Evidence. Action. Now.

Evidence Action bridges the gap between “what works” and implementation at scale.

Dear World,

We are Evidence Action.

Our goal is to reduce the impact of poverty so that people around the world can have better opportunities and live more prosperous lives.

Our vision is to do this in the most cost-effective way possible, scaling up proven interventions to create the biggest bang for your invested buck.

Why am I, as the CEO of Evidence Action, writing to tell you this today? Because your understanding and support make our work possible.


Our work is centered in our commitment to following the evidence and making a measurable impact. Our name defines our approach to development:

Evidence: Data and measurable impact are the core of our approach. We identify evidence-based interventions that work and find ways to scale them to impact millions. We only invest in the most cost-effective interventions that will make the largest impact, supported by data and where the need is greatest.

Action: Poverty doesn’t wait. We touch nearly 200 million lives annually in our mission to reduce the global burden of poverty — and we’re just getting started. We’ve been able to achieve a wide reach in just four years because we believe in taking action, from start to finish.

These two principles can be seen in our flagship programs, the Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water. Each program is scalable, measurable, and cost-effective.

According to the WHO, 844 million people worldwide do not have access to an improved water source. That’s more than 1 in every 10 people. Dispensers for Safe Water bridges the gap between accessible water and safe water. The intervention places chlorine dispensers in public water access areas, with each dispenser serving on average 167 people. We’ve helped over 4.8 million people gain access to clean water across Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi. This September, USAID’s Global Development Lab honored Dispensers for Safe Water in their Million Lives Club for its wide impact. The cost for one dispenser is less than $1 per person.

Over 835 million children are at risk for worm infections. These parasites are detrimental to the health, well-being, education, and long-term economic future of nearly 44 percent of the world’s children. In 2016, our Deworm the World Initiative successfully supported the deworming of 201 million children across Vietnam, India, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia. The program aims to support the WHO objective to provide deworming coverage to 75% of all at-risk school-age children by 2020; supporting this achievement is not only doable, but can be done cost-effectively: the program’s average cost per child for deworming is less than 50 cents across the five countries we operate in.


I want take a moment to speak to how we are able to have such a cost-effective impact at scale: Evidence Action Beta.

Reducing the burden of poverty requires strategic, new ways of thinking and investing during the early design and testing stage. Beta functions to identify, design, test, and implement new ways to help those living in the world’s poorest places reach a better standard of living. We think of it as a pipeline that filters interventions through layers of rigorous criteria to ensure cost-effectiveness, impact and scalability. After these interventions pass through Beta’s pipeline, we put them into action at scale to impact not just hundreds, but millions of lives.

A perfect example of this is our No Lean Season project. The people of Bangladesh experience seasonal poverty every year, between the harvest and planting new crops. The initial project design encouraged individuals to migrate to areas for temporary work so they could sustain themselves throughout the ‘lean season’.

Beta partnered with the original researchers to rigorously scale up this intervention. The pilot found that by investing in the migration of a single individual, the beneficial effects were extended to the rest of the household. Beta took this pilot and is currently pressure testing it with different operational models to produce a more cost-effective intervention that could increase the scale of impact while maintaining the beneficial effects for the entire household. That’s how Beta innovates, rigorously measuring for effects at large scale and looking for ways to cost-effectively amplify the reach of a single intervention.

Through Beta, we scale up interventions to help millions living in the world’s poorest places reach a better standard of living. Through our established programs, we provide cost-effective, impactful interventions that actively work to change the status quo each year.


While our successful outcomes are clear, keeping our values in mind throughout the process of reaching them is paramount.

Evidence matters to us. We track every dollar donated, so we know where it goes. When you donate a dollar (or a million), we want you to know who you’re helping and what you’ve contributed to.

We iterate, again and again. We take lessons learned into account when moving forward.

We challenge convention. We identify what works and test it to make sure it’s the best option for the largest amount of people. We approach development from a quantitative view, taking into consideration potential years of life lost due to poverty-related causes, the impact on the productivity of a population, and the tangible ways in which we can cost-effectively intervene to have the largest impact.

Lastly, we all have a passion for what we do. We are inspired by the ability to point to the positive results of our efforts and the stories from those we impact.


With any non-profit, your contributions matter. But with Evidence Action, we want you to see why your contributions matter in the most tangible way possible.

I see this platform as an opportunity to speak directly to these questions. From describing our focus on measurability, to defining our rigorous scaling process, to explaining why we see ourselves as a ‘best buy’ in development, we aim to create a space to discuss the values and principles that inform our organization’s approach to development.


Our road to success has begun to take shape, but there is more work to be done.

If you would like to join us on our mission, please reach out. We partner with researchers every year to bring their proven interventions to millions of people. We work with governments to support programs that alleviate the burden of poverty on their people. We collaborate with other organizations to amplify our efforts. We engage with our supporters to help them see the impact of their contribution.

I am thrilled to be a part of Evidence Action, to be among the people who work tirelessly to carry out its mission, and to bring together those looking to support our endeavors. I look forward to our future together.


Kanika Bahl