Everything that matters in international development comes back to poverty. Poverty saps your ability to affect the path of your life, stay (or start out) healthy, find a job, or invest in education or a small business.
Information on global poverty:
Dani Rodrik talks about international poverty.
A nice Foreign Affairs article on reducing global poverty.
The World Bank’s most recent numbers on global poverty.
Oxfam’s take on reducing global poverty.
You will notice that not all of the sources I have listed agree with each other. Poverty is a complex topic, and there are no obvious answers on what to do. If you want to get involved in fighting global poverty, I suggest the ONE campaign. If you’d like to donate money to help alleviate global poverty, give to an NGO you already know and trust. Poverty is part of all our major problems, and fighting it is part of every solution. Donate to a food pantry in your home town, to Feeding America, International Medical Corps, or the Treatment Action Campaign or Oxfam. Every NGO trying to make the world a better place is fighting poverty one way or another; choose one that is credible and give what you can.
Blog Posts I’ve written that touch on poverty:
Suffering does not make you special
Your money does not make you special
Keep your banana to yourself
Why health matters (if you only read one of my posts, read this one)
My Google alerts have been good to me. I have been heartened to discover more and more blogs which touch on international development in interesting ways. You may have seen my blog roll expanding; I’m trying to create something like a comprehensive list. Check it out and explore.
Here are a few highlights:
Oxfam and Refugees International both have great organization blogs, which showcase deep topical knowledge and passionate writing. Medecins sans Frontieres has a whole compendium of personal accounts by aid workers. Project HOPE has a blog all about (and by) their field volunteers, which would be a great resource for someone who wanted the nitty-gritty about medical volunteering.
Vasco Pyjama has amazing, amazing posts about life abroad doing international development work. She is the real thing; full of insight on the work she does and with a wry and engaging voice. Chris Blattman is a famous development economist (insofar as there is such a thing) and one of my personal heroes. The Road to the Horizon, by Peter Casier, is dense with interesting information, personal observations, and lovely storytelling.