28 November 2013

Best charity in the world update

Depressing news from Givewell on the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF).

The good news: Givewell has directed $10m in the last 2 years to AMF. 

The bad news: This is a massive increase in scale for AMF, and they haven't yet managed to spend the money. This seems to be primarily because the transparency and accountability measures that help to make them such an attractive proposition for donors, also makes them a pretty unattractive proposition for implementers such as national governments. 

There's something about a sexy new NGO innovation which then runs into trouble when it tries to scale-up working through national government that sounds somehow familiar.

We shouldn't be too disheartened - this is hopefully just a set-back and the money will still eventually be spent. And it is still useful to model what good practice can look like even it is isn't replicated more widely immediately. But "room for more funding" - the capacity to implement at large scale, is clearly critical here. 

In the short-term this implies finding someone else to give your money to - your two best options seem to be Give Directly (tax deductible in the US) or the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (tax deductible in both the US and UK, but with some concerns here) - neither of which seem to be entirely satisfactory for me as a UK-taxpayer. I'll wait for further comment from Givewell.

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