The GiveWell Blog

Why nitpick?

In response to Elie’s recent series of posts on malnutrition, John J. comments: “What specific nutrients are they missing…etc etc etc?” Here’s a question for you: What possible use is this question to Givewell? Do you really need to get into such miniscule depth with regard to poor people who can’t afford enough food and… Read More

Esperanca’s response

Below is the email I received from Kelli M. Donley, Program Director at Esperanca, in response to the questions I asked in Part I and Part II of this series: Dear Elie, Hi there! I am going to try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge. I hope this helps: These questions… Read More

Where can you donate to fight malnutrition? (part I)

In this post, I’m going to take a fresh look at malnutrition, a cause that interests me a lot. I have two goals in mind here: Think through the issue, and what I’d need to know to decide where to donate. This is particularly relevant since there’s a good chance we’ll be studying malnutrition in… Read More

Evaluating organizations vs. practices

Sean Stannard-Stockton wants to see more research focused on particular nonprofits, rather than on “techniques” for helping people; his reasoning is that this would be more useful to donors. I don’t believe it’s possible to evaluate a nonprofit as an organization, completely in isolation from what it does and whether it works. Especially if I’m… Read More


Sean asks (via email): What’s your view on whether funders should do research on techniques and then fund organizations that use those techniques or do research on organizations and let them decide on techniques? I was intrigued with your education research post, but was wondering if it might make more sense to find smart dynamic… Read More