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News & Events | 23 July 2012 | International Issues & the Business of Philanthropy

July 23, 2012

International Issues

Earthquake Relief Where Haiti Wasn’t Broken: An investigation by Bill Savedoff into a major aid project that is not putting profit towards progress, repositioning useable farmland, and causing many Haitians to angrily ask “why?”

How Kenya became a world leader for mobile money: Kenya’s policy of “regulation to follow innovation” has allowed the country to boast one-third of all mobile money users world wide.

Peru’s Laptop Program Gets Mixed Grades: Last week brought additional news and debate about the role of technology and education. An evaluation of a large scale program to provide a laptop to every child in Peru found no positive results on reading or math scores, or time spent on homework. There was a small positive effect on a measure of children’s cognitive ability. Implementation of the program was clearly riddled with problems, however, and the evaluation effort itself left much to be desired. The practical take away: there is as yet not much of an evidence base indicating that just providing children with a laptop (without accompanying training for example, of parents and teachers) improves education outcomes, and there is still a huge need for carefully designed evaluation of pilot programs BEFORE large scale investments are made.

One Laptop Per Child is not improving reading or math. But, are we learning enough from these evaluations?: An interesting blog by Berk Ozler on a recent evaluation of The One Laptop Per Child program in Peru where no positive results found.

On the Business of Philanthropy

If we can’t really measure progress towards the MDGs, how do we measure the aid program results?: Alan Lopez gives an informative look on the importance of vital statistics in the measurement of impact and the trust that said statistics provide.

What will be the impact of “impact investing”?: The practice of impact investing necessitates that non-profits and socially-minded businesses generate revenue, without losing sight of the altruism that has long been their for non-profits’ tax-exempt status.

Women exert new influence on philanthropy: Thomson Reuters explores the new ways in which women are collectively adding to the field of philanthropy.

Using Small Loans to Generate Big Profits: This article describes how for-profit, Kenya-based Equity Bank Group, treats “amorphous social relationships that bind communities” as collateral against which customers borrow. Although the article profiles male borrowers, the concept is probably very familiar to many donors as the model pioneered by non-profit organizations such as Grameen and BRAC who provided micro-credit to women. An interesting example of the non-profit sector serving as R&D for the for-profit, business sector.

GuideStar Selects Jacob Harold as Next President and CEO: The Hewlett foundation grantmaker will succeed Bob Ottenhoff as president and CEO of Guidestar, the largest provider of information on nonprofits.

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