The GiveWell Blog

Evaluation of American Red Cross Haiti response

We’ve been working on an update of our disaster relief report, and came across an American Red Cross evaluation from December 2010 stating: If you would like to access this report, please get in contact with the ALNAP secretariat. We emailed the ALNAP secretariat, saying: I am writing from GiveWell, an independent, non-profit charity evaluator… Read More

The Global Fund and transparency

We recently complained that “UNICEF provides no information about where the money goes and what projects are in progress.” Some might feel that this complaint comes from unrealistically high standards of transparency, especially for organizations such as UNICEF. How is an organization spending $2.7 billion a year supposed to report its activities? Our answer would… Read More

What’s different about Kiva

Why has Kiva been singled out for so much criticism lately (see GiveWell Board member Tim Ogden’s summary)? Part of the answer is that Kiva has arguably been misleading donors – but that can’t be the full answer. David Roodman’s original post could never have come about without the fact, as Mr. Roodman puts it,… Read More

CARE evaluations

How transparent is CARE? On one hand, it maintains a site at that currently lists 448 project evaluation documents (352 of which are in English). We haven’t found anything comparable for any other of what we call the “household name” charities – enormous, well-known, aggressively fundraising international aid charities (usually members of the InterAction… Read More

Learning from a small failure

Global Health Report: A computer science group from the State University of New York at Stonybrook presented three applications or “apps,” that is to say mini-computer programs, that they had designed for use on no-frills mobile phones owned by women working in the informal Senegalese economy. The pilot tests for two of the apps—a dictionary… Read More