Cause area

Economic Empowerment

Notice about research

Giving What We Can no longer conducts our own research into charities and cause areas. Instead, we're relying on the work of organisations including J-PAL, GiveWell, and the Open Philanthropy Project, which are in a better position to provide more comprehensive research coverage.

These research reports represent our thinking as of late 2016, and much of the information will be relevant for making decisions about how to donate as effectively as possible. However we are not updating them and the information may therefore be out of date.

Poverty is a significant challenge to human well-being, and its eradication is a high-priority goal for development. This report focuses on the income-based definition of extreme poverty. There are a variety of interventions attempting to alleviate poverty: we focus on microcredit and direct cash transfers since, for these interventions, we were able to find adequate evidence about organizations administering them.

We conclude that the current evidence does not support microcredit as a high-impact option for donors, although we would welcome further studies in this area. Donors who are looking to have a greater impact with their donations may be better off donating to charities which conduct direct cash transfers.