The GiveWell Blog

Cost-effective and straightforward

We know of two large-scale, systematic projects devoted to rating the cost-effectiveness of different health interventions. Both use an approach centered on disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), which is not the only measure of cost-effectiveness we intend to use, but they’re a start. One is the Disease Control Priorites report. We are currently in the process of… Read More

“Straightforward” interventions

As discussed previously, we are looking for (program-based) interventions that are both proven and scalable. The Disease Control Priorities report lists many interventions that are “proven,” in the sense that one or more studies have been done indicating that the program has improved health outcomes in the region. However, showing that a program has worked… Read More

Bednet use

In our analysis of bednet distribution programs, we considered the likelihood that a distributed bednet was ultimately used for its intended purpose: to protect against malaria. The Malaria Matters blog recently posted links to numerous examples of nets used for other purposes: Net stories include use for fishing in Zambia, as bridal veils in Zambia… Read More

List of interventions

The Disease Control Priorities report has a summary section (pg 60-85) listing interventions, along with cost-effectiveness estimates (in disability-adjusted life-years per US$) and some other basic info (target population, required infrastructure, etc.) We’ve created an Excel version of the list that we will be referring to in future posts: List of interventions from Disease Control… Read More

Malaria: Whom it affects and how

Most numbers below from this table (2000 data). Malaria kills about 1.1 million people per year in developing countries. ~65% are 4 years old or younger. (This particular figure appears to contradict the data from the Global Burden of Disease report pg 126-7, which implies a proportion closer to 90%). The burden of malaria goes… Read More

Mortality burdens by age group

Using Global Burden of Disease data, I put together a quick look at mortality in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by age group. This is particularly important when seeking interventions that focus on adult mortality, one of the goals from this list. Burden of mortality in LMICs by age group All the way on the… Read More