Friday, May 19, 2006

Ethan's Heart is in Accra

Ethan Zuckerman writes one of the best blogs on Africa out there, called My Heart's in Acra. Full of interesting content, insights, conundrums, and humor. While in college, Ethan was a founder of Tripod, and since then he has devoted much of his time to entrepreneurial approaches to international development. First, he founded GeekCorps, and now spends a lot of time on this blog.

One of my favorite recent posts is about a request he received from Nigeria to help fund a project there, and about how he tried to determine whether it is bona fide. We face this issue at GlobalGiving all the time. The challenge is how to help give grassroots maximize access, while weeding out the bad guys - and to do it at a cost that is not prohibitive.

Note: When Mari Kuraishi and I started GlobalGiving several years back, we schlepped our team up to Massachusetts to see Ethan, who spent a full day with us trying to get us prepared for the challenge ahead. His advice was invaluable. To the extent that we have accomplished anything since then (including facilitating $3 million of donations to 700+ grassroots projects), Ethan deserves significant credit. (As for our shortcomings, which are many, those belong to us alone.)