Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Life You Can Save

We have strict criteria for recommending organizations to which you should give. We support the work being done by GiveWell, who have to date reviewed approximately 400 charities and have recommended only 13 of them. (Of these 13, 3 work only in the U.S., so only 10 have a focus on the world’s poorest people.) All of GiveWell’s highest ranking charities are recommended below (in ranking order):

A relatively small and young organization that aims to improve the logistics - particularly tracking and distribution of supplies - for health systems in rural areas in Africa. Top-rated by GiveWell. - donate to it

An international partnership that aims to increase access to life-saving tuberculosis treatment. GiveWell estimates it saves lives at a cost of less than $1000 each. - donate to it

Regarded by GiveWell as “extremely transparent”, the Against Malaria Foundation provides insecticide-treated nets (for protection against malaria) in bulk to nonprofits which then distribute them in Africa, saving infant lives at a cost of less than $1000 each. - donate to it

Population Services International promotes and distributes materials, particularly condoms and bednets, to save lives and improve health throughout the developing world. GiveWell estimates that it saves lives, and prevents HIV infection, at a cost of less than $1000 per life saved or HIV infection averted. - donate to it

Founded by Paul Farmer to assist his clinic treating the rural poor in Haiti, Partners in Health now also does similar work in other poor countries, and was rated by GiveWell as highly effective. - donate to it

SEF offers microloans in some of the poorest regions of South Africa. The loans go mostly to people who are very poor and there is evidence that they benefit from the loans. GiveWell was very impressed by its concern to collect information, evaluate its work, and be transparent. - donate to it

VEF is a relatively small organization that seeks to empower the rural poor in Africa by providing cash grants, usually of $150, to trained groups who apply for the grant to start a business. In 2010, VEF trained and funded about 2000 businesses. GiveWell praised VEF for its clear targeting of extremely poor clients and its commitment to evaluating the impact of its work. - donate to it

Chamroeun offers microloans in Cambodia. It has a strong focus on collecting the information necessary to assess its social impact. GiveWell ranked it above every other microfinance institution it has reviewed, except the Small Enterprise Foundation, for its commitment to self-evaluation. Its clients expressed a very high rate of satisfaction with the service provided to them. - donate to it

This is a very large fund designed to fight the above diseases, all major killers in poor countries. GiveWell comments: “GFATM's commitment to transparency is outstanding, and its activities are mostly proven and cost-effective.” - donate to it

10. Pratham

Pratham is a large Indian organization that runs a wide variety of programs aiming to improve education for children in India. Several aspects of its work have been assessed by the Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and have shown to have a positive impact. If you wish to support education in developing countries, no other organization has been evaluated as rigorously. - donate to it

For more details, please go to

You may also like to look at Toby Ord’s recommended charities on his website, Like GiveWell, Ord recommends Stop TB Partnership and Against Malaria Foundation. He also recommends:

This organization also combats neglected tropical diseases, but in particular on the four that can be treated most cost-effectively. It is particularly strong on rigorous evaluation of its results.

This charity focuses on the seven most prevalent neglected tropical diseases, of which schistomiasis, a parasitical disease that is very widely spread in Asia, Africa and South America, is just one.

Deworm the World was developed following a series of rigorous impact evaluations showing its cost-effectiveness by Innovations for Poverty Action (a non-profit organization) and the Jameel-Poverty Action Lab (a center at MIT).

Both IPA and J-PAL create and evaluate solutions to social and development problems and work to promote the scale-up of successful ideas, such as chlorine dispensers, remedial education, commitment savings accounts and bed net distribution.

Innovations for Poverty Action has also created the Proven Impact Fund to direct attention and resources to interventions backed by evidence of their success. Proven approaches are identified based on the results of rigorous impact evaluation and currently include a variety of solutions to improve outcomes in education, finance and entrepreneurship, health, agriculture and water and sanitation. IPA withholds no overhead, so that as much money as possible goes to the organizations to do their work. You can support the research work of Innovations for Poverty Action, and scale-up of projects with proven impact here.

The fact that a charity does not get a recommendation from GiveWell, Giving What We Can, or Innovations for Poverty Action does not mean that your donation will not be effective. Rather, it means that your donation has not been demonstrated to be effective, to the satisfaction of either GiveWell, Giving What We Can, or Innovations for Poverty Action. Large and complex charities are especially difficult to evaluate, but we believe some work that cannot easily be evalutated may still deserve support. Hence here we list some organizations that we consider still deserve support.

Supports the extraordinary work done by Catherine Hamlin in Ethiopia to treat this obstetric injury that ruins the lives of young women but can easily be repaired by modern surgical techniques.

A $50 donation to this foundation can restore the sight of a person who could not otherwise afford the surgery.

This low-overhead organization works with a local group in India to provide sanitation services to some of India's urban poor.

Connects donors with community-based projects in all regions of the world. Not all are directed at reducing poverty, but there are many to choose from in this category.

For those who believe that there is no solution to poverty without direct efforts to reduce population growth.

Performs life-changing surgery for those with deformities and disabilities.

Jolkona works with partner organizations to find opportunities for you to make a low-cost, high-impact gift. The idea is to usher in a new era of giving, in which donors can get better feedback on the difference their gift is making, and charitable organizations can find a larger donor base.

Supports the Millennium Villages Project, led by Jeffrey Sachs, and designed to show that the Millennium Development Goals can be met in rural areas at a modest cost.

Led by former mountain climber Magda King, this organization helps people  in remote rural areas to build and run schools for children who would otherwise have no opportunity to get an education, and then assists those communities to become self- sufficient through sustainable development.

A microcredit organization of which GiveWell has a positive opinion.

Oxfam (originally the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief) is one of the leading organizations combating poverty in developing countries. (Peter Singer donates much of what he gives to Oxfam.) Oxfam International is the umbrella organization for all the national Oxfams, which are listed separately below. To donate to Oxfam, if you live in one of the countries listed, contact your national Oxfam organization.
- Oxfam America
- Oxfam Australia
- Oxfam-in-Belgium
- Oxfam Canada
- Oxfam France - Agir ici
- Oxfam Germany
- Oxfam GB
- Oxfam Hong Kong
- Oxfam India
- Oxfam Ireland
- Oxfam México
- Oxfam New Zealand
- Oxfam Novib Netherlands
- Oxfam Québec
- Intermón Oxfam Spain

Provides books, libraries, schools and scholarships to children who would otherwise not be able to read or go to school.

The Hunger Project encourages poor people in rural areas to believe in their own capacity to work their way out of poverty. It assists a villaqe for five years, by which time the local people should be able to sustain themselves, and then moves to another area to repeat the process. Currently engaged in extensive outside evaluation of some of its projects.

For those who see the campaign against corruption as crucial to the fight against poverty, this is an organization to support.

The United Nations Childrens Emergency Fund does anti-poverty worked aimed at children in many developing countries. It has offices in more than 30 countries. For the full list, please click here.

Providing for the treatment of fistula in poor African countries, the Fund estimates that it costs about $450 for surgery that will restore the hopes of a young woman who without the surgery would have a miserable existence in front of her.

Provides funds for self-supporting sustainable food projects and safe drinking water, in ways that do not exploit animals or the environment.

We're open to listing other organizations, if we have sufficient evidence that they are effective. Here you can find organizations suggested by visitors to this website - feel free to add your vote for or against those listed, comment on them or add one you favour and don’t see there.

Join Dr.Peter Singer to alleviate extreme poverty and practice the planetary ethic of Dr.Paul Kurtz,p;ease!

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