From the Desk of Our Executive Director
Spreading the culture of effective giving calls for promoting both sides of the extreme poverty picture: the great need that exists and the incredible progress that has been made. Together, these demonstrate why effective giving is so worth promoting: because it works! The best organizations and interventions save and improve lives in dramatic numbers.
A prime example is India, which is in a period of unprecedented opportunity, challenge and growth. Since its independence in 1947 (about to be celebrated on 15 August), the country has embarked on an ambitious journey of lifting people out of deprivation. Extreme poverty dropped from 46% to an estimated 13.4% between 2005-2015. The number of children dying before their fifth birthday was dramatically reduced between 1960 to 2017 from 4 million to 1 million. Literacy has improved from 12% in 1947 to about 74% today.
Despite this remarkable progress, poverty remains a formidable challenge. Part of the problem, of course, lies in political and religious tensions. The conflicts over Kashmir currently in the news are an example. But much of the challenge is a result of the sheer scope of the enterprise. More than 170 million Indians still live in extreme poverty, and half the population of the country—more than 650 million people—are considered poor. Hunger, untreated illness, and lack of electricity and clean water are prevalent, with 950,000 children under five dying each year, largely due to preventable diseases. India’s ability to uplift its people will be vital to realizing the world’s collective ambition of eliminating extreme poverty and to our shared global vision of improving health, happiness and prosperity for human lives everywhere.
We have partnered with Samhita Social Ventures, a highly successful Corporate Social Responsibility enterprise in Mumbai, to launch a joint initiative: High Impact Philanthropy (HIP). HIP will do the same type of work that TLYCS does, except within India. HIP is adapting the charity selection methodology to the Indian context and will curate a portfolio of highly effective charities in the areas of water and sanitation, health and nutrition, skills development and gender empowerment. They will seek funding for these organizations from corporations, high net worth individuals, foundations and retail donors to address a critical need in the Indian philanthropic ecosystem: incorporation of evidence in giving decisions.
We are excited by the progress HIP is already making, led by our talented team of Anushree Parekh, Priya Naik and Anam Vadgama. The HIP microsite is coming soon—stay tuned!
Eight of TLYCS’s charities deliver proven poverty interventions in India, including Evidence Action (see below). I urge you to read about and support our recommended charities, which do outstanding work around the globe. You can help bring us closer to a poverty-free world.
Do good. Feel good.