The GiveWell Blog

A few thoughts on water

The cause of “water” is one of the more (initially) emotionally appealing, and probably marketable, causes in developing-world aid. Here are some thoughts on the cause, fresh off of reading the Copenhagen Consensus report on it: From what I’ve seen – both in terms of water-related literature and in terms of general morbidity data –… Read More

Significant life change

If you could accomplish any of the following for the same cost, which would you choose? (1) Prevent 100 deaths-in-infancy, knowing that in all likelihood these 100 people will grow up to have consistently low income and poor health for their ~40-year-long lives. (2) Provide consistent, full nutrition and health care to 100 people, such… Read More

Malnutrition and income

Over the last few days I have been wondering just how severe and how fixable developing-world malnutrition may be. For a striking illustration, see “Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa” by Esther Duflo. This paper analyzes a survey of 9000 families in the early 1990s in South Africa, when… Read More

Research plan: A fresh start

We completed our first year of research a few weeks ago, and are now starting up our second. (Our annual review and plan discuss what we’ve learned from our first year, and the many ways in which we’re changing our approach for year 2.) We found some strong organizations the first time around, but our… Read More

The GiveWell Pledge

The goal of GiveWell is to help a large chunk of individual giving to become more effective (i.e., to help people more). As such, the two most important questions about our project are: 1. Can we produce useful, actionable research for donors? 2. Will donors use it? Our first year was focused on #1. We… Read More

New material

We’ve been releasing a lot of new material over the last few weeks, and I want to make sure that our blog readers are aware of it. now includes: New research reports and charity recommendations on three causes. Global Poverty: includes a thorough review of the logical and empirical case for microfinance. We have… Read More