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Aid Effectiveness

How do we get the crowd-sorcerers and the muggles to work together?

Ryan Hahn's picture

Humanitarian aid is not a standard topic for the PSD Blog, but I ran across a post recently on the disaster in Haiti that cuts across a lot of themes. Over at iRevolution, Patrick Philip Meier discusses the tension between those who helped crowdsource information related to the disaster -- what he calls the crowd-sorcerers -- and the formal humanitarian aid organizations -- playfully called "muggles".

Cash on Delivery: Exploring a Results-Based Approach to Education Aid

Christine Horansky's picture

Around the world, aid from international donors buys textbooks, hires teachers, and opens schools - all worthy and necessary contributions in the fight to educate every child. But largely, the development equation remains fundamentally the same.

A new book presented at the World Bank recently by the Center for Global Development flips that equation on its head with proposed progress-based aid for education. In essence, the idea entails paying a country not for inputs such as pencils or classrooms - but once each child educated passes certain bars such as completion of his or her grade level.

What will be the next "victim" of randomized control trials?

Ryan Hahn's picture

Randomized control trials (RCTs) have been grabbing a lot of headlines lately. Esther Duflo, the principal champion of RCTs and recipient of the John Bates Clark medal, recently had a profile in The New Yorker (gated) and also gave an entertaining TED Talk.

Development 2.0: Give me less information and more data!

OK, the title is deliberatively provocative. But I found a coincidence of two blog posts last week to be quite powerful. Last week we had a blog post from Dave Snowden that challenged the "data to information, information to knowledge and wisdom" continuum that has informed so many of the knowledge management efforts in the non-profit and public sector: