GiveWell: Beneficiary Preferences

A community member in Kenya shares her preferences with IDinsight’s Michael Otieno as he pilots a small probabilities visual aid.

A community member in Kenya shares her preferences with IDinsight’s Michael Otieno as he pilots a small probabilities visual aid.

Client: GiveWell
Location: Pan-Africa
Sector: Health
Dates of service: 2017 - current
IDinsight service: Preference Elicitation
IDinsight contacts: Alice Redfern, Martin Gould
Status: Active
Other GiveWell Project Pages: GiveWell Overview, New Incentives, Against Malaria Foundation, Charity Science: Health


The Problem

GiveWell is a non-profit which aims to find ‘outstanding giving opportunities’ by determining ‘how much good a given program accomplishes (in terms of lives saved, and/or lives improved) per dollar spent.’ When recommending charities to donors, GiveWell compare interventions targeting different outcomes, such as deaths averted or gains in household consumption. GiveWell is interested in how the beneficiaries of these interventions value the outcomes the interventions produce.


IDinsight evidence on beneficiary preferences will inform how GiveWell compares intervention outcomes in its cost-effectiveness model, which informs GiveWell’s charity recommendations. There is currently a lack of information on the preferences of beneficiaries in low-income countries, which are recipients of GiveWell recommended charity interventions

Evidence Needs


IDinsight Service

IDinsight is scaling up methods to elicit preferences of beneficiaries, including value of statistical life (VSL) methods, contingent valuation, willingness to accept, and choice experiments. For instance, exploring how much beneficiaries value risk reductions (e.g., willingness to pay for a vaccine that would reduce mortality of a child from 10/1000 to 1/1000) or lives of people of different ages (e.g. preference for a program that saves 0-5 year olds or 20-40 year olds). The evidence generated will be used to inform GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness model in their 2019 decision season.


Results

The project is ongoing.


Impact

The project is ongoing.