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

Scott Guggenheim defends Community Driven Development

Scott Guggenheim, one of the better known names in Community Driven Development (CDD), comes out with a take-no-prisoners critique of the critique of CDD by 3ie (apologies for acronym overload), featured in my recent post. It’s long, but I just couldn’t find places to cut it. Duncan obviously thrives on controversy, so he’s asked me […]

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Links I Liked

Links I Liked Now this is what I call a political ad. Why am I running for Congress against a Tea Party Republican in Texas? It all started with a door. MJ Hegar sets out her stall: The human price of stocking supermarket shelves. Tim Gore introduces a big new Oxfam campaign ‘That tearing sound […]

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The lure of the complicated: systems thinking, data and the need to stay complex

Sometimes messy, frustrating conversations are the most productive – as you wrestle with confusion, small lightbulbs flash on in your head – either insights or the onset of a migraine. Earlier this week I spent an afternoon at the Gates Foundation in London, discussing what systems diagnostics can offer to groups like the World Bank, […]

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Democracy’s Retreat: a ‘how to’ guide

A beautifully written, if depressing, 3 page essay in this week’s Economist explores the mechanics of the democratic reversal in dozens of countries. Shades of Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas’ great book, How to Rig an Election. Some excerpts: ‘A democracy typically declines like this. First, a crisis occurs and voters back a charismatic leader […]

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What did I learn from a week discussing Adaptive Management and MEL?

Just got back from an extraordinarily intense week in Bologna, running (with Claire Hutchings and Irene Guijt) a course on ‘Adaptive Management: Working Effectively in the Complexity of International Development’. The 30 participants mainly came from NGOs and non-profits, but with a smattering of government officials and consultants. What made the discussion different from previous […]

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The Global Humanitarian Assistance 2018 report is out today – here are six top findings

The Global Humanitarian Assistance 2018 report is out today. Here are some of the headline findings and supporting numbers: 1. Humanitarian Assistance (HA) mainly goes to a small number of countries: ‘60% of all assistance was channelled to 10 countries only, with 14% going to Syria, the largest recipient, and 8% to Yemen, the second-largest.’ […]

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9 development trends and their implications for tomorrow’s aid jobs

This is an expansion of a blog first posted in February. According to the reader survey, most people reading this blog are a lot younger than me – students or entrants to the job market, with at least half an eye on how they are going to earn a living in the decades to come. […]

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Links I Liked

Graphics are back up, on an interim blog format til we sort it out properly. Please let me know if you are experiencing any probs with the new format. The Free Tommy Robinson March has accidentally bumped into the World Naked Bike Ride event in London. What a time to be alive. ht ‘Chairman LMAO’ […]

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What did I learn from teaching LSE students about advocacy and campaigns?

I spent a week last month marking student assignments. Sounds boring, right? Well it was brain-drainingly hard work, but it was also enthralling. Usually I just give lectures or write stuff, and the level of feedback is pretty cursory. In contrast, marking the assignments for a course you have taught provides a unique peek inside […]

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World Inequality Report 2018: 3 insights and 2 gaps

I was a discussant at the London launch of the World Inequality Report 2018 last week by the WIR team’s Lucas Chancel. (The book, that is – the online version was released in December) The WIR is produced by a team of economists who contribute to the WID.world database, of whom the biggest rock star […]

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Violence v Non Violence: which is more effective as a driver of change?

Oxfam’s Ed Cairns explores the evidence and experience on violence v non violence as a way of bringing about social change One of the perennial themes of this blog is the idea that crises may provide an opportunity for progressive change. True. But I’ve always been nervous that such hopes can forget that most conflicts […]

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A bombshell Evaluation of Community Driven Development

Blimey. Just read a bombshell of a working paper assessing the evidence for impact of Community-Driven Development (CDD) programmes. It’s pretty devastating. But make sure you read the comments below , with some arguments for and against by some of the biggest names on the issue. In CDD, community members are in charge of identifying, […]

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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.