Evidence Action: Dispensers for Safe Water

Evidence Action: Dispensers for Safe Water

Dispensers for Safe Water (DSW) distributes chlorine dispensers in low-income communities to treat water so that it’s safe to drink.

What is Dispensers for Safe Water's mission?

DSW is a project of Evidence Action, whose mission is "to be a world leader in scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty."

What does Dispensers for Safe Water do?

  • DSW provides chlorine dispensers to low-income communities, where drinking water is often contaminated.
  • According to the World Health Organization, treating water with diluted chlorine is a safe and effective way to improve water quality.
  • DSW estimates that they have distributed more than 27 thousand dispensers in rural Africa, reached 4 million people, and prevented more than 380 thousand cases of childhood diarrhea.
  • They estimate that it costs less than $1.50 to provide safe water for one person, for one year.
  • To ensure that the dispensers are used, DSW engages with communities and each community appoints a "promoter" for the dispensers.

Why do we recommend Dispensers for Safe Water?

  • Evidence Action's DSW project is based on evidence, and they provide a detailed review of that evidence on their website.
  • DSW is a GiveWell standout charity. GiveWell believes that DSW is roughly as cost effective as unconditional cash transfers.
  • In 2019, DSW received a grant of $100,000 from Open Philanthropy. We consider this grant a vote of confidence from an organisation we trust.
  • Evidence Action told GiveWell that it could use up to $4.7 million per year to support its current operations, or more to expand its operations.

To learn more about Dispensers for Safe Water, we recommend reading GiveWell’s detailed review.

Fast Facts

DSW is a project of Evidence Action. In rural areas of low-income countries, most water sources provide untreated water that is not safe to drink. Evidence suggests that providing safe water in these communities reduces cases of diarrhea and reduces child mortality. DSW is a GiveWell “standout charity.”