Today the world celebrates International Day of Charity, declared by the UN General Assembly in 2012. The UN’s agenda on sustainable development calls for the eradication of global poverty and the Sustainable Development Goals provide a framework by which institutions, organizations, and individuals can give charitably for the betterment of our world. To honor your giving, we want to show why we value your contribution today and every other day.
Our Process: You Fund What Works
Your generosity allows us to approach development differently: we can invest in rigorously testing evidence-based innovations before implementing them at scale.
Our in-house incubator of potential programs, Evidence Action Beta, is similar to the research and development function of a for-profit organization. With the support of our donors, we are building a rigorous organizational approach to finding, prototyping, and testing promising development solutions. These solutions are then produced as impactful, cost-effective programs ready for scaled implementation. With your continued investment Evidence Action can build a robust portfolio of cost-effective projects that benefit millions of people.
Our Projects: You Amplify their Potential
One such project is No Lean Season, an innovative intervention with the potential to improve millions of lives in low and middle income countries. The project is designed to reduce the negative effects of seasonal poverty, one of the most pervasive but under-explored challenges in development.
Every year, hundreds of millions of people experience pronounced hardship during the “lean season,” the period between planting and harvesting when agricultural jobs are scarce and food stocks are low. No Lean Season provides a small travel subsidy (less than $20) to agricultural laborers that gives them mobility, allowing them to seek work in nearby urban centers where jobs are more readily available.
Research by Yale Professor Mushfiq Mobarak has shown that offering a travel subsidy encouraging individuals to migrate during the lean season can increase household incomes by up to 19 percent and household caloric intake by up to seven hundred calories per person. That is the equivalent of one extra meal a day and a total of about five hundred additional meals for the duration of the lean season.
Our Programs: You Support their Success
Dispensers for Safe Water is one of our flagship programs, which has successfully scaled up to serve 4.8 million across rural Sub-Saharan Africa. Dispensers for Safe Water is a proven, innovative approach to increase rates of household chlorination at a cost of about $1 per person per year.
The intervention works by placing chlorine dispensers in the immediate vicinity of springs and other water sources. When community members go to their water source, they turn the dispenser’s valve to receive a pre-measured amount of diluted chlorine and then fill their container with water. The chlorine disinfects the water as community members walk home, and they are left with clean water that stays safe for up to 2-3 days.
This process eliminates the need to boil the water, which we use to our advantage: by lowering carbon emissions, we can sell carbon credits on the international market. These revenues only cover part of our costs, however, and markets can fluctuate. It is your direct donations which ensure this program continues to provide needed access to safe water for millions of people today.
Our Organization: You Sustain our Approach
Dispensers for Safe Water, No Lean Season, and the Beta process are all part of Evidence Action. As you can tell from our approach, “economize without compromise” is a key value of our organization and your continued support makes achieving it possible.
On this International Day of Charity, we want to thank you for being the driving force behind our sustainability. We honor the altruistic motivation of such donations by striving to be an effective conduit for their use.