From deworming to safe water, Michael Kremer’s research has been deeply influential to our work over the past ten years. In fact, he’s the reason we got started.
Kremer, who won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 2019, has devoted much of his research to discovering what interventions work best for improving lives around the world. In 2004, Kremer and Ted Miguel conducted a randomized controlled trial in Kenya that looked at the impacts of deworming on children. Their study changed the way the world understood deworming — and launched our first program, Deworm the World — because results showed for the first time that regular treatment reduced school absenteeism by 25%.
Fast forward twenty years, and they did it again — with another groundbreaking study that followed those same children and determined that regular deworming treatment leads to long-term economic and quality of life improvements, like a 13% increase in income. Watch Kremer and Miguel discuss the economic impacts of deworming with our CEO, Kanika Bahl, here.
Kremer’s research has also been vital to our safe water work. His earlier trials on chlorination found that point-of-collection chlorine dispensers were very effective, with higher usage rates than other solutions — leading to the launch of our Dispensers for Safe Water network. And in early 2023 he released a study that quantified the impact of safe water on child mortality — something that researchers had struggled to do for years — finding that chlorination can reduce child deaths by 25% and is the one of the most cost-effective ways to improve child survival. His pursuit of evidence has continued to drive our programming forward — today, Safe Water Now provides over 10 million people in Africa with lifesaving access to safe water.
Another important learning that Kremer’s overall research has provided is that preventative health interventions need to be delivered at no cost — that’s crucial for significant take-up. We’ve made this an underpinning of our approach to delivery across all programs.
“Evidence Action has changed millions of lives worldwide,” Michael said. “I know few other organizations which have such a sharp focus on the most cost-effective interventions. I’m also always impressed by their track record of working with governments to reach millions of people.”