Schistosomiasis Control Initiative
||This article needs attention from an expert in medicine. (September 2014)|
|Genre||Medical logistics, prevention of neglected tropical diseases|
|Headquarters||Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom|
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. Since 2013, charity evaluator GiveWell has listed SCI as one of its top charities.
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.
GiveWell, an independent charity evaluator, has repeatedly named SCI as a top charity for cost-effectiveness. In 2015, GiveWell recommended that Good Ventures donate $1 million to SCI, and identified an additional funding gap of $25.3 million for the organization, of which $4.9 million could be used for the organization's planned activities for the coming year.
2016 end of year review
In November 2016, GiveWell published an updated review of SCI and published an update to its top charity list based on that. SCI was in the list of top charities. GiveWell expects Good Ventures to grant SCI $13.5 million using its budget of $50 million to give to GiveWell top charities. In addition, GiveWell recommended that donors split their donation to give 25% to SCI (and 75% to the Against Malaria Foundation).
2016 mid-year review
In June 2016, GiveWell published an updated review of SCI and published an update to its top charity list based on that. SCI was in the list of top charities. However, GiveWell noted a few caveats, including discovery of $333,000 in misallocated funds to SCI's parent institution, and said it would continue to work closely with SCI to resolve issues.
In November 2015, GiveWell published an updated review of SCI. The review was updated in April 2016. Based on the November 2015 review, GiveWell recommended SCI as one of its four top-rated charities, and recommended that Good Ventures make a grant of $1 million to the organization.
In its blog post, GiveWell indicated that individual donors who wished to follows its final recommendation should donate marginal funds to the Against Malaria Foundation. However, they also offered a more detailed breakdown of the room for more funding of each organization at various levels. GiveWell's understanding of SCI's situation is described below.
|Level||Funding gap||Part of funding gap covered by Good Ventures||Cumulative funding gap||Part of cumulative funding gap covered by Good Ventures||Part of cumulative funding gap left for other donors|
|Incentive (incentive for charities)||$1.0 million||$1.0 million (100%)||$1.0 million||$1.0 million (100%)||0|
|Execution Level 1 (the amount over and above the incentive amount that the charity would need to execute projects in the coming year)||$4.9 million||0 (0%)||$5.9 million||$1.0 million (16.95%)||$4.9 million|
|Execution Level 2 (if the organization has this amount over and above Execution Level 1, there is a ~80% chance they will not be bottlenecked for funding)||$11.6 million||0 (0%)||$17.5 million||$1.0 million (5.71%)||$16.5 million|
|Execution Level 3 (if the organization has this amount over and above Execution Level 2, there is a ~95% chance they will not be bottlenecked for funding)||$8.8 million||0 (0%)||$26.3 million||$1.0 million (3.80%)||$25.3 million|
In November 2014, GiveWell published an updated review of SCI. 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.
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.
In November 2013, in preparation for its 2013 end-of-year giving recommendations, GiveWell published a new review of SCI. 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. GiveWell also announced a "minimum target" for each of the top charities. The minimum target for SCI was 1 million USD.
In their official review of SCI, GiveWell listed a number of strengths and weaknesses. 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.
In April 2012, GiveWell published an update of SCI's activities in a blog post, while continuing to stand by its recommendation of SCI.
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. GiveWell estimates that its recommendation resulted in over $650,000 in donations to SCI in 2011.
Giving What We Can review
The Giving What We Can website rates SCI as one of its best giving opportunities, along with Against Malaria Foundation, Deworm the World Initiative, and Project Healthy Children. Giving What We Can has also published a case study of SCI.
The Life You Can Save (website)
Based on reviews by GiveWell and Giving What We Can, 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.
- "About us" on SCI website
- "What We Do" on SCI website
- "Our updated top charities for giving season 2015". November 20, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
- "Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), as of November 2016". GiveWell. November 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
Published: November 2016
- Dylan Matthews (November 29, 2016). "These are the charities where your money will do the most good". Vox. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
- Natalie Crispin (November 29, 2016). "Our updated top charities for giving season 2016". The GiveWell Blog. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- "Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)". GiveWell. June 21, 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- Stone-Crispin, Natalie (June 23, 2016). "Mid-year update to top charity recommendations". GiveWell. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- Martin, Andrew (June 20, 2016). "What we’ve learned about SCI this year". GiveWell. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- "Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)". GiveWell. November 1, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- Vimal S. Konduri (December 4, 2015). "GiveWell Co-Founder Explains Effective Altruism Frameworks". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)". GiveWell. November 1, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- Hassenfeld, Elie (December 1, 2014). "Our updated top charities". GiveWell. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- "Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) (charity review)". GiveWell. November 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- "Top charities". GiveWell. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- Karnofsky, Holden (December 1, 2013). "GiveWell’s Top Charities for Giving Season 2013". GiveWell. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- GiveWell update on SCI, April 2012
- GiveWell evaluation of SCI
- GiveWell blog post on ranking its top two charities
- Update on GiveWell’s money moved and web traffic in 2011
- "Recommended Charities". Giving What We Can. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- "SCI Case Study". Giving What We Can. Archived from the original on February 14, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- "Where to donate". The Life You Can Save. Retrieved December 3, 2014.