It is with lots of pride and no small amount for sadness that I am announcing that I am moving on from Evidence Action. Effective August 2015 I will be the first CEO of the new  Global Innovation Fund. When I started at Evidence Action almost three years ago, we were a small start-up, our Washington DC staff able to squeeze into one room.

We knew what we wanted Evidence Action to be: A  fit-to-purpose organization for developing business models and scaling programs based on rigorous evidence. We wanted to help bridge the gap between what research shows is effective and what is implemented on the ground. We wanted to contribute to bringing services to tens of millions of people, demonstrate that scale and rigorous evidence can co-exist, and make a meaningful contribution to improving the lives of poor people in developing countries.

Today, Evidence Action is all that and much more. It is a strong, competent, visionary, and solid organization ready to enter its next phase. The budget and annual plan I presented to the board recently outlined how Evidence Action will supporting the deworming of some 200 million children in 2015, and how seven million people will have access to safe, sustainable drinking water services.

We are also incubating new programs in Evidence Action Beta, developing the business plans for a series of promising ideas based on rigorous research. The organizational budget is $20 million this year, and the organization has a diverse set of donor partners including many generous individuals. The Deworm the World Initiative is expanding to new countries, and is recognized as a ‘best buy in development’ by several charity evaluators, including GiveWell. Dispensers for Safe Water is growing at a rapid but sustainable pace and is showing remarkable and resilient results. All teams have superb senior leadership that will ensure that the work continues uninterrupted. 

I am leaving Evidence Action in the highly capable hands of Laliteswar Kumar, the Interim Executive Director, an excellent, seasoned team, and a strong Board of Directors. I am deeply grateful to the Board for the opportunity it gave me, and for the leadership it showed. The Board will also be spearheading the global search for my replacement.

Evidence Action could not be stronger and more effective today thanks to the tireless work of its amazing staff worldwide. You have my deepest gratitude and I will be proud to watch you all make the world better for millions of people from my new perch. Thank you also to the thousands of supporters of Evidence Action. You have given your money and attention to our work, and have made it possible.

I am thrilled for this next chapter of Evidence Action and very grateful for the amazing time I had at the helm. Thank you!

Alix Zwane

 

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