On Tuesday 22nd October 2012, Giving What We can researchers Rob Wiblin (CEO of the Centre for Effective Altruism) and Chloe Kane (Giving What We Can researcher) took part in a Skype conversation with Alix Zwane (Executive Director of Evidence Action: an organisation pioneering Dispensers for Safe Water, as well as Deworm the World, another of our recommended charities), and Karen Levy (Evidence Action’s Regional Director). You can see the highlights of the conversation below.
Dispensers for Safe Water is a charity that Chloe and the research team investigated as part of a larger project, the report of which can be read here. They found that the new programme looked very promising, and of a comparable level of effectiveness to Against Malaria Foundation, and our other top charities. We took part in this Skype call to find out more about what Dispensers for Safe Water do and to answer questions such as how much funding they need, what they measure and why when recording their success, and more general information about why the dispensers programme is favourable to other WASH-related interventions such as promoting handwashing.
We were impressed by what we heard, and learned a lot, including the following key facts: Dispensers for Safe Water has a goal of "reaching twenty five million people by the end of 2018. The intention of the programme is to become sustainable from carbon revenue by this time.” This is because they are "taking advantage of the increased cost-effectiveness that comes from operating at scale. So every additional resource has more and more leverage, towards that goal." They track that the dispensers working, and full of chlorine. While lacking specific “health evidence on dispensers, they have health evidence on chlorine, and are currently measuring adoption. The two of those things together give meaningful information” which is used to calculate the programme’s effectiveness, and which has so far provided very promising results.
Evidence Action is a new organisation, and expects to have an independent website and donations system by early November 2013. Giving What We Can will report further on their work, and expects GiveWell to do so as well, so look out for more details!
You can download a full transcript of the interview here.