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Chris Johnes has been Director of Oxfam's UK Poverty Programme since November 2011. Before that he was head of Oxfam Cymru, leading both Oxfam's international campaigning and anti poverty work in Wales, developing a programme of work that has allowed Oxfam to enter the key debates on poverty and worklessness in Wales.
Prior to moving to Oxfam Chris led the (Welsh) Communities First Support Network, a collation of eight organisations, as its national coordinator, supporting local community develop initiatives helping them to build relationships with and service providers. This has given him a deep understanding of the diverse factors driving poverty and the challenges public agencies face in responding to them. During that period he was also a regular advisor to the Welsh Government on matters around community development and anti poverty policy.
For most of the 1990s Chris worked on a range of development projects in southern Africa. These included teaching in a township school outside Durban during the Inkatha/ANC conflict, three years as the first development officer for Link Community Development supporting education projects in South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia and work as a trainer and policy officer for a civic organisation in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Since Iain Duncan Smith rashly joined a long list of politicians trying to "experience poverty" by declaring that he could live on £53 a week (the level of income a market trader said he...
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