The GiveWell Blog

Revisiting the evidence on malaria eradication in the Americas

Summary

  • Two of GiveWell’s top charities fight malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • GiveWell’s valuations of these charities place some weight on research by Hoyt Bleakley on the impacts of malaria eradication efforts in the American South in the 1920s and in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico in the 1950s.
  • I reviewed the Bleakley study and mostly support its key findings: the campaigns to eradicate malaria from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, and perhaps the American South as well, were followed by accelerated income gains for people whose childhood exposure to the disease was reduced. The timing of these events is compatible with the theory that rolling back malaria increased prosperity.

Nothing But Nets

In 2014, we prioritized Nothing But Nets (http://nothingbutnets.net) as a potential GiveWell top charity because it funds insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria, one of our priority programs. In early 2014, we contacted Nothing But Nets to explain our process and to invite it to apply for a recommendation. Nothing But Nets provided brief responses to… Read More

Giving cash versus giving bednets

We recently published a new review of GiveDirectly, a “standout” charity that gives cash directly to poor people in Kenya. As we were going through the process of discussing and vetting the new review, I found myself wondering how I would defend my preference to donate to distribute insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) against a serious advocate… Read More

Good news can create new challenges for donors

I was glad to read of a new $110 million initiative for insecticide-treated bednet distribution, which we find one of the better-established ways to spend money to improve lives. But what does this mean for you if you’ve been giving to a malaria charity? Do independent bednet distributions now run the risk of being redundant… 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

Malaria treatment

The Disease Control Priorities Report says: The recommended treatments for malaria in areas with resistance to single drugs are combination treatments, preferably artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) (WHO 2001a, 2001b, 2003a, 2005). But, knowing that your charity of choice runs this program is not sufficient to know that they’re improving lives. Bill Brieger at Malaria Matters… Read More