Summary of Should You Donate Differently?

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Should You Donate Differently? summary
Traditional approaches to aid are inefficient, but mobile technology permits a more direct method.


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Many aid organizations labor under the assumption that they can make better choices for impoverished people than the poor themselves. Veteran aid worker Joy Sun offers a contrarian argument. She maintains that “unconditional cash transfers” can outperform traditional aid programs, and she presents anecdotal evidence to support her theory. Though Sun doesn’t delve into the broader economic ramifications of such a scheme, getAbstract believes the theme of her brief, radical talk will spark lively debate among aid workers, philanthropists and policy makers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What shortcomings most foreign aid programs experience and
  • Why giving money directly to the poor may be a more effective solution.


After a decade working for aid projects in Africa, Joy Sun became disillusioned with the fruits of her efforts. Disheartened, she often wondered whether throwing “cold, hard cash” from an airplane flying over poor villages could distribute aid more efficiently to those in need. Sun was surprised to ...
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About the Speaker

Joy Sun is chief operating officer at GiveDirectly, a charity that delivers monetary aid directly to recipients.

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