The GiveWell Blog

How we evaluate a study

We previously wrote about our general principles for assessing evidence, where “evidence” is construed broadly (it may include awards/recognition/reputation, testimony, and broad trends in data as well as formal studies). Here we discuss our approach to a particular kind of evidence, what we call “micro data”: formal studies of the impact of a program on…

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Development experiments (randomized controlled trials) as a counterpoint to marketing materials

There’s been a minor flurry of recent blog posts about randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in international aid, including William Easterly’s take and responses by Chris Blattman and GiveWell Board member Tim Ogden. A central theme has been the difficulty of generalizing from one experiment to whether something “works in general.” There seems to be a…

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