Skip to content

Tag Archives: Bill and Melinda Gates

Did Gates and Buffett do more good as businessmen than as philanthropists?

Provocative case for “yes” in today’s Wall Street Journal (gated link), by Kimberley Dennis,  President of Searle Freedom Trust:

Wealthy businessmen often feel obligated to ‘give back.’ Who says they’ve taken anything?

Full disclosure: DRI benefits from post-docs indirectly funded by the Searle Foundation.

Posted in Aid debates | Also tagged , 7 Comments

A warning from Tajikistan

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

A polio outbreak is underway in Tajikistan. 12 people have died of the diseases since March. 32 cases of polio have been confirmed, and 171 cases of acute flaccid paralysis (a signal of possible polio) have been identified. That’s a full-fledged outbreak in a country with an 82% vaccination rate. Until this January,…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Field notes, Global health | Also tagged , , , 2 Comments

The New Evangelists: Bill and Melinda Gates Spread the Good News on Global Health Aid

People usually come to the capital to criticize to government, Bill Gates joked at the start of his speech on Tuesday in Washington, but “we’re here to say two words you don’t often hear about government programs: Thank you.”

The Gateses’ mission wasn’t just about gratitude, but to sell the simple—and, some might argue, simplistic—message that US government investment in global health works. They weren’t asking for money for themselves (the Gates foundation already has…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Global health | 15 Comments

Slavic Tennis Women and Aid Agency Specializations

A recent post talked about the advantages of specialization in general, and for aid agencies in particular. But what should you specialize in? Obviously, in your “comparative advantage,” which is economists’ laborious jargon for “what you’re good at.” But where does comparative advantage come from and how do you find your own?

These thoughts were prompted by watching US Open tennis on TV, where anyone who can read their –ova’s and –ieva’s is struck…

Posted in Economics principles | Also tagged , 17 Comments

Can Starbucks Buy a “Saving Africa” Image for a Nickel?


I was curious about what the going rate is these days for attracting customers who want to save Africa. Five cents was a little lower than I expected.

How much money is flowing to Africa from this? Aid Watch’s exclusive investigation consisted of asking about seven Starbucks cashiers around Greenwich Village how often they processed the Starbucks Red card, with its payoff of five cents for Africa per use. All except one cashier said…

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs | Also tagged , 9 Comments

MADE-UP MALARIA DATA ROUND 2: Gates Foundation responds, WHO graciously offers not to respond

The modest aim of an initiative like Aid Watch is to be one more small voice holding aid agencies and foundations accountable for doing good things for poor people. The aim of more accountability is to induce improved behavior by those guys, so that aid will work better.

The Aid Watch blog already has had its first small test on trying to induce accountability. This post took Bill and Melinda Gates to task for…

Posted in Data and statistics, Global health | Also tagged , 13 Comments

Did Bill and Melinda Gates Claim Malaria Victories Based on Phony Numbers?

Tuesday’s Financial Times printed a Martin Wolf interview with the Gateses from Davos, available as a video on the FT web site.

A sample quote from the interview:

We’re trying to make sure that people understand this: aid is effective…So, for instance, malaria incidence is down in countries such as Zambia, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. It’s down in some countries by over 50 percent and some by 60 percent…[if we and other donors] come

Posted in Data and statistics, Global health | Also tagged , , , 15 Comments