2019 GiveWell Grants for Global Health and Development in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh

Published: February 2019; Last Updated: July 2019

July 3, 2019 update: We have selected IPEN as the recipient of the $250,000 grant and VisionSpring and Vitamin Angels to each receive a grant of $25,000.

We are not accepting additional applications at this time.

This page provides detailed information about the application process for potential applicants for our 2019 grants for global health and development in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh.

Table of Contents

Who is eligible for these grants?

To be eligible, organizations must conduct a program that improves the lives of people in one or more of the following countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam.

How much money will selected organizations receive?

One organization will receive a grant of $250,000. Two additional organizations will receive grants of $25,000 each. Grants will be one-time and non-recurring.

What is the application process?

First round

We're aiming to minimize the amount of time applicants spend in submitting their initial application. In the first round, we ask organizations to send us an email that answers basic questions about their work as well as supporting documents (that they already have on hand). Information received as part of the first round of applications will be kept confidential.

We're looking for charities that perform excellently along GiveWell's criteria: evidence of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, transparency, and room for more funding.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to applications@givewell.org if you have any questions about your application, including whether to apply and what to include. Please mention that you're applying for or interested in applying for "2019 GiveWell Grants for Global Health and Development in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh" in your email.

What to include in your application

The application consists of two components:

1. Brief email answering the following questions

To apply, please send us an email that answers the following questions. The email does not need to be long; we plan to put significant weight on the supporting documents in our assessment of whether to move forward.

  1. What does the charity do?
    • What program does the charity implement, and what role does the charity play (i.e. providing funding, technical assistance, direct implementation, or other)?
  2. What is the evidence that the program works?
    • Please give links to or attach any citations demonstrating the program is effective, such as high-quality, academic evidence (that may not be specific to the charity) and monitoring and evaluation reports about the charity's activities.
  3. What is the program's budget?
    • Please include budgetary information to help us estimate cost-effectiveness. If possible, please include known information about the total costs of a program (including indirect costs and funding contributed by other charitable and government entities) and the total number of people served by a program.

  4. How would the charity use an additional $250,000?
    • Please include information on what the charity's priorities for using additional funds are.

Examples of how we've answered these questions for our top charities and the interventions they implement:

  • This page links to full reviews for each of our top charities. This page links to full reviews for each of our standout charities. Each review provides answers to the four questions listed above.
  • This page links to our evidence reviews for interventions. These offer another window into how we assess the evidence and cost-effectiveness of various programs.
2. Supporting documents

Interested organizations should share as many existing supporting documents as they would like. This includes academic papers, monitoring reports, and budgets.

We would guess that successful applicants will likely submit a number of supporting documents, so we encourage organizations to limit the time they spend on writing answers to our questions and instead to share existing documents with us.

Our preference is to receive all documents a candidate organization can easily share about its program. A candidate organization has never overwhelmed us with documents, and we think this approach minimizes the risk that information useful to our review goes unshared. GiveWell is not at all concerned with how the documents a candidate organization shares are presented. Indeed, we strongly prefer that candidate organizations not invest time polishing documents or preparing reports for our process without a specific request from us. If a candidate organization expects to invest significant resources collating documents for our review, our preference is to schedule a phone call to discuss whether all proposed work is necessary.

Confidentiality: We will not publish supporting documents as part of the first round; we will only publish supporting materials from organizations that progress to the second round, and we will confirm we have permission to publish each document with the organization before doing so.

How to apply

Submit your application by sending an email to applications@givewell.org with the subject line "2019 GiveWell Grants for Global Health and Development in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh" and attaching supporting documents. You may also submit supporting documents by sharing them in a Dropbox folder with applications@givewell.org.

Applications are due by April 1, 2019.

Second round (by invitation)

The finalist organizations selected for the second round will be asked to provide additional materials between April 30 and June 14, 2019.

If your organization is among those selected, we will request a conference call with program staff to get a more substantial sense of your organization's strategy and of what information is available. We will request more information, and may have several rounds of back-and-forth (including another phone call) before making our final decisions on or by July 3, 2019.

We expect to have 3-5 (and no more than 10) finalist organizations.

What is the application timeline?

  • We will accept first-round applications from now to April 1, 2019.
  • We will notify charities of the status of their application (finalist or not) by April 30, 2019.
  • We will ask finalists for additional information from April 30 to June 14, 2019.
  • We will notify finalist charities of the status of their application (grantee or not) by July 3, 2019.
  • Grants will be disbursed as part of GiveWell's Q2 grantmaking cycle in mid-August 2019 or as soon as vetting of non-US charities can be completed (may take longer, depending on charity).

Additional information for applicants

Will the grants provide restricted or unrestricted funding?

Our preference is for grants to be unrestricted within the program that applies (i.e., a program based in our targeted countries). We may restrict funding to a specific program that meets our criteria within a broader organization implementing many different programs that do not all meet our criteria.

Is the grant required to be spent over a particular time period? No. There is no time period for using the grant, although we would guess that most applicant organizations will plan to use the funding over a one- to three-year period. Will GiveWell publish the documents I submit with my application? First-round applicants In order to minimize the burden on prospective first-round applicants, we are not planning to publish supporting documents from first-round applicants who do not progress to the second round. Second-round applicants (by invitation) GiveWell is committed to the principle that we should share as much as possible of what goes into our decisions, including our reasoning and the materials we consider. We do plan to publish information about the small number of groups we move forward with in our second round, with the goal of sharing our process and prioritization with our community. You can see examples of past write-ups on charities we've considered here. GiveWell's transparency policy is available here. We will ask permission before publishing any non-public documents. If you have questions about this, please let us know at applications@givewell.org. Please mention that you're applying for or interested in applying for "2019 GiveWell Grants for Global Health and Development in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh" in your email. Questions? If you have any additional questions, please contact us directly via email at applications@givewell.org and mention that you're applying for or interested in applying for "2019 GiveWell Grants for Global Health and Development in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh" in your email. We will try to respond as quickly as possible. About GiveWell GiveWell is a nonprofit dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities and publishing the full details of our analysis to help donors decide where to give. We publish a very short list of top charities each year that stand out most by our criteria. Read more about GiveWell here.