Overview of Criteria and Process Used for Identifying International Charities | GiveWell

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Overview of Criteria and Process Used for Identifying International Charities

A note on this page's publication date

The content on this page has not been recently updated. This content is likely to be no longer fully accurate, both with respect to the research it presents and with respect to what it implies about our views and positions.

This page is not actively maintained. For up-to-date content, see our overview of international causes and our list of top-charities.

What does this report include?

This report includes four types of pages:

  • Charity reviews. These are in-depth reviews of charities.
  • Guides for donors interested in particular causes. These are overviews of what we believe are the most important questions for a donor to ask before supporting a charity in a given area along with a review of relevant literature. See below for a full list of donor guides and cause overviews.
  • Intervention reports. These are reviews of specific programs (e.g., bednets to prevent malaria, drugs to treat HIV/AIDS) in which we describe the program, review its evidence of effectiveness, and present what we know about its cost-effectiveness. For more, see the full list of intervention reports we've published.
  • Pages explaining GiveWell's process and criteria for reviewing and selecting charities. These pages describe the process we used for selecting charities and the criteria we followed to evaluate and rank them. See below for a full list of process and criteria pages.


Charity reviews

Donor guides and cause overviews

Here is a list of guides we've completed. If you're interested in a cause we haven't covered, please contact us via our survey.

Intervention reports

See a complete list in the table of intervention reports we've published.

GiveWell process and criteria pages

  • Overview of our research process and criteria, including an explanation of our ratings system and a full list of all charities we considered.
  • Our guide to impact analysis, including why we think individual donors should support a charity with demonstrated impact, our standards of evidence, and the specific outcomes we look for when evaluating charities focused on different causes.
  • Our current list of "priority programs" for developing-world aid, including our method for selecting these programs, basic information for each program, and links to more information about each.
  • Our guide to cost-effectiveness analysis, including why it's important for donors to treat charities' own estimates of their cost-effectiveness with skepticism, how we use cost-effectiveness in our evaluations, and reviews of the sources we've used for our cost-effectiveness estimates.
  • Our guide to scalability, that is, can an organization effectively incorporate and utilize additional funds? This includes an explanation of why we think this is an important issue for donors to consider and our method for answering the question.