Author: Kevin Starr

December 14, 2016

Seduced by “The Reductive Seduction of Other People’s Problems”

Two days ago, I was taking a break on a rural beach in Liberia. On a distant point across point the bay was a big cell tower. Next thing I know, I’m checking my email (Why? Why?). Amidst the avalanche of stuff I mostly won’t get to, a friend had sent me a link to an essay, “The Reductive Seduction of Other People’s Problems.”

Author: Kevin Starr

April 10, 2015

The Seven Commandments of Funding

Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.

Author: Kevin Starr

September 02, 2014

Getting Beyond Hype: Four Questions to Predict Real Impact

Through a kind of magic I don't fully understand, some emerging poverty solutions -- products, services, technologies -- become shiny new objects that trigger something akin to a feeding frenzy. Celebration at CGI and SOCAP and TED, breathless articles in Wired and Fast Company, endorsements from celebrities, awards of all kinds --all that stuff is great if the thing has real potential for impact.

Author: Kevin Starr & Laura Hattendorf

March 28, 2014

GiveThoughtfully: It Depends on Your Point of View

There have been many thoughtful responses to our original post about GiveDirectly and unconditional cash transfers. We gave this particular hornet's nest a poke in the first place, and so we owe a response to the helpful points raised.

Author: Kevin Starr & Laura Hattendorf

March 11, 2014

GiveDirectly? Not So Fast

GiveDirectly is the current flavor of the month, and every couple of days someone asks us what we think of it. For those of you behind on your news feed, GiveDirectly does unconditional cash transfers -- it sends money via mobile payment straight to the poorest people in Kenyan villages.

Author: Kevin Starr

January 30, 2014

Get Out of the Office

I thoroughly enjoyed the intellectual bar fight between Charity Navigator and fans of GiveWell over a recent SSIR blog post. A few years ago, GiveWell posted a no-holds-barred critique of Charity Navigator, and after suitable time to sharpen the knives, Charity Navigator roared back, slamming GiveWell's approach to philanthropy as "defective altruism."