Chris Blattman discovered this great comment from another guy's blog that I'm reposting on mine.
It suggests ways to decide whether to use a pool that an NGO in Kenya owns but feels guilty about using or something.
A) Form a swimming pool collective with a rotating chair, with use of the pool to be voted on every week. Pool to be funded by bake sale at the local international school.
B) Divide the pool surface area into 100 square use rights – sell rights to the staff and/or guests, who are only allowed to swim within their allotted area, unless allowed to by other freeholders. Let residents buy and sell these rights to each other and let the market reach an efficient outcome
C) Let NGO workers use the pool, but constantly make them feel guilty about it: surround the pool with posters of photos from recent/ongoing drought. Actually, this could be a win win situation – if you run into anyone who seriously objects to the idea of Oxfam using a pool, let *them* stand on the side and heckle the swimmers.
D) Randomly allocate 50% of your guests with passes to the pool. Use pre and post survey data on stress levels, health, etc to evaluate the actual impact of pool usage. If you’re concerned about financial viability, charge a high price and then randomly distribute vouchers of varying levels to the treated group to tease out the demand curve for pool usage.
I give extensive thanks to Chris so he doesn't try to beat me up or something.