Nuclear Threat Initiative — Biosecurity programme

Nuclear Threat Initiative

Global Biological Policy and Programs

NTI's Global Biological Policy and Programs seeks to transform global security by driving systemic solutions to biological threats imperiling humanity.

What problem is Nuclear Threat Initiative’s biosecurity programme working on?

NTI | bio works with a variety of key decision-makers and educators — including government leaders, scientists, industry experts, NGOs, and educators — to design and promote threat-reduction projects and improve biosecurity.

NTI | bio helped launch a Global Health Security Index, described as “the first comprehensive assessment of the health security capacities of 195 countries.” The index was designed to understand global health security needs as well as the health security needs and gaps of individual countries, with the goal of better facilitating international cooperation to address biological threats. The average 2021 GHS index score reveals that “global preparedness for epidemics and pandemics is fundamentally weak.”

What does Nuclear Threat Initiative's biosecurity programme do?

NTI believes that “addressing biological threats is a shared responsibility between governments and the private sector.” Specifically, NTI | bio:

What information does Giving What We Can have about the cost-effectiveness of NTI | bio?1.

We previously included NTI | bio as one of our recommended charities based on Founders Pledge’s evaluation highlighting its cost-effectiveness. Another indicator of NTI bio’s cost-effectiveness is that Open Philanthropy, a trusted evaluative and impact-focused grantmaking organisation, has issued several grants supporting NTI | bio, including two in 2020 totaling $8.5 million.

We’ve since updated our recommendations to reflect only organisations recommended by evaluators we’ve looked into as part of our 2023 evaluator investigations; while we expect to soon look into Founders Pledge as part of this more in-depth evaluator research, we haven’t yet. As such, we don't currently include NTI | bio as one of our recommended programs but you can still donate to it via our donation platform.

Please note that GWWC does not evaluate individual charities. Our recommendations are based on the research of third-party, impact-focused charity evaluators our research team has found to be particularly well-suited to help donors do the most good per dollar, according to their recent evaluator investigations. Our other supported programs are those that align with our charitable purpose — they are working on a high-impact problem and take a reasonably promising approach (based on publicly-available information).

At Giving What We Can, we focus on the effectiveness of an organisation's work -- what the organisation is actually doing and whether their programs are making a big difference. Some others in the charity recommendation space focus instead on the ratio of admin costs to program spending, part of what we’ve termed the “overhead myth.” See why overhead isn’t the full story and learn more about our approach to charity evaluation.