Recently in Philanthropy Category

Carnival of Podcasts

The Peasants' Revolt
But who were the rebels and how close did they really come to upending the status quo? And just how exaggerated are claims that the Peasants’ Revolt laid the foundations of the long-standing English tradition of radical egalitarianism?

A bit more of British history podcasts via Brad DeLong. See also British History blog.

Saddam: Personal Insights

Heritage
In this four-part Heritage series Malcolm Billings explores the archaeology of patriotism in the USA; Part One, Part Two.

Air Taxi!
Recently the market for air taxis has really taken off but can this expensive form of personal transport really fly?

Crusading
What exactly were Crusades and how useful are they as a metaphor in the twenty first century?

Interview with John Emsley
If you are really keen to murder a spouse, which chemical element would you choose? Arsenic is SO last year. Mercury is so - well, mercurial. Cambridge chemist John Emsley offers informed advice for anyone contemplating homicide who would like to show a little flair and impress the team from CSI.

Flat Tax Reform in Slovakia: Lessons for the United States

Google Special- Banned Books

The Man who invented McSurgery

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dr v.jpg
I am not an idea man, the task is not to aspire to some heaven but to make everyday life divine."- Dr. V

Wall Street Journal has an obituary of Govindappa Venkataswamy, eye-care pioneer (1918-2006), founder of the Aravind Eye Care System ;

“With 2.4 million served, the Aravind Eye Care System in India is in a way the McDonald's of cataract surgery: efficient, effective, influential and -- rare for health care in the developing world -- a clear financial success.

It began with one man, Govindappa Venkataswamy, an ophthalmologist who died July 7 at age 87 after a long illness. Dr. V, as he was universally known, created one of the largest eye-care systems in the world, catering largely to the poor in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. He was inspired, Aravind says, by the assembly-line model of McDonald's founder Roy Kroc -- learned during a visit to Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Ill.

Building on those lessons, he created a system for sight-saving cataract surgeries that produces enviable medical outcomes in one of the poorest regions of the globe. Its rapid expansion over three decades was not built through government grants, aid-agency donations or bank loans. Instead, Dr. V took the unusual step of asking even poor patients to pay whenever they could, believing the volume of paying business would sustain the rest. Poor people with cataracts in Tamil Nadu can get their sight restored for about $40. If they can't afford that, it's free."

It's not about the money

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Easterly offers some advice to Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and other would be philanthropists;

“The misguided media reaction to the Gates-Buffett union was, quite predictably, all about numbers: Warren's $31 billion gift, which roughly doubles the size of Bill's foundation to about $60 billion. Welcome to foreign aid wonderland, where it's always about the spending, never about the impact. "Double" has a venerable history; whenever anyone starts worrying about the world's poor, they almost always call for exactly doubling foreign aid -- from John F. Kennedy to last year's Group of Eight (G-8) Summit agreeing to double aid to Africa.

Alas, aid flow reflects the cost of providing services for the poor, not the value of those services. Would Microsoft Corp. promote an executive who bragged about setting a record for costs? Would Berkshire Hathaway invest in a business that headlined its remarkably high spending on office supplies? Unfortunately, the foreign aid business has a sad history of bureaucrats under heavy pressure to spend money on foreign consultants and four-wheel-drive vehicles but with zero pressure to find out whether that spending translates into the forever elusive "technical assistance," "capacity building" and "civil service restructuring" that are supposed to help the poor. Your challenge -- much harder in foreign aid than in business -- is to find out if your final customers are satisfied.”

Related;

Conversation Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett had about philanthropy with Charlie Rose (via Official Google Blog)

World development report 1993 : investing in health’- which according to Bill Gates opened his eyes and gave his mission (see the above interview)

Being smart with Buffett’s billions

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