How Academics Can Help People Make Better Decisions Concerning Global Poverty

| July 12, 2012

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In this essay I focus mainly on one decision one group of decision-makers faces—concerning whether to give money to NGOs working to combat global poverty—highlighting some of the key issues and discussing the academic input on those issues. I argue that such input has been seriously deficient, and suggest some ways in which it might be improved. Building on this discussion, I then formulate two questions that can be applied to any decision concerning global poverty that any set of decision-makers might face, the answers to which would indicate the quality of the input academics are currently providing. I suggest that academics familiar with the relevant literatures ask these questions about such other decisions; and in cases where that input is deficient, and the decision in question is an important one, that they consider organizing themselves in ways that will improve that input. I finish by briefly outlining how the new organization Academics Stand Against Poverty might be able to help them to do so.

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Category: Article, Development, Inequality, and Poverty, Issue 26.2, Special Issue: Academics Stand Against Poverty

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