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Aid Watch Rerun: A suggestion for the 1MillionShirts guy

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Over the holidays, we’ll be publishing reruns of some of our posts from the first 2 years of Aid Watch. This post originally ran on April 28, 2010, and was one contribution to a controversy that erupted on the internet when aid workers got wind of an amateur aid effort called 1 million shirts.

We will be back running new content starting tomorrow, January 4th.

Here’s the back story: A young American…

Posted in Aid debates, Badvocacy and celebs | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Aid Watch Rerun: Nobody wants your old shoes: How not to help in Haiti

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Over the holidays, we’ll be publishing reruns of some of our posts from the first 2 years of Aid Watch. This post originally ran a week after the Haiti earthquake, on January 16, 2010.

The following post is by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna is a global health professional who blogs at UN Dispatch and Blood and Milk.

Don’t donate goods. Donating stuff instead of money is a serious problem…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A suggestion for the 1MillionShirts guy

Here’s the back story: A young American entrepreneur wanted to use his powerful social media profiles to do good. He hit on the idea of convincing people to pack up all their unneeded T-shirts, throw in a dollar for shipping, and send them – 1 million of them – somewhere in Africa. He partnered with two charities, applied for 501(c)3 status, and voila, a new cause was born: 1MillionShirts.

Yesterday, professional aid workers, academics,…

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs | 34 Comments

Readers’ Submissions: Honorable Mentions in Best and Worst of Aid

The Aid Watch request for reader submissions for Best and Worst of Aid was our experimental attempt to use informal social networks to collect and spread stories about good and bad aid projects. In retrospect, it was only a partial success: we got a lot of submissions that couldn’t be totally verified, and many that did not explain why their submission deserved to be the best or the worst, problems for us to think about…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Global health | Tagged | 6 Comments

Nobody wants your old shoes: How not to help in Haiti

The following post is by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna is a global health professional who blogs at UN Dispatch and Blood and Milk.

Don’t donate goods. Donating stuff instead of money is a serious problem in emergency relief. Only the people on the ground know what’s actually necessary; those of us in the rest of the world can only guess. Some things, like summer clothes and expired medicines are going to be worthless…

Posted in Disaster relief | Tagged , , | 59 Comments

Giving Us Idiots More Credit than We Deserve

idiots-guide-cartoon.png

While not a complete idiot, I still find books in the “Complete Idiot’s Guide” series amusing and occasionally useful. So when The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Giving Back came out recently, I was curious to read the book’s recommendations.

The author outlines a process for deciding which causes to support, how much to give, and other factors to consider before giving a not-for-profit your hard-earned cash. Unfortunately, most idiots, and many other well-meaning…

Posted in Academic research | Comments Off