28 June 2011

My new (second) favourite charity

After IPA, obviously, is GiveDirectly, which allows you to, er, give, directly, to poor people in Kenya. The poor are identified as anyone living in a house made of mud or grass, and are then given a sim card so they can receive cash via SMS through M-PESA. 10% goes to admin and 90% into the hands of the poor. And because the CEO is Jeremy Shapiro, they are also doing an impact evaluation of the program with IPA.

Now I just need to decide how much I can afford and am willing to donate (the 1% of Peter Singer's campaign or the whopping 10% of Giving What We Can?). And how I should divide my giving between GiveDirectly, the Proven Impact Fund, and maybe also Pratham, and whether I should wait for the Givewell evaluation of GiveDirectly or the RCT results. I'm inclined to think though that when you are putting cash directly into the hands of poor people, and you are confident that those people are indeed poor, then evaluation is almost an irrelevance.

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