Philanthropy Action

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Feb 26, 2010

A Lesson from Haiti: Are Search and Rescue Teams Worth It?

The images of people being rescued from the rubble in Haiti by international search and rescue teams were inspiring and have led some to call for more investment in search and rescue teams. But looking at the data, I think that’s exactly the wrong lesson from the experience in Haiti. As a public health practitioner, and someone dedicated to outcomes measurement, it seems likely to me that SAR-focused relief efforts improperly subordinate the good of the many to the good of a very few. In other words, there are much better ways to direct disaster relief than SAR.

Feb 24, 2010

Helping Haiti’s Children, Part II

What should people do who want to help Haiti’s children?

Feb 15, 2010

When Good Surveys Go Bad—And How To Prevent It

Surveys can easily lead to bad data and false conclusions that can result in future missteps. For instance, a recent study by Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman in South Africa found that roughly 40 percent of survey respondents provided erroneous information about their use of credit. To help organizations use surveys effectively, we’re hosting a conference call on February 22nd at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific with David and Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy. The call is free. To register for the call and get call-in details, send an email to

Feb 12, 2010

Helping Haiti’s children, Part I

Adoption not the answer for Haiti’s children.

Feb 11, 2010

A Round-Up of Education Headlines

There have been a number of articles and reports published in the past few weeks pointing toward the value of clear evidence of what works in the field of education.