IDR SelectMay 23, 2017

IDR Select: Five ideas that got us thinking

Take a few minutes to read some of the most compelling articles we discovered this month as we trawled the World Wide Web.
2019-05-21 00:00:00 India Development Review IDR Select: Five ideas that got us thinking
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1. How to get the wealthy to donate
By Ashley V. Whillans, Elizabeth W. Dunn and Eugene M. Caruso for The New York Times, May 2017.

“Wealthy people are selfish jerks. So are their children.”

A recent series of scientific studies sought to understand what motivates the wealthy to give. When it comes to raising money, many of us believe in the power of the cause—malnutrition, education, empowerment and so on—to convert the wealthy.

This article suggests another, more effective strategy, which relies on how the rich view themselves and their relation to the world. It suggests that ‘rather than trying to make others see the world the way we do, it may be more effective to meet them where they are.’ The piece is worth a read because it presents a new lens through which we might understand donors.

2. The oil industry saved more whales than environmental NGOs did. Perhaps.
By Luis Miranda, for Forbes India, May 2017.

indian social sector

Photo courtesy: Pilot Whale Meeresbewohner Marine Mammals Wal

What do airports, electric cars and steel plants have in common? They are all ‘capitalistic’ innovations that have had tremendous impact on society. The question being asked, then, is this: have they done more for society than nonprofits and social enterprises ever can?

Luis Miranda’s article makes a case for the irreplaceable role of technology in sparking large-scale social change.

Whether you agree with the author’s opinion or not, don’t give this article a miss.

3. Budget 2017: India’s Missing Women Workers
By Ira Dugal for Bloomberg Quint, January 2017.

The numbers are depressing: India was ranked 121 out of 131 countries in 2013 when it came to participation of women in the workforce. In fact, over 20 years, the participation of working-age women in the labour force declined from 42 percent to an alarming 31 percent.

What are the implications of this for our country? Are families finally encouraging girls to study rather than work from an early age? And are wages stabilising for the poor and therefore taking away the economic compulsion for women to work? Will this merely reinforce patriarchy, making women economically dependent? And why are our skilling programmes failing to make employment more inclusive?

4. Your phone is now a refugee’s phone
By BBC Media Action, July 2016.


Related article: IDR Select: Our favourite picks 

Each minute, 24 people around the world flee their home because of violence or persecution. At 65.3 million, if the world’s displaced people were their own nation, it would be larger than the United Kingdom. And more than half of these are children.

This short video by BBC Media Action simulates what it’s like to leave everything behind when you flee your home. While nothing can place any one of us in the shoes of a refugee, this attempt at communicating what it might feel like is an essential watch.

Note: Watch this video on your phone to experience the full impact.

5. Selling her suffering
By Francine Prose for the NYR Daily, 2017.

Margaret Atwood’s feminist, dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale has been made into an online show, and you should watch it.

Regarded as a feminist cautionary classic, The Handmaid’s Tale depicts misogyny at its worst. Living in an authoritarian, religious dystopia, women are enslaved, ranked only by their fertility. But is there something innately anti-feminist about a commercial endeavour selling women’s suffering? Francine Prose argues that there is.

Feminist or not, the show is chillingly close to our present reality and points to how insidiously tyranny can sneak up on us. Living in an intensely patriarchal culture as we are, watching this show is like holding up a mirror to the world we inhabit today. And so we must.

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