Evidence Action: Dispensers for Safe Water

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

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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.