How International Nongovernmental Organizations Should Act

Thomas Pogge

in Giving Well

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199739073
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855872 | DOI:
How International Nongovernmental Organizations Should Act

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This chapter proposes and critically discusses a principle that sets priorities for international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) in a world where their resources fall short dramatically of the needs they seek to meet. Other things being equal, an INGO should govern its decision making about candidate projects by such rules and procedures as are expected to maximize its long‐run cost‐effectiveness, defined as the expected aggregate moral value of the projects it undertakes divided by the expected aggregate cost of these projects. Here, aggregate moral value, or harm protection, is the sum of the moral values of the harm reductions (and increases) these projects bring about for the individual persons they affect.

Keywords: cost‐effectiveness; distributive fairness; global poverty; human rights; INGOs; international ethics; philanthropy

Chapter.  10232 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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