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

How to read and comment on a draft paper – your suggestions please

Today’s vlog (I’ll be coming back to you in a few weeks to ask whether these are worth doing) I spend a lot of time commenting on draft research and policy papers, both for Oxfam and beyond. So I put down some ideas on how I approach it, got some great input from Oxfam Research […]

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Is Disruption a good thing? Let’s ask Southern Civil Society leaders for a change.

Disruption is cool in the development chattersphere right now, and that may not be a good thing – what if the thing being disrupted is actually useful or valuable? Do you want your marriage/home/body/ cat disrupted? Thought not. Organizations doing good work don’t necessarily have to be innovative (what about practice makes perfect?); good partners […]

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The Global Beneficial Ownership Register: a new approach to fighting corruption by combining political advocacy with technology

A second post on corruption ahead of tomorrow’s summit. Activists are often more concerned with how they see the world than with understanding how others see it, but understanding what motivates and incentivises others is crucial to building coalitions for change. Transparency campaigner David McNair describes one such example, a wonky-but-important demand for a Global […]

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Should aid fight corruption? New book questions logic behind this week’s anti-corruption summit

Over at the Center for Global Development, Charles Kenny wants comments on the draft of his book on Aid and Corruption (deadline end of May). Let’s hope this becomes standard practice – it worked brilliantly for me on How Change Happens – more varied voices can chip in good new ideas, spot mistakes or contradictions, and […]

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Links I Liked

The flood of bonkers/depressing stories from the US continued last week. The Economist spoke for many. Plane flight delayed because alert passenger noticed Arabic-influenced mathematics (confusing Al-gebra with Al-Qaeda?) PEPFAR wasted $1.4 billion telling people not to have sex. Way to go, guys. But it’s not all bad. Turns out Obama did a lot more […]

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Here’s a summary of The Economist’s important critique of GDP and suggestions for reform

‘Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made’ said Otto von Bismarck. Turns out you can probably add GDP to that list. Last week’s Economist had a comprehensive takedown of the uses and abuses of Gross Domestic Product as an indicator of wellbeing, economic health or pretty much anything else. […]

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Book Review: The Economics of Poverty by Martin Ravallion

Oxfam inequality number cruncher Deborah Hardoon reviews The Economics of Poverty by Martin Ravallion.  It’s hard to think of a better placed individual than Martin Ravallion to have written this book. Not only has he spent over 30 years working on poverty, including 24 years at the World Bank, but in 1990 it was Martin […]

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Links I Liked

Inequality and someone’s been messing with Branko Milanovic’s famous chart of who’s benefited from 20 years of globalization. As Alan Beattie tweeted, ‘If only there were some elephant-based expression meaning a big issue you can’t ignore….’ A study of adults who received child sponsorship as kids finds big long term impact in India, but none […]

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Book Review: Rich People, Poor Countries – the evolution of the South’s plutocrats

Another addition to the inequality library. Rich People, Poor Countries has a less ambitious sweep than Piketty, Deaton or Milanovic’s grand narratives. Author Caroline Freund does some very revealing number crunching on the changing face of the annual Forbes billionaires list to explore ‘the rise of emerging-market tycoons and their mega firms’, in the words […]

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A crunch point for Indian civil society – what are the options?

Second installment on last week’s India visit. Vlog from Lucknow and a debate with Oxfam India’s Vanita Suneja   In the rolling, 16 hour-a-day seminar that is a field trip, one topic kept coming up in my conversations in India last week. Many civil society organizations feel beleaguered. As the Indian economy booms, the foreign […]

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The income of the world’s poor is going up, but they’re $1 trillion poorer. What’s going on?

Oxfam number cruncher Deborah Hardoon tries to get her head round something weird – according to the stats, the poorest half of the people are getting poorer even though their incomes are rising. It has become something of a tradition that in January every year we take a look at the Forbes list of billionaires […]

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Tikamgarh revisited, what’s happened to the amazing fishing communities I visited in 2006?

Just got back from a great week in India, including my first attempt at a phone vlog (above). One of the drawbacks of being a generalist is that you go somewhere, hear riveting stories of organization, resistance (and sometimes of course, of failure), but then never find out what happened next. But last week I managed […]

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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.