- Top charities
GiveWell aims to find the best giving opportunities we can and recommend them to donors. We tend to put a lot of investigation into the organizations we find most promising, and de-prioritize others based on limited information. When we decide not to prioritize an organization, we try to create a brief writeup of our thoughts on that charity because we want to be as transparent as possible about our reasoning.
The following write-up should be viewed in this context: it explains why we determined that we wouldn't be prioritizing the organization in question as a potential top charity. This write-up should not be taken as a "negative rating" of the charity. Rather, it is our attempt to be as clear as possible about the process by which we came to our top recommendations.
The last time we examined BRAC was in July 2009. In our latest open-ended review of charities, we determined that it was unlikely to meet our criteria based on our past examination of it, so we did not revisit it.
We invite all charities that feel they meet our criteria to apply for consideration.
The content we created in July 2009 appears below. This content is likely to be no longer fully accurate, both with respect to what it says about BRAC and with respect to what it implies about our own views and positions. With that said, we do feel that the takeaways from this examination are sufficient not to prioritize re-opening our investigation of this organization at this time.
BRAC is a large, Bangladesh-based organization that primarily implements a wide range of economic empowerment, health and education programs.
We believe that BRAC is notable for:
We cannot be confident in BRAC's impact because:
Despite the apparent commitment to monitoring and evaluation, BRAC's research does not appear to make it possible to evaluate the impact of the organization as a whole. Specifically, program evaluations appear not to be available for some of BRAC's largest programs.5
BRAC Annual Report 2007, pg 68.
http://brac.net/index.php?nid=65, accessed 6/30/09 (note that programs are listed on the left-hand side).
http://www.bracresearch.org/, accessed 6/30/09
Conversation with VisionSpring's Vice President of Business Development, Miriam Stone. Full paraphrased transcript available at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/givewell/message/95, 4/20/09.
We searched http://www.bracresearch.org/ for evaluations of Employment and Income programs (which are part of BRAC's Economic Development area). We searched for the broad area ("Programme Support Enterprises" and "Economic Development") and evaluations of smaller, specific programs ("seed enterprises" and "feed mills") but did not find program evaluation documents.