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Center for Effective Global Action at UC Berkeley — Deworming Study Planning Gift

Published: October 2017

Note: This page summarizes the rationale behind a GiveWell Incubation Grant to the Center for Effective Global Action at Regents of the University of California, Berkeley ("UC Berkeley"). UC Berkeley staff reviewed this page prior to publication.

As part of GiveWell’s work to fund research relevant to its recommendations, in June of 2017, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at the University of California, Berkeley received a GiveWell Incubation Grant of $18,000 to investigate the feasibility of conducting a high-quality follow-up study on Stoltzfus et al. 1997, a deworming evaluation conducted in Tanzania in the mid-1990s.1

The project will be led by Professor Edward Miguel and the funds are intended to cover the costs of a summer research assistant (RA) to support the investigation, including travel to Tanzania. The RA will also allocate some time to investigating the potential of other follow-up studies beyond Stoltzfus et al. 1997, and will conduct some preliminary research on the potential costs, feasibility, and logistics of initiating a new long-term randomized controlled trial (RCT) on deworming.

If this project confirms Stoltzfus et al. 1997 as a promising study to follow up on, or identifies another promising study to follow up on, we may consider recommending an award to conduct such a follow-up study. We have made two other award recommendations that are relevant to this project: our April 2017 and July 2017 funding recommendations to CEGA at UC Berkeley.

Our main rationale for recommending this award was that additional evidence about the effectiveness of deworming could influence our top charity recommendations and funding allocations. As of August 2017, 4 of our 7 top charities focus on deworming,2 but we consider the evidence base for deworming to be limited, so more information could substantially influence our views.


Document Source
GiveWell Top Charities, August 2017 [archive only] Source
Stoltzfus et al. 1997 Source (archive)
  • 1.

    "We report here the results of an evaluation of a school-based deworming program implemented by the Ministries of Health and Education of Zanzibar on Pemba Island. The evaluation measured the effect of the program on helminth infections, nutritional status and school attendance and compared the effects of two deworming schedules, twice-yearly and thrice-yearly. … We describe the effect of twice-yearly and thrice-yearly deworming on the height and weight gains of primary school children in Zanzibar." Stoltzfus et al. 1997 Pgs. 1-2.

  • 2.

    As of August 2017, GiveWell top charities conducting deworming interventions include: the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), Deworm the World Initiative, END Fund, and Sightsavers. GiveWell Top Charities, August 2017 [archive only]