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Vox Examines Cases For Upstream, Downstream Solutions To Development, Philanthropy’s Role

Vox: The case for “Band-Aid” philanthropy
“…Here’s the argument: Most problems like poverty, disease, hunger, and war won’t be permanently fixed by homeless shelters, private donations, or other small-scale projects. We need bigger changes to the system to really solve them. That’s true as far as it goes. But it’s a short leap from concluding that shelters and bednets to prevent malaria are just ‘Band-Aids’ to concluding that philanthropists should stop wasting their time on the ‘Band-Aid’ solutions in front of them, and should instead focus their energy on big bets that might, if they pan out, solve the problem entirely. In the spring edition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, David Callahan, the founder of Inside Philanthropy, pushes back on that view, and points out some of the tragic consequences of its newfound popularity…” (Piper, 3/6).