The GiveWell Blog

Preview: Cause 5

Elie and I have just finished drafting our reviews for Cause 5: help disadvantaged adults become self supporting. We can’t make them public yet because we need to give our applicants a chance to look and point out mistakes (and write any responses they want to write). But here’s a quick story about what we’ve… Read More

Just say something, anything

Smarter Spending on AIDS: How the Big Funders Can Do Better. When I saw that title, linked here, I quickly opened the link expecting a report critically evaluating which strategies work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Should we fund condom distribution or programs promoting monogamy? Is ARV distribution enough or do non-profits need to follow-up… Read More

Everything a body needs

Nothing but Nets had a simple idea: kids in Africa need bed-nets to protect them from malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and there’s already a huge distribution network in place, through the Measles Initiative. Why not utilize the existing infrastructure to reduce the cost that a bed-net-alone charity would incur, and distribute more nets for fewer dollars? Saving people… Read More

Welcome to the Donors’ Liberation Blog

If you think the Donor Power Blog is about respecting donors, perhaps you also think the 1950s were about respecting women. Jeff (like many people) didn’t enjoy my argument that the goal of giving should helping people, not feeling good. But it’s not because he disagrees with my “should.” It’s because he disagrees with “the… Read More

Big government vs. the private sector

Did I get your attention, political junkies? So, a lot of people subscribe to the interesting theory that good works are best left to the private sector, not the public sector. This idea makes sense in a lot of ways. We can all think of examples of services where private companies are 100x more accountable… Read More

Truth please

The most common type of evidence non-profits have offered us in defense of their programs are independently produced evaluations. In my experience, though, these evaluations sometimes read more like propoganda than like objective assessments of a program’s impact. I came across one glaring example of this phenomenon when reviewing the Vocational Foundation’s application for a… Read More