Friday, 18 September 2015

Doing the most good we can

I really rather like my piece in this week's National Business Review ($). I there discuss Peter Singer, effective altruism, Wellington's hordes of bucket-wielding sidewalk charity collectors, and outcome-based funding of NGO service delivery.

A snippet:
It is hard to resist Professor Singer’s call for more effective altruism. Whatever your charitable preferences and wherever you most want to help, doing the most good you can toward your chosen ends requires being careful about where you give. It also poses a challenge for the charitable sectors. The government has been increasingly insistent on outcome-based performance measures in its contracting for services and some charities seem uncomfortable with the rigorous evaluation that such measures require.
It is not easy to measure the good that you can do. But organisations chafing at performance-based contracting with the public sector should not sit back and hope the fad passes by.
As more private donors start watching the kinds of evaluation being provided by places such as Give Well and demand better measures of the good their dollars do, charities wanting to keep those donors will have to keep up. It might get harder to rely on the bucket brigades.
A pre-pub is here. But you should subscribe. There's great stuff in this week's issue from Matthew Hooton on Seymour and ACT and Hosking on international tax issues. And they've provided the country's best coverage of the ongoing saga of earthquake building standards.

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