipeline, on the […]

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Covid-19 in Africa: How Youth are Stepping Up

This is a shortened and slightly updated version of a post by Alcinda Honwana and Nyeleti Honwana, which first appeared on the SSRC’s Kujenga Amani blog The African continent has, thus far, fared comparatively well in the pandemic, with just under 400,000 confirmed infections and about 10,000 fatalities at the end of June 2020. Even so, the […]

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How does change happen? Lessons from Malawi

Nic Cheeseman and Golden Matonga explore the factors behind a remarkable political breakthrough in Malawi In June 2019, Malawi’s democracy appeared to be in decline. President Peter Mutharika had just been declared the official winner of controversial presidential polls that were denounced by opposition parties and civil society groups. Mass protests regularly brought urban areas […]

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Where is the Aid Biz making progress on Localization?

There has been a spate of recent reports on localization, especially in humanitarian response. (Has anyone done a synthesis?) I’ve been browsing through a few – some highlights. First, an obvious, but important point. ‘Localization’ has always been a feature of emergency response, since long before today’s aid system was dreamt of. Globalization and migration […]

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Optimistic or pessimistic about Covid-19? No need to choose

Jordi Vaquer is the Director for Global Foresight and Analysis at the Open Society Foundations The radical uncertainty resulting from the crises triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic makes prediction harder than ever and, yet, there has rarely been a time where everyone – thinkers and parents, artists and bankers, activists and teachers – had to […]

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Development Nutshell: Audio upsum (15m) of FP2P posts, w/b 22nd June

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In Conversation with Deepak Nayyar on ‘Resurgent Asia’. Podcast and transcript.

I recently skyped Deepak Nayyar, Professor of Economics at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to discuss his new book, Resurgent Asia You start with an economist called Gunnar Myrdal, who 50 years ago wrote a book saying that Asia was doomed! Myrdal had a European perspective of Asia, with almost no history. For him, Asia began […]

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How Important is the Weight of History in Shaping Covid Responses?

There’s an interesting pattern that emerges from the coverage of how different countries have performed in their Covid-19 response: it is greatly influenced by their experience of previous disease outbreaks:  Kerala had Nipah, which made all the difference according to this piece in The Guardian China had SARS and South Korea had MERS West Africa, Uganda and DRC […]

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Links I Liked

The UK government’s decision to merge DFID and the Foreign Office may be depressing, as I wrote last week, but it has triggered some interesting responses. These include an excellent political obituary from DFID lifer Phil Mason; some straw clutchism from Malcolm Chalmers at RUSI (who thinks DFID will swallow FCO, not the other way […]

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#PowerShifts Resources: Anti-Racism in Development and Aid

‘White saviour complex’, ‘poverty porn’, ‘locals’ vs. ‘expats’. These terms are all part of an old conversation that has revived as a result of the mass protests calling for racial justice and anti-racism across the US and globally. Racism in development and aid is not a new issue, so why does it continue to be overlooked? Sadly, I’ve […]

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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.