About this page
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.
A note on this page's publication date
The last time we examined ReSurge International was in 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 2009 appears below. This content is likely to be no longer fully accurate, both with respect to what it says about ReSurge International 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.
Our 2007-08 review of ReSurge International (under the name Interplast) provides a complete review of the organization's activities and costs.
The information we have reviewed from ReSurge International does not adequately address the concerns outlined at our overview of developing-world corrective surgery. However, we feel that it stands above other charities in the same cause because:
- It has been more open to answering our inquiries and sharing substantive information than other charities in its area (this has been true since we were a part-time project in 2006, and continues to be true).
- Its blog1 provides frequent, high-volume updates on its activities, including photos. Though we are not confident that the cases featured in the blog are representative, we feel that they are a more credible source of qualitative information than the very small numbers of individual stories that most charities share. (We discuss this issue more in a blog post on qualitative information.)
- It addresses a wide variety of deformities including burn scars, rather than focusing only on cleft lip and palate surgeries. Based on the blog and on a conversation with an ReSurge International representative,2 we believe that many non-cleft conditions are still highly debilitating as well as correctable.
We designate ReSurge International as "best in class" for developing-world corrective surgery.
Note that in some of the following documents ReSurge International is referred to as Interplast, its former name.
- Corlew, Scott. ReSurge International Chief Medical Officer. Phone conversation with Givewell, June 2, 2009.
- GiveWell. Developing-world corrective surgery.
- GiveWell. Interplast (2007-08).
- ReSurge International. All patients' surgeries: 1998-2008 (XLS).
- ReSurge International. Biratnagar speech camp (DOC).
- ReSurge International. Blog. http://resurge.blogs.com/resurge-blog/ (accessed January 17, 2011). Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5voCWCKD7.
- ReSurge International. Butwal speech camp report (DOC).
- ReSurge International. Interplast mortality and morbidity statistics (DOC).
- ReSurge International. Nepalgunj speech camp, 2009 report (DOC).