The Copenhagen Consensus Centre have once again done us a big favour by bringing together a group of economists (including several Nobel prize winners) to agree the most effective measures to solve the world's problems. They have identified thirty different measures that - on a cost/benefit basis - can make the biggest, quickest contribution to alleviating suffering and poverty throughout the world - see image.
Simple things, like vitamin A and zinc supplements in children's diets, can make huge differences at relatively low costs. I like their approach: reason-based, compassionate economics. The folks in Irish Aid please take note.
And another thing: check out this brilliant initiative by Irish mobile application specialists Púca - just text the word AID to 57500 and your account will be debited €2.50 which will go (without tax or mobile network charges) directly to a group of Irish charities dealing with the crisis in Burma/Myanmar. Better still, when you make a donation you get a text message inviting you to invite a friend or friends to do the same with all the details in the message for you to forward. Exactly the kind of viral/web 2.0/participative aid involvement that I like and which will be a bigger part of the future for charities.
Get texting ...