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Stop TB Partnership

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GiveWell aims to find the best giving opportunities we can and recommend them to donors (why we recommend so few charities). 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 (for the time being), we won'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.

Published: November 28, 2011

Summary

The Stop TB Partnership is an entity, housed within the World Health Organization, that focuses on tuberculosis control worldwide. Stop TB has a wide variety of activities including its Global Drug Facility, which procures and grants TB drugs to countries; TB Reach, an initiative aimed at identifying and funding promising approaches to increased case detection; public advocacy and communications about TB; building partnerships with and supporting country TB programs; and compiling and disseminating research about TB control.1

When we first recommended Stop TB in 2009 (our 2009 review), we believed that Stop TB would use additional donations to fund first-line TB drugs for countries that had limited supplies. Over time, we gained a better understanding of the full scope of Stop TB's activities and the possibility that additional funds might support any or all of them (see our 2010 review). In addition, since then, our approach to assessing room for more funding has evolved.

As of November 2011, we do not have a clear understanding of Stop TB's room for more funding. We have discussed this question with Stop TB and hope to improve our understanding of this in the future.

Please note that this is not a statement about the transparency or specificity of Stop TB's budgeting after the fact, but about our (GiveWell's) ability to predict the future use of unrestricted donations from individuals. Stop TB publishes an annual report which presents a breakdown of spending by activity (e.g., partnership building, advocacy and communications, Global Drug Facility, TB Reach, and general management and administrative costs) as well as a more specific breakdown of spending for the Global Drug Facility.2

Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of Stop TB told us over email:

"The Partnership has a workplan every 2 years that covers multiple areas devoted to TB Control. The funds received from a wide range of donors are devoted to the implementation of certain activties (like procuring drugs, detecting new cases, supporting a communication campaign) which are clearly identified by the donors from the beginning. Other funds, which are not specified for certain areas of work, are pooled together and will cover different activities included in the workplan of the Partnership, including salary of staff."3

Interested donors should note that we remain convinced that tuberculosis control in general is an important focus, and GiveWell, in our research, has relied heavily on reports published by Stop TB and the WHO. We have also sought and received valuable insights from conversations we have had with Stop TB and WHO staff members. Finally, we believe that initiatives that are part of Stop TB, such as TB Reach4 may identify outstanding opportunities for donors.

Our judgments are necessarily a function of the information we have and the limited time we can devote to any organization, but given the information we have at this time, Stop TB does not qualify for our highest ratings.

Sources

  • 1.

    Dr. Lucia Ditiu, conversation with GiveWell, November 11, 2011.

    See also a 2009 third-party evaluation of Stop TB summarizes its activities as follows:

      "

    • Expand the DOTS strategy so that all people have access to effective diagnosis and treatment
      • Accelerate implementation to provide for at least 70 percent infectious case detection, and maintain a treatment success rate of at least 85 percent
      • Improve procurement and distribution systems for TB drugs to ensure quality, access and timely supply
      • Implement monitoring and evaluation systems for national TB programs in line with WHO standards
    • Develop and scale-up effective responses to the emerging challenges of drug resistance and HIV-related TB
    • Improve and expand tools available for TB diagnosis, treatment and prevention
      • Accelerate basic and operational research for the development of new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines
      • Promote adoption of new and improved tools by ensuring appropriate use, access and affordability
    • Strengthen the overall global partnership to Stop TB so that proven TB-control strategies are effectively applied:
      • Develop the Global Plan to Stop TB for the period 2006–2015 (initially to 2010)
      • Promote the development of national and international partnerships to stop TB with all stakeholders in society."

    Independent Evaluation Group, "The Stop Tuberculosis Partnership."

  • 2.

    Stop TB, "Annual Report (2010)," Pgs 52-53.

  • 3.

    Dr. Lucica Ditiu, email to GiveWell, November 16, 2011.

  • 4.

    Stop TB, "TB Reach."

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