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Rethinking Global Development:
Crisis as Opportunity
Duncan Green, Oxfam
November 2010
Crisis = Danger + Opportunity
Danger 1: Hunger
Source: WFP
From an Age of
Development
To an Age of
Scarcity ?
Danger 2: Climate change
© Crown copyright Met Office
3 options (and only three)



Step change in technology (20
Manhattan projects)
Accept less global growth
Runaway climate change
Danger 3: Financial chaos:
what 5,000 kwacha buys in Zambia
Danger 4: Inequality - falling in some
countries…
0
Brazil 1993-2003
-1
-2
Zambia
1993-2003
-3
Annual % Gini Change
Decreasing Inequalities
…but rising in many more
Increasing Inequalities
Annual % Gini Change
1
0
Honduras 1986-1999
2
Colombia 1991-2003
3
Rwanda 1985-2000
4
And Opportunity? Shocks crucial in
Changing attitudes and beliefs

Abolition of slavery

Women’s suffrage
Creating New Institutions

National health service

United Nations
Changes to role of state

income taxes
So where might current food + finance
shock lead?
Already happening

G8 -> G20

Limited reregulation of finance

Rediscovery of role of agriculture

New global taxes (eg FTT)?
But so far, only minimal signs of

Climate change response

New focus on inequality and redistribution

Rethink on well-being or environmental
constraints on growth
What's needed:
Active
Citizens
What's needed:
Effective
States
Thankyou! And for more information…

From Poverty to Power blog on
oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/
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