Month: August 2017

U.S. Assistance in the Western Balkans

Photo: Trish Hartmann (CC) Crook Fellow Michael Deegan analyzes current U.S. policy regarding the Western Balkans through insights gained during his time at the Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia: Earlier this month, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence paid a visit to the coastal country of Montenegro to address the Adriatic Summit, a meeting of leaders from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. The visit served as an opportunity for Pence to reassure Western Balkan countries that the United States remains focused on the region and is concerned by growing Russian...

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La Paz Centro, Nicaragua: In the “Weeds”

Photo: Germán Enrique Padilla Díaz (CC) Crook Fellow Jessi Stafford shares more of her experiences interning for Artists for Soup: Creating a life in Matagalpa has been lovely. I am surrounded by friends, my favorite restaurants, my favorite cafes, and work in the comfort of my office. But Artists for Soup did not begin in Matagalpa. The organization is a recent transplant from a much smaller (and hotter, insanely hotter) Nicaraguan town: La Paz Centro. Conducting an impact evaluation requires talking to participants in the program. This meant hopping on two buses, traveling to the small town, and spending a week with...

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Scientific Philanthropy: A Necessary Adoption for the Future

Photo: Robert Bassam (CC) Crook Fellow Amara Uyanna makes the case for bolstering philanthropy with scientific principles, backing up her argument with experiences gleaned during her time working with Sustainability International: I’ve always thought of philanthropy as an art: the art of giving. While I still believe there’s an artistic component to it, I am now of the opinion that to secure our future, we need to incorporate science into philanthropy. Decades ago, John D. Rockefeller Sr. coined the term “scientific philanthropy,” which he described as “the application of frontiers of science, technology and engineering to improving the state of humanity.”...

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SNAP in a Trump Budget

Photo: Paul Sableman (CC) Crook Fellow Cassie Davis details the effects of the Trump administration’s budget proposal will have on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), using insights gleaned from her work for Bread for the World: SNAP faces budget cut proposals every year, but the Trump administration takes its first hit at the effective food assistance program. It threatens a wide range of Americans through significant structural changes to the working program. The Great Depression yielded a variety of welfare programs, including the highly effective Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly referred to as food stamps. The program was designed...

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