The GiveWell Blog

Road safety

From the abstract of a new study from the Center for Global Development: In the experiment, messages designed to lower the costs of speaking up were placed in a random sample of over 1,000 minibuses in Kenya. Analysis of comprehensive insurance data covering a two year period that spanned the intervention shows that insurance claims…

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Qualitative evidence vs. stories

Our reviews have a tendency to discount stories of individuals, in favor of quantitative evidence about measurable outcomes. There is a reason for this, and it’s not that we only value quantitative evidence – it’s that (in our experience) qualitative evidence is almost never provided in a systematic and transparent way. If a charity selected…

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Philanthropy Action points to more evidence on education interventions

Board member Tim Ogden writes, Mathematica Policy Research has conducted a multi-year randomized controlled trial of sixteen educational software programs (covering both reading and math) aimed at elementary and middle school students. The products selected were generally those that had at least some evidence of positive impact … the educational software didn’t make much difference….

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Alliance for Social Investing

Last November, we discussed the Alliance for Social Investing. I am now a member of the Alliance; an update on its second meeting (and the first one I attended), which took place at the beginning of April, is available via Tactical Philanthropy here.

The most important problem may not be the best charitable cause

I recently ran across a charity called Project AK-47 that declares: Over 100,000 kids are carrying machine guns in the armies of Southeast Asia. Instead of walking to school, they march to war. Instead of playing, they train to kill. If we don’t intervene, most of these children will be soldiers for at least 7…

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Volunteer tutoring program

Via Joanne Jacobs: a large randomized controlled trial found statistically effects of a volunteer tutoring program on reading skills. The effect size (.1-.16 standard deviations on 3 measures; insignificant on one other – see pg 13 of the full study) is in the same ballpark as the effect observed in a recent study of vouchers…

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