Published: Monday 30 November -0001

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Children in Sumatra need your help. The ad was posted on charity website two days after an earthquake rattled Sumatra on September 30. Within 15 days, the ad raised money for 15 tarps and 20 water tanks.

To assure donors that their money makes a difference, the website offered instant feedback on the use of the aid with photographs as proof. Many such charity websites have emerged in the past decade. JustGiving, for instance, claims to have helped 8,000 charities raise US $730.5 million since 1999.

Nick Stockton of the Humanitarian Accountabi-lity Partnership Internatio-nal said such tools are democratizing aid business. But Ben Ramalingam of Active Learning Netwo-rk for Accountability and Performance said many donors dont focus on the long-term impact of their fund. Hence, the evidence-base of such websites needs to be strengthened.

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