Dhatur Sirin Tamang live with their children and relatives in a compound of 12 houses. Only one is livable now. Photo Credit: Emily Troutman

Sparking Our Interest: Nepal Relief, Big Money and Beating Hunger

06/22/2015

We’re planning to regularly share stories with you that pique our interest. Here are a few that stood out to us this week:

Who’s Getting the Aid Money in Nepal?

Journalist Emily Troutman is continuing her work in aid transparency. She recently found that less than one percent of the UN’s Flash Appeal for the Nepal Earthquake went to organizations based in the South Asian country.

“I was curious if there were some reason these organizations weren’t given the opportunity to apply for prime funding themselves: Were they inexperienced? Uninformed? Less professional? Collectively, they have more than 1,000 years experience in Nepal.”

Troutman is out today with other blog posts related to Nepal relief, which you can read here and here. She has made all of her source documents public:

“I referred to a tremendous amount of data and documents. I believe that the quality and quantity of reporting on humanitarian disasters is damaged by the difficulty people have in accessing crucial information. Keeping that in mind, I have made all of my original research and data analysis available to the public.”

Tiny Spark listeners may remember Troutman from when she spoke to us about her decision to stop accepting payments from charities to photograph their work.

Less Funding for International Aid Groups

Corporations are giving more than ever, according Giving USA‘s estimates released this week. The annual report about American philanthropy finds that donations to all types of charities rose last year except to international aid groups. The drop is partly attributed to fewer natural disasters, which often spur donations. Reporters from the Chronicle of Philanthropy break down the report and highlight its key findings.

Clintons Collect Big Speaker Fees from Nonprofits

Many of us know that Bill and Hillary Clinton are gifted speakers. But this week, Politico reporter Kenneth Vogel investigates the huge fees the famous couple collects from nonprofits for speaking at their events. “The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which has come under scrutiny for its fundraising and fiscal management, has taken in as much as $11.7 million in payments from other nonprofit groups,” Vogel writes. We believe this story is so important that we’ll be interviewing Vogel for our next podcast. Stay tuned!

New Tech for Beating Hunger in the U.S.

The Washington Post’s Terrence McCoy writes about a new technology that maps hunger in our nation’s capital. McCoy quotes the young programmer from the Capital Area Food Bank describing his technology: “This map allows you to see the hunger that is no longer — and the hunger that remains.” We wonder if there are similar applications for food crises abroad?

(PHOTO CREDIT: EMILY TROUTMAN)

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