Sadly, evidence proves privilege breeds corruption.

It is convenient to assume that people without resources are prone to unethical behaviour, especially if you’ve got lots of stuff.  You might imagine that someone who lives in a cardboard box is likely to steal, simply because they need to eat. But the opposite is true.  If you’ve got the stuff, prepared to be …
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Does philanthropy work?

Yes, of course it does.  But being an analyst, and one who must count the pennies too, it has always been a pertinent question.  I’ve always found it difficult to give money to an organisation that has high paid, educated staff taking a third to half the donations in administrative overhead.  I know that when …
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The god and bad of not having enough …

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir was reviewed by The Economist here. People can succumb to a “scarcity mindset” when they feel they have too few friends, time or calories, as well as too little money. This mindset has benefits because it helps you focus on pressing …
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How Money Actually Buys Happiness

But not in the way you think. Have a quick look through this post on the Harvard Business Review blog.  (http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/06/how_money_actually_buys_happiness.html?goback=.gde_2827692_member_254100025 and it’s copied below in case it’s moved.) Research shows that more stuff does not make you happier, but regularly giving to people without does make you happier.  Why?  Because empathy is strong in …
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Why tell lies in reports?

It’s not news that there are false claims in sustainability reports.  Nevertheless, a recent post caught my eye.  A post on SustainableBusinessForum.com by Elaine Curtis noted that the lying can be huge. Labor Indicators: 86% of companies claim they report and only 11% actually do. Human Rights Indicators: 62% of companies claim they report and only …
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Inequality in America is stretched wider

The US Census Bureau’s report – Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the US: 2009 says the number of people in poverty increased by nearly 4m – to 43.6m – between 2008 and 2009.  One in seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009 with the level of working-age poor the highest since the …
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Food, medicine or software for Africa?

Hunger still kills people.

A child dies of hunger every 6 seconds. A nasty statistic that we’d rather ignore. The latest Hunger Report by The International Food Policy Research Institute shows that there are far more people hungry than we imagine. We, who enjoy cars, TV, wifi, chocolate and junk food should be ashamed. Maybe we would be if …
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The population of Europe (the EU) joins the world’s poor.

The World Bank has revised its estimate of people in poverty – those living under $ 1.25 a day.  It now estimates that there are 1.4 billion (1,400,000,000) people living in poverty up from its 2004 estimate of 985 million.  That’s an increase of over 400 million – a number not far from the population …
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World Development Report: we must focus on agriculture and rural opportunities

“Poverty is overwhelmingly rural and will be for decades to come” according to the World Bank and their annual World Development Report. The World Bank warned that the UN goal of halving the incidence of poverty and hunger in the poorest countries would go unmet unless agriculture took centre stage in development aid. While 75% …
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