The GiveWell Blog

Top charities for holiday season 2011: Against Malaria Foundation and Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

GiveWell has published our annual update on how to accomplish as much good as possible with your donations. Our top two charities – out of hundreds we’ve examined – are (1) the Against Malaria Foundation, which fights malaria using insecticide-treated bednets, and (2) the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, which treats children for intestinal worms. Our update…

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Maximizing cost-effectiveness via critical inquiry

We’ve recently been writing about the shortcomings of formal cost-effectiveness estimation (i.e., trying to estimate how much good, as measured in lives saved, DALYs or other units, is accomplished per dollar spent). After conceptually arguing that cost-effectiveness estimates can’t be taken literally when they are not robust, we found major problems in one of the…

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Some considerations against more investment in cost-effectiveness estimates

When we started GiveWell, we were very interested in cost-effectiveness estimates: calculations aiming to determine, for example, the “cost per life saved” or “cost per DALY saved” of a charity or program. Over time, we’ve found ourselves putting less weight on these calculations, because we’ve been finding that these estimates tend to be extremely rough…

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