Despite the increasing prominence of micro-philanthropy, David Henderson expresses his concerns about the increasing popularity of micro-giving. The failure of sweeping interventions such as the Washington Consensus may have contributed to our macro-solution skepticism.
Henderson worries that the pursuit of small solutions for big problems may eclipse efforts to actually address those problems. It’s not that he is completely opposed to micro-solutions, but he stresses that they need to be based in sound reason and rigorous evaluation—a theme that continues to crop up this week.
Henderson has a point: say you “check-in” at Saxby’s Coffee and earn five Karma points that go towards earthquake relief—do you know whether the money is spent efficiently, or spent at all?