Helen Keller International (HKI) is a nonprofit organization focused on preventing blindness and reducing malnutrition.
HKI carries out over 120 programs in 21 countries around the world, including cataract surgery, vision correction, screening and treatment for diabetic retinopathy, distribution of treatments and cures for neglected tropical diseases, maternal and child nutrition education, and community-based management of acute malnutrition . Charity evaluators within the effective altruism community have largely focused on HKI's vitamin A supplementation (VAS) program, which distributes vitamin A supplements in sub-Saharan Africa.
As of May 2022, GiveWell estimates that HKI can deliver a vitamin A supplement at a cost of about $1, and that a donation to HKI's VAS program has an average cost-effectiveness of $3,000 per life saved. (The cost of distributing vitamin supplements is much lower than the cost of saving a life because a small fraction of people who receive supplementation would otherwise have died from conditions related to vitamin deficiency, and because of other factors.)
HKI's VAS program has been a GiveWell top-rated charity since 2017, and its cost-effectiveness is estimated to be in the same range as GiveWell's other priority programs. As of May 2022, HKI has received over $31 million in funding from Open Philanthropy, and is also featured in The Life You Can Save's list of "best charities".
Helen Keller International (2021) About us, Helen Keller International.
Sánchez, Sebastián (2021) Timeline of Helen Keller International, Timelines Wiki.
Helen Keller International. Official website.
Helen Keller International (2021) 2020 annual report, Helen Keller International.
GiveWell (2021) Helen Keller International’s Vitamin A Supplementation Program, GiveWell, November.
GiveWell (2021) Our top charities, GiveWell, November.
GiveWell (2021) 2021 GiveWell cost-effectiveness analysis — version 3, GiveWell, July 6.
GiveWell (2021) How we produce impact estimates, GiveWell, November.
Open Philanthropy (2022) Grants database, Open Philanthropy.
The Life You Can Save (2021) Best charities, The Life You Can Save.