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 giving opportunities that will generate maximum positive social impact.

In order to make detailed recommendations on the top charities to donate to, GiveWell is required to continuously conduct in-depth research and analysis. IDinsight has entered a learning partnership with GiveWell. Within this partnership, IDinsight generates evidence on the impact of cost effective charities and interventions, as well as on the preferences of beneficiaries, to inform GiveWell decision making.

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

In the context of the learning partnership with GiveWell, IDinsight has supported and evaluated the work of three different charities (New Incentives, Charity Science: Health, and the Against Malaria Foundation). For New Incentives (NI), IDinsight is conducting a randomized controlled trial to evaluate NI’s conditional cash transfer program trying to incentivize vaccinations of infants in Nigeria. IDinsight has partnered with Charity Science: Health (CSH) to develop the organization’s monitoring systems and to advise on its vaccination text message reminder program in India. In the case of the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF), IDinsight has helped to improve the organization’s surveying of recipients of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets to generate accurate monitoring data.

Besides its engagement with these three charities, IDinsight is also developing and testing innovative methods to measure how beneficiaries trade-off improvements in health with improvements in consumption.


Up until this point, 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 data. As the project is currently ongoing, further results are forthcoming. IDinsight’s main results will inform GiveWell’s top charity decisions in 2019 and, 2020 and 2021.