The underside of the charity world

November 18, 2015, 7:49 am
Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Bad stuff is everywhere. Call it evil if you wish. Or simply sin.

The underside of the charity world needs to be addressed and dealt with. Here are two articles, one secular and one spiritual, on how to deal with bad stuff.

Also a general article on complexity. I have been holding all three articles for a few months. Time to post them.

On dealing with bad stuff

7/21 – New York Times – Denver Church’s Security Efforts Highlight New Reality – Check out the five-minute video. It is superb.

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Why is creating change so difficult in a local church?

April 28, 2015, 7:37 am

Creating change in a local church is really hard work. Here are two articles describing why it is so tough.

4/21 – Charles Stone at Pastors Today – 8 Reasons Church Change Is so Difficult Article describes a few of the reasons change is so tough. Just a few highlights:

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Before you get too far in planning that short term mission trip….

July 28, 2014, 8:19 am

….read Once more, from the top at AidSpeak. The author, “J”, wrote the article It’s a Crappy World, that I mentioned here.

The article discusses, then demolishes, a number of the arguments for volunteers going overseas to help.

Here’s just a few thoughts for your consideration:

Aid and development are professions, not hobbies. It takes specific knowledge, skill and experience to get this right.

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Trying to make the world less miserable is complicated and messy

June 20, 2014, 6:55 am

One of the big reasons I blog is to help me sort out this big, complicated, messy world.

“J”, an anonymous blogger and novelist at AidSpeak, helps in general and especially with his recent post It’s a Crappy World.

He points out 5 of the tensions and paradoxes of the aid and development world. Lots to ponder.

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Why aid and development are difficult

January 29, 2014, 6:59 am

Life is complicated.

My reading over the last two years has opened my eyes to why successful aid and development is so difficult. Unintended consequences and complexity in general are a few reasons why it is hard to make things better in poor countries and why improvements are so slow.

Many of my readers processed through the ideas I’ll mention in this post a long time ago. This is old news for many.

For me, and for some readers of this blog, this is new territory. One of many reasons I blog is to work through what is new for me.

Here are two more articles that illustrate the complexities of facilitating change:

Systemic lack of justice

Why We’re Losing the War on Poverty is an interview in Christianity Today with Gary Haugen discussing his book, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty requires the End of Violence.

The lack of functioning law enforcement allows violence to prey on the poor and plunder them. The corrosive effect of violence undermines everything else in a society. The one sentence summary: Read the rest of this entry »


It’s complicated, Africa version

November 24, 2012, 8:29 am

Our perceptions of what’s taking place in Africa fluctuate between wild optimism and hopeless despair, cycling back and forth depending on this year’s headlines. Things are actually far more complicated, showing lots of reasons for some optimism simultaneous with indications of hard days now and in the future.

That’s what I learned from Walter Russell Mead’s post, Agony in The Congo.

(Why this post on that essay?  We need to understand the complexities of the world around us if we want to actually change the world.)

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A short explanation of why feel good aid might make things worse

April 17, 2012, 9:40 am

In The Broken “Buy-One, Give-One” Model: 3 Ways to Save Toms Shoes author Cheryl Davenport provides a concise description of the underlying problem with the TOMS model.

There’s a huge number of articles out there describing the conceptual issues.  Ms. Davenport has a great recap:

First, the Toms buy-one-give-one model does not actually solve a social problem. Rather, the charitable act of donating a free pair of shoes serves as little more than a short-term fix in a system in need of long-term, multi-faceted economic development, health, sanitation, and education solutions.

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