The GiveWell Blog


A little over a year ago, we ballparked the cost to save a life from malaria at $200. Now we think it’s closer to $1000. Last August, I wrote that K-12 education is my favorite cause. A week ago, I owned up to moving it to the bottom of my list, and far preferring global… Read More

Don’t take our breadth away

For our first round of grantmaking, we chose to investigate five broad causes, two in the developing world (saving lives and fighting poverty) and three in the developed world (early childhood care; K-12 education; employment assistance). This decision – doing five causes, instead of narrowing our scope from the outset – had serious costs. Even… Read More

Rethinking bednets

We granted Population Services International in our Saving Lives in Africa cause, focusing largely on their condom and bednet distribution and promotion programs. Soon after we cut the check, I got into a conversation with someone who questioned whether bednets are effective at all. He pointed me to a paper, “Combating malaria morbidity and mortality… Read More

Rigorous research on aid

Measuring the effect of aid on people’s lives can be difficult, and may never be perfect – but we believe that it can be done, and has been done, both rigorously and practically. Examples can be found on three sites devoted to conducting and/or promoting rigorous evaluation of social programs: Poverty Action Lab, Innovators for… Read More