One of our two new top charities this year is Helen Keller International (HKI)’s vitamin A supplementation program. We named HKI’s vitamin A supplementation program a top charity this year because:
- There is strong evidence from many randomized controlled trials of vitamin A supplementation that the program leads to substantial reductions in child deaths.
- HKI-supported vitamin A supplementation programs are inexpensive (we estimate around $0.75 in total costs per supplement delivered) and highly cost-effective at preventing child deaths in countries where HKI plans to work using GiveWell-directed funds.
- HKI is transparent—it has shared significant, detailed information about its programs with us, including the results and methodology of monitoring surveys HKI conducted to determine whether its vitamin A supplementation programs reach a large proportion of targeted children.
- HKI has a funding gap—we believe it is highly likely that its vitamin A supplementation programs will be constrained by funding next year.
HKI’s vitamin A supplementation program is an exceptional giving opportunity, but as with the case for donating to any of our other top charities, not a “sure thing.”
I’m the Research Analyst who has led our work on HKI this year. In this post, I discuss some key questions about the impact of Helen Keller International’s vitamin A supplementation program and what we’ve learned so far. I also discuss GiveWell’s plans for learning more about these issues in the future.