More than 176,000 foundations exist in the US and Europe, and their spending on international development has risen by 60% in just four years. By far the largest contribution comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has quickly become the largest funder of global public health outside the US and UK governments. This amounts to a huge potential bonanza for poverty reduction and healthcare across the world. Yet the impact of philanthropy depends on how foundations use these resources, and whether or not they escape the problems that have undermined other approaches to foreign aid. On that question, the jury is definitely out. Read more…

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