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February 28, 2008



So only address needs that are fixable?

Jane Arsenault


Thanks for your question.

I don't believe we should only address problems with known solutions. But, if you are going to address an issue where there is no known knowledge as to what will work, then I think we have an obligation to (1) be clear with those who are funding the effort that it is experimental; and (2) to capture and disseminate what we learn from our experiment. In this way, knowledge of what does and does not work will gradually build and we can come closer and closer to effective solutions over time.

I also believe that we have an obligation to educate ourselves about what others have already discovered. When resources are scarce, it may be the better approach to choose an intervention that has already been shown to be effective, enhancing the likelihood that community improvement will result. At the very least, we should try and fix the things we know how to fix...?

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