The GiveWell Blog

2008-2009 international aid recommendations

Our 2008-2009 recommendations for international aid are now available. Report homepage Recommended and top-rated charities Highlights: We believe that health is the best area for an individual donor looking to accomplish concrete good. Many programs have strong and proven track records of success in international aid. This is largely not true of other areas. More… Read More

Clarifying the role of different partners

One major question we’ve struggled to answer is: how do the different NGOs, local governments, and international global health partnerships work together to implement a given program? For example, take mass drug administration of ivermectin to reduce onchocerciasis, one of our favorite programs. In Uganda, the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) works out of… Read More

Aid’s track record

While Elie’s been investigating the Carter Center, I’ve been scanning literature (mostly academic) on general questions about aid: what has worked in the past? What’s promising for the future? etc. Rather than trying to come to an independent conclusion on each debate, I’ve been trying to establish which beliefs are supported by evidence that is… Read More

Malaria “success story” questioned

Aid Watch on questionable claims of success against malaria: Real victories against malaria would be great, but false victories can mislead and distract critical malaria efforts. Alas, Mr. and Mrs. Gates are repeating numbers that have already been discredited. This story of irresponsible claims goes back to a big New York Times headline on February… Read More

Trachoma: An example of the need for long-term monitoring

When is a measured program-impact not a real impact? When it doesn’t last. A study published today in PloS NTDs evaluated the impact of four doses of azithromycin (one every 6 months), and monitored trachoma prevalence throughout the drug administration period and for 2 years after the last dose. In the first 24 months (from… Read More

Surgeries performed vs. cases of blindness prevented

We’ve written before about the possibility that surgeries to correct blindness are extremely cost effective. While summarizing the evidence of effectiveness for trachoma interventions, we’ve learned more and it’s clear that equating surgeries performed with cases of blindness prevented is plain wrong. I read Trachoma: an overview, a literature review of the evidence of effectiveness… Read More