Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gates Revises Charity Tax Return Amidst Criticism

Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard professor arrested last week for breaking into his own home, revised the 2007 tax return for his charity, Inkwell, after a private investigator, Joseph Culligan, discovered that a $10,000 grant from the foundation went to the organization’s treasurer and Gate’s personal assistant at Harvard, Joanne Kendall.  Gates filed an amendment to the charity’s IRS form 990 to indicate that the grant, and another for $1000 were actually operating expenses, not grants.  On paper, the operating expenses of the charity went from less than one percent of the annual budget to nearly 40%.  Inkwell was formed by Gates in 2005 to research African and African-American culture, art, literature, and history.

Ugandan Village on the Web

The UK based Guardian released two articles reflecting on the half way point in its three year project in Katine, Uganda.  In association with Amref, the Guardian is in the midst of an unusual experiment, providing humanitarian and developmental aid to a village in Uganda while simultaneously reporting on progress via its web site.  The Guardian used its own staff, as well as hired journalists in Uganda to record and even criticize the project it was funding in the hopes that the open transparency would lead to better development decisions.

USAID Program Targets Sex Workers to Prevent HIV

In an apparent change from the prior presidential administration’s policies, USAID has approved a grant to World Learning Ethiopia, which will work directly with sex workers and vulnerable populations surrounding construction sites in Ethiopia.  According to Addis Fortune, USAID has granted $4.75 million to the project, which will focus on 25 of the largest construction sites in the country.