international development

In an ideal world, big foundations might be superfluous. But in the real world they are vital, because they are adept at targeting problems that both the private sector and the government often neglect. The classic mission of nonprofits is investing in what economists call public goods [...] Yet philanthropic investment in global projects continues to increase. 

The United States spends more on international aid than any other nation — more than $32 billion a year. Yet it has come in near the bottom of a newly released ranking that scores the wealthiest nations according to how much they help the world's poorest people […] What gives?

Japan is set to build India's first bullet train, with Tokyo financing the project through an $8 billion loan to New Delhi [...] [The Nikkei said] that the two countries will issue a joint statement about the deal on Saturday during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India [...]The report comes after Japan failed to win a high-speed train deal in Indonesia earlier this year, losing out to a Chinese proposal.

The sad truth is that a significant number of global philanthropic foundations have investments in the fossil fuel industry, including those where donations to environmental causes and climate change is a significant part of their portfolio… As we move from the UN's Sustainable Development the Climate Change Summit in Paris...the deep contradictions in global philanthropy must be acknowledged.

#GivingTuesday was born four years ago to encourage people to open their wallets for a good cause...Some critics think #GivingTuesday clutters people's inboxes with empty fundraising appeals…On the other hand, it's hard to argue with the results. Last year alone, #GivingTuesday pulled in a whopping $46 million in charitable donations…The event has expanded to countries like Singapore, Kenya and New Zealand.

There are obviously concerns about the impact on Africa through a decrease in commodity exports (and income) to China. Yet such shifts also signal opportunity and perhaps changes in China's approach towards the continent, to include 'softer' issues - like closer public interaction…The 6th iteration of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held this week in Johannesburg, South Africa.

I've been in the Peace Corps since October 2014, stationed in Ghana's Northern Region. On Thursday, I'll spend the day in northern Ghana with three [Peace Corps] friends […] Living in a village without running water or electricity for the last year has made me realize the vast privileges so many of us take for granted […] And I've also learned that even when you don't have a lot, you can still share what little you have.

November 19, 2015

According to the United Nations, a child dies every 20 seconds because of poor sanitation. They are dying from diseases linked to inadequate facilities, unhygienic living conditions and a lack of clean water supplies. It is with all this in mind that this Thursday, World Toilet Day, the spotlight is being pointed at the link between sanitation and nutrition, in an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of toilets...