GiveWell’s Research Council

As GiveWell grows and matures as an organization, we’re excited to continue learning from others in our field. We believe that actively seeking feedback on our work enables us to do more good. In May 2023, we launched a Research Council, a small group of experts we can consult on research questions and grant investigations.
We aimed to create a Council whose collective experience includes:

Deep familiarity with specific areas GiveWell researches
Substantial time working and/or living in the geographic areas where we fund work (low- and middle-income countries, primarily in Africa and South Asia)
Conducting research, especially randomized controlled trials (RCTs), on global health and development programs
Taking effective programs from pilot to scale
Working in partnership with major funding institutions and with country governments, especially the governments of countries where we support programs

So far, we’ve held three meetings with this full group to share further details of our research process and how we set our cost-effectiveness threshold. During these meetings, Council members provided helpful feedback about ways we might improve our research.
Additionally, we’ve asked Council members for their recommendations for how to approach tricky questions in our grant investigations and on bigger-picture considerations we might be missing. For example, we spoke with Council members about whether an organization’s request for additional funding seemed reasonable, about vaccination rates, and about ways to improve how we work with organizations and governments. We’ve also asked Council members for referrals to other experts on specific topics of interest.
This Council is a new initiative for getting external feedback. For this first iteration, we’ve invited people who are familiar with GiveWell’s work, all of whom have some current or previous affiliation with organizations to which GiveWell has recommended funding. We wanted to start with a small group of advisors we already knew in some capacity; depending on how this initiative goes, we might expand in the future to include a wider set of experts. We’ll also continue to seek input on our research from external advisors and experts beyond this Council.
While seeking external feedback is an important part of our process, all GiveWell funding and organizational decisions are made solely at our discretion and may not reflect the views of external contributors, and vice-versa.
Currently, our Research Council includes six members, listed below and on this page.

Amrita Ahuja is Vice President

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