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Presenting: 2023 Incubated Charities (Round 1)


We are thrilled to announce the launch of four new nonprofit organizations through CE February/March 2023 Incubation Program.


The 2023 Round 1 incubated charities are:


  • Animal Policy International - Ensuring animal welfare standards are upheld in international trade policy

  • Ansh - Empowering mothers to save newborn lives by building healthcare capacity for adoption of Kangaroo Care

  • Healthy Futures Global - Preventing mother-to-child transmission of syphilis through testing and treatment

  • HealthLearn - Providing the world’s best online training to health workers in developing countries

Two more organizations got started during the program, but are not officially incubated by CE. These organizations are:


  • The Mission Motor - Building a more evidence-driven animal cause area by training and supporting organizations to use monitoring and evaluation to improve the impact of their interventions

  • Upstream Policies - Driving responsible fishing practices by championing bait fish prohibition


The February/March 2023 program focused on global health and animal advocacy. CE Seed Network provided $590,000 in grant funding to kickstart the interventions.


new charities in detail


ANIMAL POLICY INTERNATIONAL



Co-founders and Co-Executive Directors: Mandy Carter, Rainer Kravets

CE Incubation Grant: $110,000


Description of the intervention


Animal Policy International is working with policymakers in regions with higher levels of animal welfare legislation to advocate for responsible imports that are in line with domestic laws. By applying equal standards, they aim to advance animal welfare in exporting countries with lower levels of animal welfare.


Background of the intervention


There are significant differences between farmed animal welfare standards across the globe, with billions of animals still confined in factory farms. Due to a lack of protective measures, even regions with higher standards (like the EU, the UK, Switzerland and New Zealand) tend to import a significant portion of their animal products from countries where animals experience significant suffering.


The countries with higher welfare standards can apply their norms to imported animal products by restricting access to low-welfare animal products that would have been illegal to produce domestically. By doing so, this can incentivise farmers elsewhere to increase their standards to maintain their access to existing supply chains.


A law restricting the importation of low-welfare products provides a unique win-win opportunity for both animal advocates and farmers in higher welfare countries, especially in New Zealand, the first country of operation. Some farmers are facing tough competition from low-priced low-welfare imports, and are demanding more equal standards between imports and local produce. This issue is especially pertinent since New Zealand’s decision to phase out farrowing crates on local pig farms by December 2025.


Near-term plans


Starting in mid-June, Animal Policy International will spend several weeks in their first country of operation, New Zealand. They will focus on establishing connections with government officials, industry groups, and NGOs. The plan is to gather information that will help them improve their intervention approach.


They will also:

  • Publish evidence to support their ask, by producing and distributing a policy brief

  • Conduct a public opinion poll to begin to build evidence of public support for a ban

  • Conduct research on the legality of import restrictions

  • Monitor developments in other promising countries, establish key contacts, and develop a response plan

Predicted impact


A law restricting the importation of low-welfare animal products in New Zealand could save approximately 8 million fish per year from suffering poor living conditions, transportation, and slaughter practices, spare 330,000 pigs from cruel farrowing crates, and 380,000 chickens from inhumane living conditions. Furthermore, successfully introducing the law in a single country could set a positive international precedent that could help achieve similar wins in other regions, and improve the lives of millions more globally.


Cost-effectivenessExpected cost-effectiveness is ~7 animals helped per dollar in the first country, New Zealand. In the welfare points (WP) system the impact is 36.46 WPs per charity dollar.


Room for more funding in 2023: $51,000. At the moment they have enough funds to last around nine months on a lean budget. Additional funding means they would be fully funded for the first 12 months, allowing them to focus all their efforts on executing the intervention until March 2024. It would also allow them to hire a local contractor at additional hours, and spend more time in-country networking with stakeholders to improve and speed up their work, increasing their impact.


ANSH



Co-founders: Supriya Bansal (Director of Research and Partnerships) and Chetan Kharbandan

Website: ansh.health

Email address: supriya@ansh.health, chetan@ansh.health

CE Incubation Grant: $130,000


Description of the intervention


Ansh builds healthcare capacity to provide “Kangaroo Care”, an exceptionally simple and scientifically-proven treatment to avert newborn deaths. This intervention aims to be as cost-effective as GiveWell’s top charities.


Background of the intervention


In 2020, an estimated 2.4 million children globally died within the first month of their lives. India alone accounted for 22% of these newborn deaths. Around 80% of neonatal deaths happen in babies who are born with a low birth weight, which makes it the leading risk factor for mortality among children under five years of age.


A simple solution has the potential to significantly reduce these deaths: placing low birth weight infants directly onto the parent's chest for skin-to-skin contact, an intervention known as Kangaroo Care. Kangaroo Care entails not only prolonged and continuous skin-to-skin contact, but also exclusive breastfeeding and close monitoring of the infant.


Kangaroo Care has been shown to reduce mortality by around a third (compared to standard care using electric incubators) and reduce morbidity from common conditions like hypothermia. KC has also been shown to help reduce mortality from severe infections like sepsis, and help newborns gain weight.


However, adoption barriers for Kangaroo Care in LMICs, such as India, persist. These include insufficient equipment, a shortage of human resources, and a lack of privacy within healthcare facilities. Many of the target healthcare facilities even lack the infrastructure for conventional standards of care (i.e., electric incubators), further amplifying the potential impact of Kangaroo Care in low-resource settings.


Ansh’s approach is both direct and cost-effective: repurpose existing hospital spaces to facilitate Kangaroo Care, provide essential equipment like infant weighing scales and cloth binders, and expand capacity by training and hiring health workers dedicated to teaching and monitoring Kangaroo Care for mothers in the wards.


Near-term plans


Ansh plans to move to India by the end of May and start building strong partnerships with the state government and partner NGOs. With the help of advisors, identified experts, and context-specific stakeholders (which will include nurses, beneficiaries and administration staff at public health facilities), they will refine their intervention and make it context-specific.


During this time, they will also develop a well-defined M&E strategy, and start setting up in public facilities. This will include training for healthcare workers, providing equipment such as curtains, infant weighing scale and cloth binders, and potentially hiring Kangaroo Care support staff.


Within the next four months, their goal is to launch a fully functional pilot in one district of a top-priority state, and start supporting parents to provide Kangaroo Care to their low birth weight babies.


Predicted impact 70-105 neonatal deaths could be prevented in the first year of operation in India.


Cost-effectiveness Ansh estimates that, in the first year of operation, they can save a life for less than $2500 in one district in India, averting a DALY for just $48 (10x-12x direct cash transfers). At scale, they could save a life for less than $1500, averting a DALY for just $26 (19x direct cash transfers).


Room for more funding in 2023: With $70,000 more in funding, they can cover all public facilities in one Indian district. This would allow them to build higher quality evidence for running this charity at scale, and potentially meet GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness standards once their pilot is operational.



HEALTHY FUTURES GLOBAL



Co-founders: Nils Voelker and Keyur Doolabh

Email address: info@HealthyFutures.Global

CE Incubation Grant: $190,000


Description of the intervention:


Healthy Futures Global works to test and treat pregnant women for syphilis. This stops syphilis transmission from mother to child, and prevents newborn deaths, stillbirths, and disability.


Background of the intervention:


Mother-to-child transmission of syphilis causes 60,000 newborn deaths and 140,000 stillbirths each year, making it the second leading cause of stillbirths. Babies that survive can have lifelong disabilities, including cognitive impairment, bone deformity, and liver dysfunction. Despite this, many pregnant women globally are not tested for syphilis.


Healthy Futures will boost antenatal syphilis testing by utilizing the established screening infrastructure for HIV. Thanks to HIV rapid tests, global HIV screening rates during pregnancy are high. Newer rapid tests, approved by the WHO, can detect both HIV and syphilis. Healthy Futures will help governments shift to using these dual tests, and help them treat syphilis cases with penicillin. This reduces the chance of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis by 97%.


Near-term plans:


From mid-May, they will spend two months in the most promising countries they have found - the Philippines (starting May 24th) and Tanzania (starting June 18th). They will use that time to build relationships with government officials and potential partner NGOs, as well as to refine their intervention approach.


They then plan to pilot the syphilis dual tests and penicillin treatments in about three antenatal clinics over seven months, before lobbying and assisting the government to roll out the dual testing country-wide. This could include drafting updated clinical guidelines, coordinating procurement with manufacturers, providing training materials for health workers, and helping governments secure institutional funding.


Predicted impact 127,000 - 207,000 DALYs averted in their first country


Cost-effectiveness 9-11x more cost-effective than cash transfers


Room for more funding in 2023: $65,000, to allow them to operate in nine extra antenatal clinics, test another 3,600 pregnant women, and avert another 375 DALYs in their first year.


HEALTHLEARN



Founder: Marshall Thomas

CE Incubation Grant: $130,000


Description of the intervention


HealthLearn trains health workers in developing countries with simple, mobile-optimized, case-based online courses. Through recent courses developed by their team, they have already proven that they can train thousands of health workers in Africa with high completion rates and strong learning gains. They will use these online courses to teach straightforward, knowledge-based practices that save lives, starting with newborn care and moving on to many of the leading causes of readily preventable deaths.


The learning experience is inspired by Duolingo: rather than passively watching videos, health workers actively engage by answering questions and receiving feedback on realistic clinical cases. Our analyses show that this approach, applied to newborn care, has the potential to be highly cost-effective. By teaching best clinical practices that address the most common causes of preventable deaths, HealthLearn can become a new tool for strengthening health systems in developing countries.


Background of the intervention


There are millions of newborn deaths every year; some of these deaths are easily averted when health workers implement up-to-date clinical practices. For example, studies show that waiting at least 30 seconds to clamp and cut the umbilical cord at birth prevents 32% of preterm newborn deaths. If delayed cord clamping were universally implemented, it would avert over 140,000 newborn deaths annually. In many cases, these recommended approaches are simpler and cost less than current practices. Unfortunately, life-saving clinical recommendations are often “trapped” in dense guidance documents, so we still live in a world where many health workers don’t provide up-to-date care because they aren’t aware of current best practices.


According to a recent report by GiveWell, training facility-based health workers to provide better care at birth reduces newborn deaths by 33%; such training may be among the most cost-effective health programs known. HealthLearn have recently developed and piloted a new approach to train health workers online with simple, engaging, case-based courses. They aim to apply the same approach to other topics, starting with newborn care, to create a new, cost-effective way to upskill health workers and lower the burden of readily preventable deaths.


Near-term plans


In the next year, they will test key uncertainties in the HealthLearn model by piloting a newborn care course, training ≥1,500 health workers in one country in Africa. They will measure uptake, knowledge gains, and improvements in clinical practice. They will use what they learn to either pivot or accelerate towards a rigorous evaluation of the impact of HealthLearn at scale.


Cost-effectiveness GiveWell’s research suggests that in-person health worker training is in the range of cost-effectiveness of the charities that it currently funds. When operating at scale, HealthLearn estimates a cost of $6 - $43 per DALY averted (>15X cash transfers).


How you can help

  • Volunteering: Experienced full-stack engineers, public health professionals, and technology business executives can help HealthLearn maximize its impact and chances of success.

  • Connections: The HealthLearn team is looking for partner organizations that work in primary health centers and are eager to test out innovative training approaches.

  • Funding: With an additional $32,000 in funding in 2023, they will be able to launch a larger-scale evaluation of the impact of HealthLearn on health worker clinical practices. This would begin to address one of the biggest uncertainties in the HealthLearn model. Additional funding would also allow them to support in-person site visits to the primary health centers where HealthLearn is piloted, which should increase their impact and decrease the cost per life saved.

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