GiveWell names Sightsavers ‘top charity’

November 2016
A group of children hold hands in a circle in a school in Uganda, with a backdrop of lush green hills.

Sightsavers is proud to have been named as one of seven ‘top charities’ by charity evaluator GiveWell for its work on treating children for parasitic infections, a process also known as deworming.

The announcement from GiveWell, a non-profit organisation that conducts in-depth analysis to find and recommend outstanding charities to donors, comes as #GivingTuesday kicks off around the world.

The elimination and control of five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), some of which cause severe disfigurement and disability, is a core part of Sightsavers’ work in 24 sub-Saharan African countries.

Sightsavers is being recommended by GiveWell to scale up its deworming programmes to distribute treatment for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths (STH), as part of integrated NTD programmes in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria and Guinea Bissau.

GiveWell deems the deworming programmes we support as having a “strong track record and excellent cost-effectiveness”. We were also endorsed because of our standout record of transparency.

Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper said: “Our NTD programmes, which include deworming and treating several disabling parasitical infections, are incredibly cost-effective.

“Sightsavers is working towards eliminating a number of NTDs in line with the World Health Organization’s NTD roadmap and last year we supported the delivery of 142 million treatments. Where possible this was as part of integrated programmes treating several diseases together.

“We are very excited to have been rated so highly by GiveWell. Working with them will allow us to have even greater impact for affected communities in Africa – both by scaling up existing programmes and expanding our reach with new ones.”

There is a significant need for such programmes, with one in seven people worldwide suffering from NTDs. This group of diseases affects the world’s poorest, most marginalised, and most remote communities.

For GiveWell’s full report on Sightsavers, visit

Watch our video to learn more about our work across Africa and Asia.

For every £1 we receive, including donated supplies, 91% goes on our vital charity work

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More about our programmes

A woman crouches in a stream using a bucket to collect water in Nigeria.

What are intestinal worms?

Intestinal worms, also called ‘soil-transmitted helminth infections’ or STH, are part of a group of parasitic and bacterial conditions known as neglected tropical diseases.

A volunteer places medication in a man's outstretched hand.

What is schistosomiasis?

Schistosomiasis, known as bilharzia or ‘snail fever’, is a neglected tropical disease caused by parasites released by freshwater snails.

Children in Malawi queue up to have their eyes checked by an eye health worker.

Neglected tropical diseases

Find information about NTDs, a group of 17 parasitic and bacterial infections. Some of them can kill, and others can cause physical impairment, including blindness.