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Tag Archives: Dennis Whittle

More Tales of Two Tails

The following post is by Dennis Whittle, co-founder of GlobalGiving. Dennis blogs at Pulling for the Underdog.

An eloquent 3 year-old would have been better asking “What the dickens are you talking about?  Who is defining success?  Who says failure is bad, anyway?” – Joe

Earlier I blogged about aid cheerleaders and critics. Each camp argues about the mean outcome of aid rather than the distribution of impact among projects. Both camps agree that some…

Posted in Aid debates, Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged , , , , , 8 Comments

A Tale of Two Tails

The following post by Dennis Whittle is cross-posted from his blog Pulling for the Underdog. Dennis is co-founder of GlobalGiving.

This past weekend I took my three and a half year old son to Princeton to a colloquium on foreign aid.  Speaking were senior people from both the aid industry (including Raj Shah, Administrator of USAID) and academia (including Angus Deaton, one of the best professors I have ever had).  There was a spirited discussion of…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches | Also tagged , 22 Comments

The Answer

….that no single key, no formula can, in principle, solve the problems of individuals or societies; that general solutions are not solutions, universal ends are never real ends….

…that liberty–of actual individuals, in specific times and places–is an absolute value; that a minimum area of free action is a moral necessity for all men, not to be suppressed in the name of abstractions or general principles so freely bandied about by the great thinkers of

Posted in Big ideas, Entrepreneurship, Grand plans and aid targets | Also tagged , , 19 Comments

Aid is not just complicated; it’s complex

One of the points that we try to make on this blog is that aid, planned from an ultra high level and driven to alleviate just the symptoms of poverty, doesn’t realistically address the complex problems of international development. We understand that our own economies are complex and require complex allocation mechanisms (i.e. markets; see also “failure of the U.S.S.R.”) but this thinking doesn’t hold when it comes to helping the poor. So consequently we…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Language | Also tagged , , 24 Comments

The Androids are coming, is aid ready?

This post is the second in a series by Dennis Whittle. Dennis is the CEO of GlobalGiving, an international marketplace for philanthropy.

In my last post, I argued that the “operating system” used by the current international aid agencies is stuck using IBM punch cards while the rest of the world has moved on to cell phones, laptops, and iPhones.

In the old system, you had to type programs into a stack of hundreds…

Posted in Big ideas, Technology | Also tagged 8 Comments

Is aid stuck using IBM punch cards?

This post was written by Dennis Whittle. Dennis is the CEO of GlobalGiving, an international marketplace for philanthropy.

When I went to college in the late 1970s we used punch cards like the one pictured here to put information into the (mainframe) computer. Over the next thirty years, competition in computer technology led to rapid innovation. Over those same thirty years, the aid industry followed a decidedly different pattern of development.

In the early 1980s,…

Posted in Technology | Also tagged 24 Comments