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Killing me softly with public-private partnerships

Killing me softly with public-private partnerships

If you were at a UN event on public-private partnerships, who would you expect to see there? Oprah? Bill Gates? Elon Musk?

How about Wyclef Jean? Some of you may ask, “Who is Wyclef and why was he at a UN public-private partnerships event?” To those of you who asked the former, we can no longer be friends. To those who asked the latter, that is a great question. Wyclef was a member of the Fugees, who changed hip hop when they dropped The Score. You probably know the Fugees for their rendition of Killing Me Softly. Wyclef is the one who says “one time! one time!”.

He was promoting his new albumCarnival 3, at a public-private partnerships event linked to the success of the SDGs. Wyclef used to have a non-profit called Yéle Haiti, which was accused of mishandling $16 million in donations after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Apparently, $9 million of the $16 million was spent on office space and salaries including flying Lindsay Lohan, Matt Damon and other celebrities to fundraisers. The non-profit has since closed shop.

We still have not yet figured out the appropriate role for celebrities in international development. Are there any good examples?

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Brendan Rigby

Managing Director & Co-founder at WhyDev
Brendan is an education specialist and co-founder of WhyDev. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education exploring complementary basic education and the literacy practices of out-of-school children in northern Ghana. Formerly, he was an Education Officer with UNICEF Ghana, and Director of Venture Support with StartSomeGood. Brendan has also been an education consultant and trainer for Plan, UNICEF, ScopeGlobal and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. He is obsessed with tea, American football and karaoke.

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