Informing GiveWell’s Charitable Strategy

Client: GiveWell
Partners: New Incentives (NI), Charity Science Health (CSH), Against Malaria Foundation (AMF)
Location: Nigeria (NI), India (CSH), multiple across Africa (AMF)
Sector: Health
Dates of service: 2016 - current
IDinsight service: Decision-focused evaluation, Monitoring, Preference elicitation
IDinsight contacts: Martin Gould
Status: Active
Detailed GiveWell Project Pages: New Incentives, Charity Science Health, Against Malaria Foundation, Beneficiary Preferences

The Problem

Every year, billions of dollars are donated to organizations working in international development. However, it is often not easy for donors to identify the best charities to give to. GiveWell is a non-profit dedicated to identifying outstanding giving opportunities in international development.

In order to make detailed recommendations to donors, GiveWell conducts in-depth research and analysis into international development interventions and charities. IDinsight has entered a learning partnership with GiveWell to generates evidence on the impact of potentially cost-effective charities and interventions, as well as on the preferences of beneficiaries, to inform GiveWell decision-making.

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

IDinsight supports and evaluates the work of three charities (New Incentives, Charity Science Health, and the Against Malaria Foundation) as part of the learning partnership with GiveWell. IDinsight is conducting a randomized controlled trial to evaluate NI’s conditional cash transfer for infant vaccinations in Nigeria. IDinsight is partnering with Charity Science: Health (CSH) to develop the organization’s monitoring systems and to evaluate its vaccination text message reminder program in India. Working with Against Malaria Foundation (AMF), IDinsight is helping to improve the organization’s surveying of recipients of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets to generate accurate monitoring data.

In addition to working with these three charities, IDinsight is also developing and testing innovative methods to measure the preferences of GiveWell recommended charity beneficiaries, particularly how beneficiaries trade-off health interventions with reductions in poverty.


To date, IDinsight’s advice has influenced the development of NI’s and CSH’s programs, and has improved AMF’s monitoring strategy. Early beneficiary preference research results indicate that IDinsight’s methods are capturing valuable, actionable data and further results are forthcoming. IDinsight’s main results will inform GiveWell’s top charity decisions in 2019, 2020 and 2021.