The GiveWell Blog

December 2023 updates

Every month we send an email newsletter to our supporters sharing recent updates from our work. We publish selected portions of the newsletter on our blog to make this news more accessible to people who visit our website. For key updates from the latest installment, please see below!

If you’d like to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox each month, you can subscribe here.

The year 2023 has been one of growth at GiveWell. Our team has expanded, giving us the ability to take on more internal projects, reach out to more supporters, and conduct research into new interventions and funding areas. Since our metrics year started on February 1, we have directed over $100 million to funding opportunities in more than 10 countries, with more grantmaking expected in the coming months—we expect the programs these grants support will save tens of thousands of lives. We are proud of the impact that our supporters have made with their giving in 2023, and look forward to finding new opportunities and directing more funding in 2024.

Recent panel discussion on maternal health

GiveWell recently hosted a virtual event focusing on maternal and reproductive health, a new and growing area of GiveWell’s grantmaking. Economist and author Emily Oster moderated a panel with Svetha Janumpalli, Founder and CEO of New Incentives, and Erin Crossett, a Program Officer at GiveWell. During the hour, they discussed GiveWell’s research and grants to maternal and newborn health, including a recent grant to r.i.c.e. to operate a program for low-birthweight babies focused on kangaroo mother care. Elie Hassenfeld, GiveWell’s CEO and Co-Founder, also joined to answer audience questions. If you missed this engaging conversation, you can catch up on the recording here.

We’re continuing to investigate a number of programs in this area and would be excited to direct funding to them, if they meet our cost-effectiveness bar.

GiveWell in the media

The How To Money podcast recently interviewed Elie to discuss effective altruism, GiveWell’s founding, and making the greatest impact with your giving.

Highlights from our grantees

Nutrition International
Nutrition International shared a photo essay on their vitamin A supplementation (VAS) work in hard-to-reach areas in Nigeria. This story follows health workers during a maternal, newborn, and child health week in Kwanda town, as they deliver VAS to children under five.

Although GiveWell did not fund the particular VAS campaign pictured, GiveWell has provided grants to Nutrition International for their VAS program in Chad, and to Helen Keller International for a similar VAS program in Nigeria.


  • Joyce Greene on January 23, 2024 at 7:21 am said:

    Impact isn’t always immediate, and sometimes real change can take time. Some thoughts from the Iodine Global Network.

    • Isabel Arjmand (GiveWell) on February 26, 2024 at 1:16 pm said:

      Hi Joyce, thank you for sharing IGN’s blog post. I wanted to share our thoughts on a few of the key takeaways.

      On direct delivery programs vs. technical assistance programs: We agree that these are both viable paths to impact. While our four top charities largely deliver large-scale programs directly (e.g. insecticide-treated nets, incentives for infant immunization), we do also support technical assistance. For example, this grant for iron fortification and folic acid is for Evidence Action to provide technical assistance to the Indian government. The work we’ve funded on syphilis screening & treatment is also technical assistance, working with government health programs rather than Evidence Action delivering a program itself. And within direct delivery programs, our partner organizations often work closely with governments. For instance, seasonal malaria chemoprevention is delivered in partnership with governments, and our understanding is that Malaria Consortium sees its role in SMC programs as supporting each country’s national malaria program. We’re interested in continuing to evaluate programs that support governments rather than delivering commodities directly, even though those programs can be more challenging to evaluate.

      On benefits beyond averting-deaths: We consider benefits like reduced morbidity and increases in income as well as decreases in mortality when assessing the cost-effectiveness of various programs. For our four top charities, the primary benefit of the programs is averting deaths (especially of young children), but we also believe, for example, that averting childhood malaria cases leads to small income gains in adulthood, and we include that in our analysis. With MiracleFeet’s clubfoot treatment program, we believe the primary benefit comes from reducing suffering from disability. And for the iron and folic acid program mentioned above, we model the main benefits as (a) reduced morbidity from anemia and (b) increases in income. Weighing disparate benefits against one another is challenging – there’s no clear right answer – but we think it’s important to consider the range of benefits a program might provide, not just reductions in mortality.

      We appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us, and look forward to reading any future posts. In the meantime, I hope this gives a better sense of what we fund and how we think about different programs.

  • Bobby Jack on January 30, 2024 at 7:24 am said:

    Indeed a great blog to read

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