The GiveWell Blog

Developing-world scholarships and school-building

When you help children in the developing world attend school, what sort of school are you helping them to attend? Independent studies of schooling in the developing world have shown (details and references at our discussion of scholarships and school-building): Teachers are frequently underqualified, overworked, and/or frequently absent. In some cases teachers have even been… Read More

What does the repayment rate really tell you about the impact of microfinance?

We wrote last week that the direct evidence of microfinance’s impact is less than overwhelming. However, many believe that direct evidence is not needed – that as long as microfinance institutions demonstrate high “repayment rates,” they can be assumed to be improving lives. The logic goes that if a person is able to repay their… Read More

Microfinance evidence of impact

David Roodman posts a review of recent high-quality studies of microfinance. Note that prior to these fairly recent studies, most impact studies in this area had serious flaws, as Mr. Roodman notes and as we argue in our year-old review of this area. The studies Mr. Roodman discusses are randomized controlled trials, and so their… Read More

GiveWell grants awarded

Note: this post does not refer to the economic empowerment grant whose process we opened on August 4. That process is still ongoing, and the funds we will grant there are in addition and distinct from the funds discussed below. Having released our updated recommendations for international aid, we will be making grants to the… Read More

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors

Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy has launched a philanthropic advisory service for giving customized advice to major donors. According to Give and Take, the firm is already advising roughly $35 million worth of future gifts. This is good news because Sean is, among other things, a longtime advocate for extreme transparency in the nonprofit sector…. Read More