When we consider the vast sums that governments spend — and the responsibility public officials bear — it seems crazy that policy makers don’t routinely make good use of evidence. The new White House effort to base spending decisions on hard evidence is a step toward delivering more social good per taxpayer dollar.Read More
In India, videos made about the many social problems are secretly broadcasted in different villages to make people aware of the real problem and also aware of what they can do to fix it. Video Volunteers, an organization that coordinates these video productions, catalyzes community change through transparency and accountability.Read More
Adolescent smoking remains a challenging health problem because of the allure of cigarette branding. Australia is piloting the transformation of cigarette packaging with a generic look that reduces the appeal of smoking. In Florida, the Truth campaign has exposed that cigarette companies targeted teenage consumers and, in response, created a set of new advertisements that presented the cigarette industry with transparency.Read More
The militarization of police forces in cases such as Ferguson, Missouri’s riots has led the state of Utah to question what can be done to prevent such an overuse of force from happening. Utah expanded upon a law passed by Democratic legislature in Maryland, which Utah’s ACLU reworked with some libertarians, to require the police to provide data about SWAT team usage. Utah’s success demonstrates that demilitarization bills passed with bipartisan support are not impossible.Read More
The ability of social media and online civic participation to impact law and politics is still developing, but one social media tool - Friendfactor - was used successfully in New York to help bring about the passage of Gay Marriage Equality. It may be an indicator for how powerful platforms like this one will continue to play a role in societal growth and change.Read More
New crowdfunding options can help even the smallest donor's contributions to have a meaningful impact, bolstering a sense of personal involvement, maximizing knowledge about causes, and inspiring greater participation.Read More
With more and more Americans having to pay medical costs out of pocket, a small company out of Philadelphia called ELAP is on the front lines of the war against escalating charges. By helping overwhelmed patients to de-mystify and negotiate medical bills, they are ensuring patients get the best value and avoid egregious financial distress.Read More
For most well-meaning donors, it can be difficult to calculate which charities are most effective with their funding - that is those that aim to solve the most serious problems, use interventions that work, employ cost-effective strategies, are competent and honest, and can make good use of each additional dollar. Organizations like GiveWell are part of a new and welcome trend toward rigorous evaluation of social change programs, and helps people best decide where to donate based on what causes matter to them most.Read More
Project ECHO - driven by a single doctor with a cause - pulled together a team of specialists to develop a model that combines technology with collaborative care and careful patient tracking to help cure for diseases spread to patients around the world through community healthcare agents, as opposed to only specialty centers. This kind of "disruptive innovation" is effectively working to demonopolize health care knowledge and access, and lends to a health system capable of meeting today’s soaring demands for care.Read More
Neighborhood Trust is a New York-based nonprofit offering financial advice to individuals experiencing economic hardships. Providing hands-on coaching, counselors are able to inform their clients about financial options they may have otherwise not known about like college financial aid or child care tax credits.Read More
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