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Strengthening Health Systems in Low-income Countries: Is Giving What We Can Missing a Better Strategy For Saving Lives?

A large amount of recent literature on global health makes the suggestion that a major barrier to improved health outcomes in low income countries is the general weakness of their healthcare systems.[1] [2] Some literature suggests that some targeted programs to control certain diseases may even be acting to weaken health care systems in low-income countries through creating superfluous parallel delivery systems and disrupting the day to day activities of the health system. [3] [4]

How your student loan can save lives

What do you want to be when you’re older?

It’s probably one of the first questions we can remember our response to. Back then our vivid imaginations could transport us from being astronauts on spaceships to princesses in beautiful dresses with an entourage of seven dwarves (only one of those was an actual childhood dream of mine).

The unbounded nature of childhood dreams is surely universal, innate to every child.

What I learnt from talking to over 100 Giving What We Can members

Giving What We Can now has over 1000 members, representing many different walks of life and nearly 50 countries. As Director of Community, one of my aims is to get to know as many of these people as possible. I want to learn about how and why they came to join Giving What We Can, and see what our staff can do to support them in their extraordinary commitments. I took on the role in February, and since then I have had the pleasure of speaking with over 100 recently signed up members.

Tell All Your Friends!

This year I finally took the Giving What We Can pledge and now donate 10% of my income to the most effective charities. It’s been a really rewarding experience, and I have got to know a fantastic community of like-minded people in the process. I join 1100 other people who donate 10% or more of their income with Giving What We Can. Together we’ve pledged $434 million to some of the best charities out there. What could be more incredible that that?

The Economics of Morality

Picture yourself vacationing in a developing country in the hills overlooking the coast. One day during your stay, a devastating typhoon hits, leaving hundreds of people without food, water, or shelter. Fortunately for you, you’ve not been affected by the storm. You’ve got a cozy little cottage which is high on a hill and well stocked with everything you need. The destruction on the coast has made it impossible for you to travel down the hill, but you can still help by giving money to the relief effort, which is already under way. Do you have an obligation to help?

What kind of fundraiser are you?

A brilliant discussion has been taking place in the Effective Altruism community recently about the idea of how to be more inclusive of all the different ways we all support effective causes. There are so many different ways we can all be involved in Effective Altruism and spreading the word to the wider public. Fundraising for effective charities is an ideal way of doing both. All you need is passion and time.

Giving Is Receiving

Greetings from the Protection of Civilians (PoC) camp in Bentiu, Unity State northern South Sudan. I’m here working with UNICEF South Sudan as a communications specialist for the polio eradication program.

That paragraph should suggest that Giving What We Can is a natural and almost automatic fit for me. But I’m happy/sorry to say I am a new recruit to Giving What We Can.

When is systemic change a good idea?

I left off my last post considering when you might want to pursue systemic change rather than marginal change. In this post I'm going to take a closer look at that.

A system's key elements are: a group of actors (with some interests in common), their interactions, and the outcomes that result from those interactions.

A single actor can be part of more than one system at once, and systems can change over time. They can also vary in size.


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