The GiveWell Blog

Maternal mortality: “Important” yes, “just needs funding” no

Change.org global health blog: we know how to avoid maternal mortality (it’s 1 in 47,600 in Ireland, but 1 in 7 in Niger), it’s just that “poor, uneducated women in Africa and Asia have never been a priority either in their own countries or to donor nations.” Kristof is demanding action and aid to help… Read More

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

Cleft lip/palate charities: What does one surgery really accomplish?

It’s clear why donating to charities that fix cleft palates and other deformities – such as SmileTrain or Interplast – is popular among donors: the donation’s impact seems extremely tangible. A donor can see “before” and “after” pictures of children, and feel that the donation helps a child with serious problems become a “normal” child…. Read More

Some thoughts on the yellow fever vaccine

There’s news today that the Yellow Fever Initiative is facing a budget shortfall and may be unable to purchase needed vaccines in the near future (h/t Christine Gorman): Emergency supplies of yellow fever vaccines are set to run out next year, and there is no funding to continue immunisation campaigns after that, World Health Organisation… Read More

Why not just give out cash?

Aid Watch raises an interesting question: why should nonprofits provide medical treatment, education, or anything else other than cash handouts to those in the greatest need? I can only think of two reasons, both noted in the Aid Watch post. Reason 1: perhaps charities can make better decisions on behalf of disadvantaged people than those… Read More