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At Giving What We Can, we want to help you support those charities that are able to do the most good with your donations. We take charity evaluation very seriously. Choosing where to give is important: it can be a far more important decision than how much you choose to give. Some aid programs are many times more effective than others: amongst aid programs focusing on poverty in the developing world, a factor of more than 1,000 separates the most from the least cost-effective.1
If you’d just like our advice on where to give without going into depth with our research, you can skip ahead to our list of recommended charities. We currently advise giving to Against Malaria Foundation, Deworm the World, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative and Project Healthy Children. We’d like to stress that these are just our current recommendations. As we learn more, our advice may change. To stay up to date, consider subscribing to our blog, where our research team post regular updates. Our recommendations also draw heavily on the work of GiveWell, and you can also learn a lot and anticipate potential future advice by reading their research pages and blog. To learn more about our work in evaluating charities, please read on. You might also be interested in our methodology page.
COMPARING CHARITIES ACROSS CATEGORIES
There are many ways in which organisations fight the causes and effects of poverty, and it can be very difficult to compare the effectiveness of charities working in very different fields. In our evaluations, we have divided developing world charities according the following categories:
By following the links above, you can explore our conclusions for each category of intervention. So far we have especially emphasized the evaluation of health-related organisations. For other areas, we provide a treatment of the key issues, without quite as much depth: we plan to develop our analysis of these areas further in the future. We have focused on health for a number of reasons: health-related organisations make up a large proportion of NGOs; there are comprehensive statistics available to guide us in assessing their cost-effectiveness; and, most importantly, it is likely that some of the most effective aid interventions are health-focused.2
FOCUSING ON THE MOST EFFECTIVE INTERVENTIONS
It is important to note that our analysis is limited to assessing charities which have a relatively narrow focus. We are unable to assess organisations such as Oxfam or MSF which operate many different programs in multiple categories. This is an important limitation, but it is worth pointing out that, whilst such organisations may be significantly above-average in terms of cost-effectiveness, they are very unlikely to be right at the top. This is because they spread their resources over many different programs, some of which are less effective than others. Informed donors can potentially do better if they fund just the most efficient programs.
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