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 Roberto Clemente Santa Ana Health Clinic 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 Roberto Clemente Santa Ana Health Clinic 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.
We investigated the Roberto Clemente Santa Ana Health Clinic because it works to increase access to primary care, an approach we find promising.
What they do
We reviewed the Roberto Clemente Clinic's website1 and spoke to Juan Muñoz, Vice-chairman of the organization, on the phone.2 Mr. Muñoz told us that his organization funds a single clinic in rural Nicaragua that provides doctor care 7 days a week, dental care once a week, vaccinations, Vitamin A supplements, referral to the hospital, deworming in local schools, and health education for the local community. In 2008, the most commonly treated problems were respiratory infections, urinary system infections, high blood cholesterol, headache, and parasites.3
We note that the clinic's expenses and donated revenues of the clinic have been expanding rapidly over the past few years without being accompanied by an increased number of patient visits.4
Based on this data, we are concerned that the clinic is unable to use additional donations to increase the number of patients it can serve. Because of this question and the others listed below, we cannot confidently recommend that donors support the Roberto Clemente Clinic.
- Patient outcomes. What proportion of treatments are successful? How serious are the conditions for which patients are being treated?
- Program choice. Is the clinic focusing on the most cost-effective and proven programs? Why are there vaccine shortages?
- Expansion activities. Why haven't past expansions in expenses resulted in more patient visits? Will current plans for expansion result in more patients being treated?
We have asked Mr. Muñoz for permission to publish the transcript of our phone conversation, but have not yet received permission.
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Phone conversation with Juan Muñoz, Clemente Clinic Vice-chairman, 8/17/09.
Roberto Clemente Clinic "Summary of Activities 2008", Pg 4. Available online at http://www.nicaclinic.org/images/summary%20of%20activities%202008public.pdf, accessed 10/1/09.
For revenues and expenses see the clinic's IRS Form 990s:
- Roberto Clemente Clinic 2005 990. Available online at http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990s/990search/990.php?ein=710926873&yr=..., accessed 10/1/09.
- Roberto Clemente Clinic 2006 990. Available online at http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990s/990search/990.php?ein=710926873&yr=..., accessed 10/1/09.
- Roberto Clemente Clinic 2007 990. Available online at http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990s/990search/990.php?ein=710926873&yr=..., accessed 10/1/09.
For patient visits, see Roberto Clemente Clinic "Summary of Activities 2008", Pg 2. Available online at http://www.nicaclinic.org/images/summary%20of%20activities%202008public.pdf, accessed 10/1/09.