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Update to Recommended Poverty Charities

We created the list of our recommended poverty charities to found in 2016. Our original list included 5 promising interventions:


  • SMS vaccination reminders

  • Iron and folic acid fortification

  • Tobacco taxation

  • Conditional cash transfers for medical interventions

  • Poverty research


In the last few years, a couple of things have changed, so updating the list is in order. Excitingly, two of the following charities were, in fact, founded.

  • Charity Science Health was launched in 2016 by our team working on SMS vaccination reminders, has by now received two GiveWell incubation grants, and sends reminders to over 200,000 individuals in India.

  • Fortify Health was launched in 2017 by an external team we supported with a seed grant and helped advise. By now, they have also received a GiveWell incubation grant and have made plans to work across central India next year.

Although there is room for the founding of more than one effective charity in the given area (for example, one could easily work on SMS vaccinations in Africa), the founding of these two charities does change the scope of neglectedness in those areas. Thus, both of these ideas were removed from the Top Charities to Found list. Secondly, over the last few years, we have been able to get a deeper understanding of the poverty research space. This occurred as a result of considering and speaking to multiple poverty research organizations, as well as through working more deeply with IDinsight. Given the relative strength and growth of these organizations-particularly IDinsight, which we feel is working on covering much of the ground we see as of highest impact-, we no longer see the founding of a poverty research charity as substantially neglected. Because of this, poverty research has also been removed from our list. Thirdly, we are looking for more specific options in the field of conditional cash transfers. Our initial report did not make a specific recommendation, instead listing a few possible options. By the end of the year, we plan on recommending a specific best condition, or two, to improve the shovel readiness of the area. Our views on tobacco taxation have not changed substantially. We continue to feel that this is a promising area and a very effective charity can be founded here. However, we have updated slightly positively towards it as time has passed, given our increased optimism about the promisingness of working with governments in order to achieve cost-effective metrics. In summary, here is our updated list:


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