Friday, November 02, 2007

ps re SRI

By the way, I actually think SRIs are probably not such a great idea for Serbia at this point in time. It simply doesn't, so far as I can tell - and I haven't been in Belgrade for a while, true, so maybe it is all much improved and I haven't caught up - have a governmental culture for regulating charities that would allow it to work. Too much corruption and governmental political influence. In fact, I probably don't really think there is great room to expand SRIs into lots of countries around the world - for the same reasons, and also that most countries, really, can't do even basic charities regulation effectively, let alone SRI. Better to have SRI function internationally through countries that have effective charities regulation, and funnel the funds raised to other places in the world.

Hmm. I think I had better drop a note to the editor and amend that opening paragraph - I need some diplomatic way to phrase it, however, because the whole premise of the special issue seems to be, more or less, this is the cool thing in the Western charitable sector, let's do it here!!!! To which the real answer perhaps should be - in Belgrade, in a government containing many corrupt functionaries, the influence of gangsters, and Milosevic leftovers, are you kidding? Let's get basic charities regulation functioning, first, and then look to SRI structures.

(Also, I haven't noted the most basic arguments over SRI, except by implication: first, how do you show that the market's allocation is not the socially efficient one and, second, if it is that socially important, shouldn't government do it directly? I do think SRIs can be a very useful charitable activity, but the article is a bit too cheerleading, on reflection.)

No comments: