Evidence Action

We measurably reduce the burden of poverty for hundreds of millions of people... and we have the data to prove it.

Washington, DC   |  www.evidenceaction.org

Mission

Evidence Action scales proven, rigorously evaluated development solutions to benefit millions of people around the world.

We fill the gap between knowing “what works" and having impact at massive scale. We work according to the following principles:

· Only scale interventions whose efficacy is backed by substantial rigorous evidence;
· Target cost-effective interventions that can improve the lives of millions;
· Identify innovative, appropriate financing mechanisms;
· Build best practice operational models;
· Voraciously self-evaluate, learn and improve our models for scaling.

Evidence Action's two flagship programs are Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water, serving a combined 40 million people in Southeast Asia and Eastern and Southern Africa.

Ruling year info

2013

CEO

Kanika Bahl

Main address

P.O. Box 65480

Washington, DC 20035 USA

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Formerly known as

Alethia Solutions

EIN

90-0874591

NTEE code info

International Health Development (Q39)

International Economic Development (Q32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Evidence Action was founded to address a big gap in the fight against global poverty, where many of the most promising evidence-based and cost-effective interventions are either implemented at a very small scale, or not at all. Our organization aims to be a world leader in identifying and scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty. This is why, in addition to continuing refinement of our Deworm the World and Dispensers for Safe Water programs, we are working through our Accelerator to select, optimize and scale interventions that can measurably improve the lives of millions of people in the world’s poorest places.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Dispensers for Safe Water

Dispensers for Safe Water delivers free and reliable access to safe water for more than 4 million people in rural Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi.

In rural parts of low-income countries, most water sources are untreated, meaning that water is not safe to drink directly from the source. Our uniquely-engineered chlorine dispensers are installed next to commonly-used water sources, enabling people to treat their water using a safe and pre-measured dose of chlorine. The chlorine stays active for 2-3 days, ensuring water doesn’t get recontaminated even when stored at home. Adding diluted chlorine to water is a WHO-endorsed approach to improving water quality.

Dispensers for Safe Water is a cost-effective solution - just under $1.50 delivers safe water access to one person for an entire year. In 2020, our program averted over 428,000 cases of diarrhea among children under 5, one of the main causes of childhood mortality in the countries where we operate.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Children and youth

Deworm the World Initiative helps governments launch, scale, and sustain school-based deworming programs. Over 868 million children globally are at risk of contracting parasitic worm infections. If left untreated, infections can lead to anemia, malnourishment, and impaired development—ultimately affecting children’s educational outcomes and income as adults. Our program helps governments deliver free deworming treatments to children at schools instead of placing the burden on families to obtain it.

Independent rigorous research, including by Nobel Laureate Michael Kremer, shows that deworming leads to significant improvements in nutrition, cognition, school participation, and future earnings. For less than $0.50 per treatment, children are freed from worm infection, improving their health and enabling them to attend school regularly. Since 2014, we have helped governments provide over 1.3 billion treatments and continue to support deworming in India, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Evidence Action Accelerator is our engine for new program development that selects, optimizes, and scales interventions with the highest potential to measurably improve the lives of millions of people in the world’s poorest places. Each intervention considered by the Accelerator must undergo a multi-stage process of program development, taking it from an evidence-based concept to a fully-developed solution that can be replicated in multiple geographies. We look for three critical aspects during the assessment process: rigorous evidence, cost-effectiveness, and potential for scale.

We are currently accelerating two promising health solutions: working with the Liberian government to detect and treat maternal syphilis, with the aim of preventing thousands of child deaths and disabilities each year; and supporting the Indian government to improve the distribution of iron and folic acid supplementation to millions of children and adolescents to treat iron deficiency anemia.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Children Dewormed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Deworm the World Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Carbon Credits Generated

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Dispensers for Safe Water

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

More detail at http://dispenserdata.evidenceaction.org

User Adoption

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Dispensers for Safe Water

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our adoption rate is on average 50%. Updated numbers can be found here: http://dispenserdata.evidenceaction.org/#/?_k=w0lh7x

Cost per person

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Dispensers for Safe Water

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

Cost per person served (MLE 2020)

Number of child deaths prevented

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Dispensers for Safe Water

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CE 2020

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We seek to address poverty on the same mass scale at which it exists, by building programs that scale evidence-based interventions, measurably reducing the burden of poverty for hundreds of millions of people, and giving them a chance to reach their full potential.

By 2024, we seek to double our impact. We are strengthening and expanding our existing programs, and working through our Accelerator to identify a new generation of evidence-based and cost-effective interventions that we can scale to reach millions more.

To achieve this goal, we are pursuing three strategic objectives:

Impact at Scale: Strengthen the cost-effectiveness and impact of our Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water programs, and scope opportunities for expanding these programs within existing geographies and to new countries.

Next-Generation Programming: Through our Accelerator, launch, scale-up, and scope potential expansion of our Maternal Syphilis program; increase coverage in India and scope new countries to scale our Iron and Folic Acid supplementation program; and identify two new programs through our New Program Development process that can be tested at scale.

Arcs of Influence: solidify Evidence Action’s value proposition and identify opportunities to increase our thought leadership in the sectors we operate.

Cost Effectiveness: We estimate and measure the cost-effectiveness of our programs at all stages of their development. First, cost-effectiveness analysis informs our selection of programs, serving as a key criteria in early-stage program vetting and evaluation. Second, we use cost-effectiveness analysis to inform the implementation of at-scale programming. Through rigorous analysis, we are able to identify the cost and impact drivers of our programs and focus our efforts on the key levers that help minimize costs while maximizing impact. We feed this quantitative data back into our decision making processes, allowing us to make evidence-informed decisions in real time. Finally, we use cost-effectiveness analysis to rigorously measure and communicate the impact per dollar spent of our organization. We have a perfect 100/100 Encompass Rating by Charity Navigator in Impact & Results, and our programs have been recommended for several years by GiveWell, an independent charity evaluator, and The Life You Can Save for cost-effectiveness.

Monitoring and Evaluation: Our global Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation (MLE) teams work closely and collaboratively with program teams in all countries where we operate to develop rigorous and fit-for-purpose research, monitoring, evaluation, and analysis using real-time program data collected from the field. These MLE outputs drive the decision-making of program teams and support their operations. The strength of MLE lies in the service-oriented, client-based approach to delivery; commitment to quality and innovation in delivery of all outcomes; strong technical and managerial competencies across delivery teams and leadership; and a high level of collaboration across the team.

Our significant accomplishments since our founding in 2013 are the result of the hard work of our staff, strong relationships with our partners, and support of our donors. They include:

We operate in 7 countries across the globe and positively impact the lives of over 280 million people per year.
We have helped governments to deliver over 1.3 billion deworming treatments since 2014, at a cost of less than 50 cents per child per treatment.

We have installed and regularly maintain over 27,000 chlorine dispensers, ensuring access to safe water for over 4 million people, and averting over 2.2 million cases of childhood diarrhea since 2016.
We launched two new programs under the Accelerator: Maternal Syphilis and Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation.

When programs that we are testing for their impact and cost-effectiveness don’t measure up, we discontinue them - ensuring that our efforts and resources are put towards the most evidence-based and cost-effective interventions. We communicate openly and transparently about our decisions, as in the example of No Lean Season.

By 2024, we plan to double our impact, measurably improving the lives of hundreds of millions of people and leading the way in evidence-based, cost-effective international development.

Third-party recognition:

Charity Navigator awarded us with a perfect Encompass Score of 100/100 in all its rated categories: Impact and Results, Finance and Accountability, and Leadership and Adaptability. ​

GiveWell has rated our Deworm the World Initiative as a ‘top charity’ every year since 2013.​

The Life You Can Save, founded by leading moral philosopher Peter Singer, features Evidence Action on its list of best charities in the world.​

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Our programs are dedicated to improving the lives of millions of vulnerable people across Africa and Asia. Our Dispensers for Safe Water program provides safe water access to over 4 million people in rural Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi who are often beyond the reach of existing infrastructure. Since 2014, our Deworm the World Initiative has helped governments deliver over 1.3 total deworming treatments to children at risk of intestinal worm infection in six countries. Our Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation program helps the government of India deliver a treatment to prevent iron deficiency anemia to over 13 million children and adolescents since 2019. Since 2021, we have helped the government of Liberia improve the quality of prenatal care for women at risk for maternal syphilis.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Our program teams take steps to understand the feedback we receive from those we serve in order to make adjustments that will enhance the effectiveness of our delivery. For example, in our Dispensers for Safe Water program, teams plan community meetings with residents and volunteers, providing a forum to address questions that arise as people learn to use dispensers. Our teams organize such meetings in response to feedback indicating the need to review steps for proper dispenser use, to address questions about chlorine safety or reports of misinformation, as well as questions about choosing when to chlorinate water and for what purposes. Over time, this responsiveness has helped us to improve adoption rates and also evolve the design of our dispensers for more intuitive and durable use.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Our Dispensers for Safe Water program teams periodically collect feedback from the communities we serve to measure the performance of the program and to determine if we should conduct any corrective measures. A recent example was a trial intervention we implemented to improve the morale and engagement of our community-elected volunteers. From feedback received, we learned that over the years many of them forget their training and get demotivated. As a result, we tested periodic refresher training programs with small incentives, like program-branded t-shirts. The feedback was positive, with significant improvements in performance and morale among the volunteers.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Evidence Action
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Evidence Action

Board of directors
as of 10/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Amrita Ahuja

Amrita Ahuja

Douglas B. Marshall, Jr. Family Foundation

Jinu Koola

United States Treasury

Dina Pomeranz

Harvard Business School

Sam Taylor

Fidelity

Christina Riechers

Square

Shikhar Ghosh

Harvard Business School

John Gianola

CGMA

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data