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

A Song for Davos: your chance to vote on best song on inequality

Twitter definitely beats work. On Monday, Oxfam’s Max Lawson kicked off a discussion on the best song about economic inequality, which got enough candidates for an impromptu ‘Song for Davos’ competition – check these out and vote. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son [Max Lawson] Bob Marley, Them Belly Full [me, with post on Marley v […]

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Davos & Inequality Continued: What does an alternative economic vision for the future look like?

Deborah Hardoon, who really ought to be resting on her laurels after her report for Davos went viral yesterday, springs to the defence of (the right kind of) economics. Nerd Alert. As a student of economics, I always found the technical aspects of the subject deeply satisfying. Getting to the ‘right’ answer using algebra and […]

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8 men now own the same as the poorest half of the world: the Davos killer fact just got more deadly

It’s Davos this week, which means it’s time for Oxfam’s latest global ‘killer fact’ on extreme inequality. Since our first calculation in 2014, these have helped get inequality onto the agenda of the global leaders assembled in Switzerland. This year, the grabber of any headlines not devoted to the US presidential inauguration on Friday is […]

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Preaching to the Converted and the Path to Unlearning: this week’s random conversations

Had some interesting if random discussions this week – I work from home a lot, and then get far too excited when I actually end up in a room with interesting people.  Two thoughts (among many) seem worth capturing: Preaching to the converted: This is something we’re not supposed to do – waste of time […]

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A 3-fold theory of social change (and some great quotes on complexity, ambiguity and dreaming)

Sometimes a paper is worth blogging about just for the quotes. Here are the best from a 2016 update of Doug Reeler’s ‘A Three-Fold Theory of Social Change’: “I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity. But I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side.” […]

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Is the Anti-Politics machine still a good critique of the aid business?

Just been re-reading a great 6 page summary of James Ferguson’s 1994 classic critique of the aid industry, The Anti-Politics Machine. Read this and ask yourself, apart from the grating use of the term ‘Third World’, how much has changed? ‘Any question of the form ‘what is to be done?’ demands first of all an […]

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What is Fiscal Justice? A rationale and some great examples

What is ‘Fiscal Justice’? It’s one of those campaign buzzwords that appears every so often, and Oxfam is going big on it (you’ll hear plenty about it at the impending Davos meeting, provided the media cover anything other than Donald Trump’s inauguration that week). If you want to get a sense of what it means […]

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Links I Liked

The World Economic Forum tweeted a rather silly list of ’14 things successful people do before breakfast’. Paul Kirby reckoned ‘The secret of success must be to have breakfast in the evening’. As for trying this at home, when I try and ‘spend quality time with my family’/’connect with my spouse’ before breakfast, they turn […]

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Book Review: Social Physics : How Social Networks can make us Smarter

My Christmas reading included a book called Social Physics – yep, a party animal (my others were Lord of the Flies and Knausgard Vol 3, both wonderful). Here’s the review: Airport bookstores are bewildering places – shelf after shelf of management gurus offering distilled lessons on leadership, change and everything else. How to distinguish snake […]

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How bad is my filter bubble problem? Please help me find out

In an idle moment over the Christmas break, I decided to run a twitter poll to assess the extent of my filter bubble. For any of you who’ve been on a different planet for the last few months, that’s the social media phenomenon whereby you like/follow/read only those sources that broadly agree with you, creating […]

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Links I Liked

A few links from either side of the Christmas break, to provide some initial distractions in 2017 How much does $10m in large banknotes weigh? Carrying bags of cash is (luckily) easier on the back in Davos than Caracas (h/t The Economist) Great (long read) interview with inequality guru Branko Milanovic The focus on better communicating […]

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How many readers? Where from? What were their favourite posts? Stats for 2016 on FP2P

Hi everyone, Happy New Year and all that. Thought I’d kick off with the usual feedback post on last year’s blog stats: The blog passed a couple of milestones last year – since it started in 2008, it’s clocked up 2000 posts, 1.4 million words, and 10,000 comments (big thanks to everyone who takes the […]

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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.