The GiveWell Blog

Can donors fund “sustainable” projects?

It’s one thing to pay for children’s immunizations. It would be quite another to pay for a project that increased immunization rates over the long term, without continued donor support (either thanks to improvement in private-sector or government operations). Aiming for the latter – or more broadly, aiming to use donations as “startup funds” for…

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The challenge of local ownership

One of the consistent refrains we’ve seen in aid literature is the importance of local participation/enthusiasm/ownership for aid projects. Many programs have been criticized for being too “top-down” (i.e., imposing outsiders’ designs on local communities), with the implication that more “bottom-up” programs (i.e., getting local people to participate in the design of execution of programs)…

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Qualitative evidence vs. stories

Our reviews have a tendency to discount stories of individuals, in favor of quantitative evidence about measurable outcomes. There is a reason for this, and it’s not that we only value quantitative evidence – it’s that (in our experience) qualitative evidence is almost never provided in a systematic and transparent way. If a charity selected…

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