Effective Altruism gets results. ODFL measures the impact of every project. But not all projects have the same metrics. The impact of a classroom is measured differently from the impact of a medical clinic, or a water well.
The point is not to have the same measure, but to have an appropriate, and accurate, measure, and to apply it carefully to evaluate outcomes. Here are some exemplary impacts measured from 8 different kinds of ODFL projects in 8 different countries.
Cows in Kenya
An orphanage in Nanyuki, Kenya had 120 children, but no protein to feed them. A California middle school raised $1,300 for two milk cows. We had one of the cows artificially inseminated. The cows will produce milk for eight years. So, (120 children * 8 years) = 960 child years. So, ($1,300/960) = $1.35.
We are providing 120 Kenyan orphans protein every day for $1.35 per child per year.
Birthing Centers in Nepal
Nepal has one of the highest rates of maternal neo-natal mortality (women dying in childbirth) in the world. ODFL builds birthing centers in remote areas, close to deliveries, with trained mid-wives, modern technology, and sanitary equipment. The centers provide pre-natal, birthing, and post-natal care to all birthing mothers.
According to the Nepal Ministry of Health, we are reducing the number of mothers dying in childbirth by more than 90%, and the number of babies dying by more than 95%.
Medical Clinic in Myanmar
In Mandalay, Myanmar, a Buddhist temple is providing food, clothing, shelter, and education for 230 street orphans. But there was no medical care. ODFL funded a medical clinic. Locals are funding an RN to staff it. The clinic cost $5,000 and will last for more than 20 years. So, (($5,000)/(230 *20)) = $1.09.
First-ever medical care for 230 orphans over 20 years for $1.09 per person per year.
Classrooms in Nicaragua
The 15 de Septiembre school in Matagalpa, Nicaragua had 450 students but only 3 classrooms. Over two years, ODFL helped build thee more classrooms, while refurbishing the entire school. The project cost $28,000. The classrooms will last 30 years. So, (($28,000)/(450 *30)) = $20.74
We are providing quality classrooms for students for $20.74 per student per year.
Water Well in Malawi
The village of Manyesa has 5,000 people. They only grew one crop, when the rains came. If rains didn’t come, people starved. ODFL helped drill a well, reaching enough water to grow a second crop. It will last 10 years. It cost $12,500. So, (($12,500)/(5,000 * 10)) = $0.25.
We doubled the calories available for 5,000 villagers for 25 cents per person per year.
Girls’ Equality Project
As many as 50,000,000 adolescent girls drop out of school every year because they have no way to deal with their periods. ODFL’s Girls’ Equality Project provides such girls with washable sanitary pads. The pads cost ODFL (but not the girls) $5 and last for three years.
We are helping thousands of girls stay in school for three more years for $5 per girl, or $1.67 per girl per year.
Books in Yucatan
The 6,500 residents of the villages of Toox, Ixil, and Cholul in the Yucatan only spoke Toltec. A California high school raised $5,000 to buy 850 library-quality books for grades K – 10. A literacy cooperative is helping the people learn to read Spanish. So, ($5,000/6,500) = $0.76.
We’re helping 6,500 Toltec-speaking Mayans learn Spanish for 76 cents per person.