The Programs We’ve Identified Are Linked Below

Programs identified as having the most credible evidence of effectiveness, based on careful review in consultation with outside experts, are categorized as “Top Tier” or “Near Top Tier” (see sidebar for definitions). The other listed programs have been found promising but not yet Top Tier or Near Top Tier due to study limitations (such as only short-term follow-up) that underscore the need for additional testing prior to larger-scale implementation. As a nonprofit philanthropic foundation, we receive no financial benefit from any program, enabling us to serve as an impartial reviewer of the evidence.

Near Top Tier Child Immunization Campaign with Incentives (Monthly immunization camps in poor Indian villages, combined with small incentives for parents to have their children immunized – e.g., a $1 bag of lentils): Randomized controlled trial shows a major increase in childhood immunizations.

Near Top Tier Teacher Performance Pay in India (A low-cost performance pay program for primary school teachers in rural India): Randomized controlled trial shows sizable increases in students’ math, language, science, and social studies achievement over a two to three year period.

Chlorine Dispenser System (Placed next to a spring or well where families get drinking water, the system adds the correct amount of chlorine to kill illness-causing bacteria): Randomized controlled trial shows a large, sustained increase in the percent of households whose water tested positive for chlorine.

Primary School Deworming Project (Provides low-cost drugs to children in Kenya to eliminate parasitic worms): Randomized controlled trial shows sizable positive impact on children’s health and school attendance.