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Dennis Whittle

RIP, Aid Watch

Dennis Whittle | Posted 07.24.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

On May 19, Bill Easterly and Laura Freschi announced that their blog Aid Watch was ending, after running about two years.

Helping Outsiders Become Insiders

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Dennis Whittle

Here is a talk I gave at TEDx YSE (Young Social Entrepreneurs) in December 2010. I talk about how I accidentally discovered the pleasure and privileg...

Ben Ramalingam on Aid and Complexity

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

The whole system disguises rather than navigates complexity, and it does so at various levels - in developing countries and within the aid system. ...

Art at a Distance

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Dennis Whittle

"Several hundred people attend our openings over the web." That is what Megan Lange at Robert Lange Studios (RLS) in Charleston, SC told me re...

The Tyranny of Ideology

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

BerlinHere is one of the best lectures of all time. It should be required listening for anyone interested in better understanding the world - or tryi...

When Aid Works: RIP, Rene Le Berre

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

"René Le Berre, a French entomologist who helped inspire an international campaign that saved millions of West Africans from the parasitic disease r...

Karin Christiansen on Transparency

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

"Transparency" has (re-)emerged as a buzzword in the development sector and is taking center stage in many development initiatives. Having measured t...

Of Wine and Experts

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

"I mean, S&P, Moody's, Fitch, these people all rated securities that apparently completely tanked. So there's obviously something in the demand fo...

Peter Buffett's Advent Calendar

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

Someone sent me a link to Peter Buffett's Advent Calendar. It brought a smile to my face. It's quirky and funny and personal. It has links to some g...

Expert Blinders

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

"The larger lesson is that the brain is a deeply constrained thinking machine, full of cognitive tradeoffs and zero-sum constraints. Those chess prof...

Don't Follow the Leader

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

"In the final chapter, Seeley suggests five lessons we could learn from bees.• Compose a decision-making group of individuals with shared interests....

Free the Aid Bloggers

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

One day, aid agencies will brag about the bloggers they have on staff. This will happen when they realize the best aid agencies are platforms for conversations and learning.

Good Aid Projects Come from Good Conversations

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

The best aid projects I have seen have result from a conversation between community members and aid workers. All involved in the conversation bring unique information, perspectives, and desires.

How Much Can We Rely on Medical Experts?

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Dennis Whittle

A recent article made me think that I should re-think my reference to medicine -- a field that needs to re-examine its own standards of proof and good practice.

Professional Is Not a Title

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

"Professionalism may have less to do with your job title/organization and whether you are paid staff or a volunteer, and more to do with how you appro...

Transparency: How to Get from Consensus to Impact?

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

Here is a nice paper from Homi Kharas of Brookings on how transparency can transform accountability in the official aid sector.

What's the Bottom Line?

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

Aid is made less effective by the incentives which aid agencies face, which they in turn transmit to their staff. In large part, these unhelpful ince...

CGD as Social Capital

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

Unlike so many other places, people don't come to CGD only to score points or to win intellectual arguments. Instead, they come to present their arguments and listen to others and then go away and refine their own thinking.

Can USAID Reach Escape Velocity?

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

Few would argue that USAID is on the ropes. But there are some bright spots that offer hope.

Transparency for Learning, Not Punishment

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

"Today, transparency is not used enough as a tool for helping organizations to learn, improve, and adapt--to hold themselves accountable to themselves...

Transparency: The First Step to Democracy

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

I had the pleasure of meeting (and running with) Owen Barder last week at a meeting of the International Transparency Initiative.  I have to adm...

Show Me the Money!

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) was an example of an initiative that created unprecedented transparency at the United Nations. But it didn't start out that way.

Pritchett: Experts Impede Innovation

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

The same skepticism about "one size fits all" that made "Washington Consensus" two dirty words should be taken to the range of "expert" advice in sect...

Developing Communities - Not Countries

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

Guest post by Felipe Cabezas. "There is no such thing as the Western world and the developing world." - Hans Rosling The speakers at Monday's TEDxCh...

Urban Agriculture Challenge: Communities Helping Themselves (With Delicious Results!)

Dennis Whittle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Dennis Whittle

Rather than relying on fast food chains or large supermarkets, urban residents with access to a local farm should eat fresh fruits and vegetables grown right in their communities.