By Anne Healy

Evidence Action aims to be a world leader in scaling evidence-based, cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty. We do this both by leading flagship, at-scale, cost-effective programs and through our in-house incubator charged with developing the next generation of at-scale, cost-effective programs. Our current two flagship programs at scale are the Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water, both of which are grounded in evidence from randomized controlled trials. Deworm the World delivers mass school-based deworming treatments by partnering with governments in 6 countries with an average cost-per-treatment-per-child of under $0.50, reaching over 275M children in 2017 (up from ~90M million children in 2015). The Dispensers program provides safe water access for 4.7 million rural individuals in East Africa at a cost of less than $1 per person per year, and is testing a partnership model, working with organizations such as CARE Ethiopia and other international NGOs to explore new models for scaling the program.

We also create, test, and scale the next generation of at-scale cost-effective programs through our in-house incubator of promising, evidence-based innovations (known as “Beta”). Beta designs, prototypes, tests, and delivers measurably impactful, cost-effective programs that are ready for scaled implementation by Evidence Action and our partners (many of whom are governments). Our incubation portfolio portfolio includes programs, such as No Lean Season, which tackles seasonal poverty by offering conditional interest-free loans to agricultural laborers in Bangladesh to help them migrate and find temporary work during the hunger (or “lean”) season.

Our incubation portfolio also includes Winning Start, designed to improve literacy and numeracy among primary school students in collaboration with the Government of Kenya’s national youth service program, G-United.

GiveWell recognized 3 of Evidence Action’s programs (Deworm the World, No Lean Season, and Dispensers for Safe Water) with 2017 Top Charity or Standout Charity status for their outstanding cost-effectiveness. Evidence Action’s work has also recently been featured in The EconomistNPR, and Vox Dev here and here, and it has been recognized by funders and organizations, such as the Global Innovation Fund, USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures, and startup accelerator, YCombinator.


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