Recognitions: The Nobel Prize, charity evaluator rankings, and Expo 2020

2019 has been a tremendous year not just for us, but for the field of evidence-based international development. As we wrap up a year full of impact (more to come on that front soon), here are some important recent milestones for our work to help set us up for an exciting and impactful 2020. 

The Nobel Prize

In October, the Nobel Committee announced the winners of the Prize in Economic Sciences. The choice of Harvard professor Michael Kremer and MIT professors Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo caused a buzz in the world of development economics and international development. As was widely acknowledged on Twitter and by the Laureates themselves, the award was important to numerous individuals, organizations, and institutions that have collaborated with, or been founded or influenced by, the Laureates – Evidence Action included. More on the Laureates’ contributions to our work – including the founding of Deworm the World by Kremer and Duflo – in our earlier blog

Last week, the prize was officially awarded, with the Laureates each contributing a single object to the Nobel Museum to represent their work. Kremer’s contribution was an Evidence Action chlorine dispenser, to illustrate how behavioral economics insights have led to life-saving innovations. We’re honored to have our Dispensers for Safe Water program memorialized among so many world-changing feats and we share in the widespread hope that this year’s Nobel award will inspire build momentum for this critical work. In his Nobel lecture, Kremer stated “[t]ogether… we’ve made substantial progress. However, when these celebrations conclude, there will still be millions of people who wake each day in poverty. We must work together, push on, and push harder. And we will.” These are words to live by – and ones we seek to live up to – each day.

Recognition by charity evaluators

Additional great news came in the form of charity ratings from GiveWell, Impact Matters, and The Life You Can Save. For the 7th consecutive year, our Deworm the World Initiative was listed as a GiveWell top charity, while our Dispensers for Safe Water program was ranked a “standout” charity for the third year in a row. Both lists are highly selective; GiveWell dedicates over 20,000 hours annually to researching and finding the best programs.  Each list includes only eight charities.
ImpactMatters, a new nonprofit evaluator focused on impact and cost-effectiveness, also released over 1000 ratings of charity programs. Dispensers for Safe Water was ranked as the top
“clean water” non-profit – receiving a 5-star rating.  

Finally, The Life You Can Save, founded by leading moral philosopher Peter Singer, continues to feature Evidence Action on its list of 21 best charities in the world – and Singer mentions the organization in the 10th anniversary edition of his best selling book by the same name (currently available for download as a free, celebrity narrated, audiobook).

Dispensers for Safe Water to be featured at global expo in Dubai
Our Dispensers for Safe Water program was recently selected as part of Expo2020’s Global Best Practice Program, “a platform (which) showcase(s) initiatives from around the world that have provided real solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.” One of only 25 initiatives chosen from over one thousand applications, the program will feature in the exhibition in Dubai between October 2020 and April 2021, which is expected to draw 25 million visitors. Dispensers for Safe Water will exhibit under the theme “inclusive and sustainable service delivery” – we’re thrilled to be spotlighted for contributing to driving global progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

We’re grateful for these various acknowledgments of our work and impact: visibility is an often under-recognized but critically important part of delivering real impact. We hope that these recent developments will inspire more people to partner with us, and with organizations like us, to scale proven solutions to urgent challenges facing people in poverty.

If you’d like to make a donation this giving season, it’s not too late! Visit our donate page, and consider becoming a monthly giver and/or giving to “where the need is greatest”, to help us make the best possible use of your investment.

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