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Essays, Materials, Musings


What is effective giving? What exactly is the meaning of giving? A Guide to Giving, written collectively by volunteers of the global organization Givology, answers these questions by delving into topics of social enterprise best practices, measuring “return on giving”, and optimizing volunteer engagement. The first half of the book is primarily a handbook for effective giving, drawing lessons from the Givology experience for budding changemakers. The second half shares the stories, motivations, and practical advice of 12 inspiring social entrepreneurs who have enabled extraordinary change around the world. Looking at statistics of global poverty, it’s easy to think, “How can one individual make a difference?” The purpose of the book is to inspire you to action to start making a difference today!

“As young as they are, the authors have realized what took me years to learn: understanding, assessing, and optimizing impact is at the core of any truly effective philanthropic act…In this book, you will find encouraging stories of giving, practical advice from amazing organizations about how to create a successful culture of giving, and a framework for how to ensure your giving yields results. I have no doubt Givology will ignite a new generation of effective changemakers.” – Bhavna Shyamalan, representing the M Night Shyamalan Foundation


I draw extremely poorly, but as a fun side project, I wrote and illustrated a children's book modeled after the (somewhat horrific) ancient Chinese tales of filial piety.


Above is a link to the extended essay that I completed for the Msc Economics for Development Program at Oxford University, which received the thesis award. I worked with Dr. Albert Park, who provided me with so much feedback, guidance, and support.

Abstract: Conventional household decision-making models exclude children as participatory agents with bargaining power, even though as the child ages and transitions into adulthood, he or she exerts more control over many decisions affecting his or her life, even in tradition-bound societies. In decisions regarding school enrollment and continuation, the preferences of young people remain an important, yet under-explored factor. Especially in a developing country context, few economics studies have attempted to explore the connection between extrinsic socioeconomic variables and the formation of intrinsic educational aspirations, with the latter influencing educational outcomes. This study is the first to investigate whose aspirations matter in education within the household, and how factors such as income, wealth, and child age affect the relative importance of these aspirations, a proxy for decision-making power. Using longitudinal survey data from rural China, this paper first explores the determinants of parent and child aspirations for schooling, and then investigates the different factors that affect the relative importance attributed to parent and child schooling preferences on school continuation. The five main results of the study are: (1) Aspirations for children are lower than parental aspirations, and correspond more strongly to measures of ability, while gender and wealth were not significant. In contrast, wealth is a significant positive predictor for mother and father aspirations, and mothers have lower aspirations for female than male children. (2) Higher children’s aspirations are significant predictors of staying in school, even after controlling for ability, socioeconomic, and demographic variables, and are more important than parental aspirations. (3) Mother’s aspirations are strongly correlated with children’s aspirations, but do not influence school continuation. In contrast, father’s aspirations do not predict children’s aspirations, but significantly influence school continuation, especially of boys. (4) Age increases the weight on father and child aspirations, suggesting that intrinsic motivation matters more at higher levels of education. (5) Income increases the weight on father aspirations, but decreases that of the child. These results support the inclusion of children’s preferences in household decision making models and human capital investment models, and provide insights into the intrinsic influences that affect intra-household decisions.


I have been very lucky to enjoy great home cooking during difficult pandemic times. I've documented some of David's best recipes and techniques in this cookbook. We'll continue to add as we discover new creations with great work-taste-ratio. Click to 'request' access to this document (I've kept sharing permissions semi-private).

Writings: List


Also available on iTunes/Android. In this podcast series, we explore various philanthropic business models, theory of change, impact evaluation (qualitative and quantitative), and broad industry trends with key opinion leaders within charitable giving, social enterprise, academia, and government.

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