Category: Foreign Aid
There are 59 entries in this category.
Apr 15, 2010
The past few weeks have provided some insight into the impact of rigorous evaluation of philanthropic programs on charities, donors and policymakers. Unfortunately those insights show that we’ve still got a long ways to go if the goal is evidence-based philanthropy and policy.
Mar 22, 2010
Last Week, the Aid Watchers blog named it’s winners of the best and worst in aid for the last year. We’re proud to be named among the winners—all of whom are groups aiming to help people give better.
Jan 22, 2010
As I see more and more advice on giving to Haiti appear, I’ve begun to wonder: how will we know if this proliferation of good advice has had an impact on the Haitian relief and recovery effort? What metrics will tell us that donors to Haiti and the nonprofits working there learned the lessons of the tsunami, Katrina, and Nargis?
Jan 07, 2010
Investors from countries with a lot of money but very little arable land—such as Saudi Arabia, South Korea and India—have purchased the rights to develop millions of acres for agriculture and export the yield for sale in their native countries. Observers implicitly conclude that the lease of Ethiopian land to foreign developers amounts to nothing less than exploitation of the poor by the wealthy. But does it have to be?
Dec 21, 2009
Recently I was listening to Rory Stewart’s The Places In Between, the story of his walk across Afghanistan. Near the end of the book Stewart turns his attention to the aid agencies, public and private, that had come rushing into Afghanistan. His observations are worthwhile reading for anyone interested in making international aid more effective, so I’m excerpting them here.
Nov 16, 2009
Impatient optimists are like investors in subprime mortgages in 2007. They can be so blinded by the upside that they fail to do their due diligence. In the end, their impatience and pursuit of outsize returns fuels waste and disappointment. Patient optimists, by contrast, have lowered their expectations of any particular program or intervention, but not their belief in a better world over the long term. If we’re going to succeed in making the world a better place, we need to convince more people to lower their expectations, too.
Oct 28, 2009
This has been a banner year for gathering real evidence about microfinance. But does all of this research matter? Will it change what donors believe about microfinance? In other words, is microfinance more like autism or Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Oct 12, 2009
Today I saw a Kiva document that, for me, points to a far bigger problem with Kiva than those already pointed out. Two points in the document floored me. First, all losses from Kiva-securitized loans are borne by the Kiva user. Second, Kiva’s monthly repayment reports are not based on actual repayment data.
Oct 07, 2009
Rwanda is a place where the generally accepted and reported narrative is increasingly diverging from the facts on the ground. The narrative is well-known: Since the genocide, Rwanda has made steady progress in economic growth, stability and reconciliation under the benevolent and enlightened leadership of President Paul Kagame who is attracting economic investment from the business community rather than by soliciting aid.
But the narrative is breaking down at all levels. Rwanda is starting to look much more like a bitter tragedy than an inspirational new model.