After 6 months of research, primarily based on GiveWell’s list of charities they wish existed, we’re happy to announce the launching of Charity Science: Health. It is a direct poverty charity that will increase vaccination rates in India using phone-based reminders. We think it has the potential in the long term to be competitive with GiveWell recommended charities because it is:
- Evidence-based. There are four RCTs and two related Cochrane reviews demonstrating an increase of vaccination rate of 8.7-17.6 percentage points. There were two additional pilot RCTs which found no statistically significant effects, but these pilots were underpowered and the full studies are yet to be published, so could yet show positive results.
- Cost-effective. Our calculations suggest that vaccine reminders have similar cost-effectiveness to current GiveWell recommended charities. Vaccines are already very cost-effective, and given the extremely small cost of text messages and the decently large effect size, the cost per life saved is very low. Naturally, we do not take these calculations literally and our analysis is still incomplete because there are many figures, such as the impact of vaccination delays or number acquisition costs, that are yet unknown. Nevertheless, as one factor among many other promising ones, the results are exciting.
- Flexible. It has a lot of room to expand into other phone-based interventions which also have evidence supporting its effectiveness, such as educating women on the benefits of breastfeeding or reminding them that vitamin A supplementations will be distributed for their children soon.
Currently we are:
- Hiring. We are looking for another Associate Project Director to help with high level strategizing and implementation. We are also looking for a Field Officer who could help with on-the-ground work in India.
- Looking for volunteers and advisors. We need more talent! If you have spare time and you’re able to commit to a certain amount of time per week, we’d love to hear from you.
If you are interested in being a part of the beginning of something that could be big, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more about CS: Health in our proposal and on our website.
If you would like to make a donation, thank you! Fortunately, some generous donors have already filled our room for more funding for the following year. Please keep us in mind for next year, and in the meantime, we highly recommend donating to GiveWell recommended charities.