The GiveWell Blog

Conference call discussing our top charities, Dec. 8, 7p Eastern

We put a lot of effort into making our research process and reasoning transparent so that anyone can understand and vet the thinking behind our charity recommendations.

Consistent with this, we will be holding a conference call on December 8, 7p Eastern, open to anyone who registers via our online form. Staff will take questions by email and answer them over the conference line.

If you can’t make this date but would be interested in joining another call at a later date, you can indicate this on the registration form.

If you’re thinking of giving to one of our top charities this year, or you’re just curious about our thinking, we welcome you to join.

Register for the Dec. 8 GiveWell Conference Call

If you’ve already emailed us about your intention to attend, there’s no need to submit the form.


  • Jacob Pekarek on December 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm said:

    Before Givewell’s conference call, I would like to ask for Givewell’s current opinion on the cost- effectiveness of research and development of health interventions for the developing world, i.e. research and development of vaccines. In Abhijit Banerjee’s 2006 work, Understanding Poverty, a chapter authored by Michael Kremer predicts the cost/ time discounted DALY saved by vaccine R&D to be around $15-25, assuming that intellectual property rights (i.e. vaccine patents) are respected, and also assuming that any TB or AIDS vaccine would protect for 20 years after immunization (Banerjee 329). Of note, the commitment to guarantee prices for vaccines as part of a pull program, which this chapter (p. 319- 334) recommends, is certainly an approach more befitting larger foundations than individual donors. Although I am aware that you do not place considerable emphasis on the DALY metric, what are your current findings on the cost- effectiveness of vaccine R&D, if any? Most importantly, is Givewell still looking into the cost- effectiveness of vaccine R&D, as signaled in August’s Google tech talk by Holden—and if not, then does Givewell have tools assembled, or research already compiled, for individuals seeking to further research the effectiveness of this cause?

    Best, Jacob

  • Thank you for the well prepared presentation December 8th. I have long been a lurker at this site and was a non-registered listener. Conference calls can easily go astray, so I was especially appreciative of the planning that must have gone into the call.
    We continued the conversation for some time after we hung up. I look forward to future calls.

  • Jacob – we’ve done some very preliminary analysis of disease research cost-effectiveness before, and we are still planning to do more in the future – it will likely happen in 2012. One thorny issue with disease research is it seems much more difficult to extrapolate from past cost-effectiveness or average cost-effectiveness to marginal cost-effectiveness (i.e., funding the work that other major funders, such as the Gates Foundation, have found low-priority enough to leave unfunded).

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