An interesting perspective on donation in this TED talk from Joy Sun.
Sun asks: ‘How good are we at allocating resources on behalf of the poor?’ One very telling study looked at a program in India that gives livestock to the so-called ultra-poor, and they found that 30 percent of recipients had turned around and sold the livestock they had been given for cash. For every 100 dollars worth of assets this program gave someone, they spent another 99 dollars to do it. What if, instead, we use technology to put cash, whether from aid agencies or from any one of us directly into a poor person’s hands? Today, three in four Kenyans use mobile money, which is basically a bank account that can run on any cell phone. A sender can pay a 1.6 percent fee and with the click of a button send money directly to a recipient’s account with no intermediaries. Like the technologies that are disrupting industries in our own lives, payments technology in poor countries could disrupt aid. It’s spreading so quickly that it’s possible to imagine reaching billions of the world’s poor this way.
Worth a watch!