Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

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Schistosomiasis Control Initiative
Genre Medical logistics, prevention of neglected tropical diseases
Founded 2002 (2002)
Headquarters Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Area served
Sub-Saharan Africa

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) is an initiative that helps governments in African countries treat schistosomiasis, one of the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), caused by parasitic worms. It was founded in 2002 and funded via grants from the Gates Foundation and USAID.[1]

Organisational remit[edit]

SCI assists Ministries of Health across sub-Saharan Africa and Yemen to develop national Schistosomiasis control programmes. The SCI helps governments with logistical support: mapping the prevalence of the disease, formulation of a strategy plan, requesting and obtaining praziquantel from the donation programme managed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and training of staff for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programme. [2][citation needed]

External evaluations[edit]

GiveWell review[edit]

November 2014 review and December 2014 inclusion in top charities list[edit]

In November 2014, GiveWell published an updated review of SCI.[3] Based on this review, they listed SCI as one of four top charities for end-of-year giving on December 1, 2014, alongside GiveDirectly, Against Malaria Foundation, and Deworm the World Initiative.[4]

Based on GiveWell's recommendation, Good Ventures made a grant of $3 million to SCI, and GiveWell, in their blog post, wrote that, if they were allocating money, they would allocate 13% of marginal donations to SCI.[4]

November 2013 review[edit]

In November 2013, in preparation for its 2013 end-of-year giving recommendations, GiveWell published a new review of SCI.[5] GiveWell recommended SCI as one of its three top rated charities, with no relative rank for the top three charities. The other two charities were GiveDirectly and Deworm the World Initiative.[6][7] GiveWell also announced a "minimum target" for each of the top charities. The minimum target for SCI was 1 million USD.[7]

In their official review of SCI, GiveWell listed a number of strengths and weaknesses.[5] The strengths were as follows:

  • Focus on a program with a strong track record and excellent cost-effectiveness.
  • Track record – SCI has repeatedly demonstrated success at starting and expanding national deworming programs.
  • Room for more funding.

The major unresolved issues listed by GiveWell were:

  • The impact of unrestricted funds, which comprise a small portion of SCI's overall budget.
  • SCI has provided studies on its own national control programs showing large declines in infection rates, but GiveWell was in the process of re-examining the studies.
  • SCI has shared very limited recent monitoring results.

Earlier reviews[edit]

In November 2012, GiveWell ranked SCI as its #3 charity for the 2012 end-of-year giving, below the Against Malaria Foundation and GiveDirectly.[6]

In April 2012, GiveWell published an update of SCI's activities in a blog post, while continuing to stand by its recommendation of SCI.[8]

In mid-2011, charity evaluator GiveWell rated SCI as a notable organization for "its promising approach and for conducting evaluations of its activities." In late November 2011, GiveWell ranked SCI as its #2 recommended charity for 2011 end-of-year giving, below the Against Malaria Foundation.[9][10] GiveWell estimates that its recommendation resulted in over $650,000 in donations to SCI in 2011.[11]

Giving What We Can review[edit]

The Giving What We Can website rates SCI as one of its best giving opportunities, along with Against Malaria Foundation and Deworm the World.[12] Giving What We Can has also published a case study of SCI.[13] Based on this, The Life You Can Save, a website started based on philosopher Peter Singer's book The Life You Can Save, also rates SCI as one of the organizations to give to.[14]


  1. ^ "About us" on SCI website
  2. ^ "What We Do" on SCI website
  3. ^ "Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)". GiveWell. November 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Hassenfeld, Elie (December 1, 2014). "Our updated top charities". GiveWell. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) (charity review)". GiveWell. November 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Top charities". GiveWell. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  7. ^ a b Karnofsky, Holden (December 1, 2013). "GiveWell’s Top Charities for Giving Season 2013". GiveWell. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  8. ^ GiveWell update on SCI, April 2012
  9. ^ GiveWell evaluation of SCI
  10. ^ GiveWell blog post on ranking its top two charities
  11. ^ Update on GiveWell’s money moved and web traffic in 2011
  12. ^ "Recommended Charities". Giving What We Can. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  13. ^ "SCI Case Study". Giving What We Can. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Where to donate". The Life You Can Save. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]