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Beyond Good Intentions is working to pioneer an on-line dialogue about international aid effectiveness in an effort to bring about change. Click on the discussion forum links below to become part of the dialogue.
International Aid Workers
What role should foreign aid workers play in international development? What are some of the challenges with the typical role of aid workers? How can aid workers be more innovative and effective in their approaches to helping abroad? What did you think of episode 1 and Matt's role as a bridge? Join the dialogue >
Volunteering Abroad
Can international volunteers make a positive difference abroad? Is it possible that short-term volunteers can, in some cases, actually be doing more harm than good? How can volunteers be most effective? What do you think about "pay-to-volunteer" programs? Share your thoughts on Episode 2 and the pros and cons of volunteering abroad. Join the dialogue >
Disaster Relief
Can disaster relief be more innovative? Why are relief projects often so poorly coordinated and ineffective? What are some potential solutions to improve aid responses following disasters? Share your reactions to Episode 3 and tell us what you think about these organizations in Indonesia and their attempts to innovate their responses. Join the dialogue >
Higher Standards for Non-Profits
Why are aid organizations often held to such low standards? Who should aid organizations be accountable to: the donors or the people they aim to help? What would happen if aid organizations were required to maintain higher standards for their work? Should aid organizations be run more like businesses? What did you think of Episode 4 and the Cambodia Trust's insistence on raising the bar? Join the dialogue >
Research in Development
How do we know if an aid project is truly effective? Could research transform the current problems of international aid effectiveness? Is it irresponsible to not have hard evidence of a project's potential impact before implementing it in communities worldwide? What did you think of Episode 5 and the work of the MIT Poverty Action Lab? Join the dialogue >
The Peace Corps
Do Peace Corps volunteers really help? Is two years long enough to make a positive impact on communities abroad? What are the pros and cons of the Peace Corps program and what do you think about President Obama's plans to double its size? Share your thoughts on Episode 6 and the stories of Peace Corps volunteers working in Madagascar. Join the dialogue >
For-Profit Approaches to Aid
Could for-profit initiatives actually help the poor more than traditional approaches to aid? What do you think of the concept of "marketing to the bottom of the pyramid"? What are the benefits and drawbacks of combining business and aid? Tell us what you think about Episode 7 and the potential impact of for-profit approaches to aid. Join the dialogue >
Faith-Based Aid
What happens when aid and religion mix? How effective are missionaries in their attempts to improve the lives of communities abroad compared to non faith-based aid workers? Are there any ethical challenges in linking aid and religious conversion? Share your reactions to Episode 8 and Brenda's work in Mozambique. Join the dialogue >
Micro-Lending
Is micro-lending the solution to tackling world poverty? What is the impact of offering small loans to the poor compared to providing traditional forms of aid? Has the promise of micro-lending been overblown? What are the keys to success for micro-loan programs? Share your thoughts on Episode 9 and the unique work of kiva.org. Join the dialogue >
Social Entrepreneurship
How is the work of social entrepreneurs different from standard approaches to aid? Could innovation and entrepreneurship be the answer to ensuring greater success in global development? What do you see as the core qualities that define a social entrepreneur? Tell us what you think about Episode 10 and the work of Ashoka's worldwide community of social entrepreneurs. Join the dialogue >
General Forum on Aid
Interested in sharing your thoughts on an aid-related topic that wasn't included in the episode-specific forums above? Add your comments here! Join the dialogue >