The GiveWell Blog

Worth watching

The Brookings Institution is hosting a conference this week called “What works in development?” including an interesting paper by Simon Johnson (International Monetary Fund) and Peter Boone (London School of Economics) titled, “Do Health Interventions Work? Which and in What Sense?“ Johnson and Boone review the existing literature and conclude that there is very little… Read More

Good vs. better

I recently read Better by Atul Gawande, and found myself particularly struck – and reminded of our own situation – by his analysis of hospital care. According to Dr. Gawande, conventional wisdom has long been that the vast majority of hospitals provides top-notch, quality care, and only a fraction treats their patients incompetently. This implies… Read More

Emergency assistance for donors

In the wake of the cyclone in Myanmar, donors need help. Google “Myanmar” and you’ll see a huge list of organizations advertising for donations. I don’t know whether they’re coordinating on the ground, but they’re certainly competing when it comes to raising money – and donors, including myself, have virtually nothing to go on in… Read More

Cyclone relief: Recommendation and questions

I had a typical reaction to the disaster in Myanmar: wanting to do something. I have spent very little time looking into the area of disaster relief, so after a bit of Googling and discussion with Elie, I gave to Population Services International for two reasons: PSI was the winner of our “saving lives” cause… Read More

Why scholarships disappoint?

We’ve wondered why scholarship programs don’t have a stronger impact on academic achievement, and have guessed that it’s because disadvantaged children are so far behind by age 5 that they need special schools, with a special approach, if they’re to have any hope of catching up. The quote below, from an article in the Washington… Read More