New Incentives

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▲ Photo by New Incentives

New Incentives saves lives by increasing routine childhood vaccination uptake in Nigeria using evidence-based tools like conditional cash transfers. It’s one of the world’s most effective global health charities. We recommend supporting New Incentives based on cost-effectiveness analysis by GiveWell.

The World Health Organization estimates that 23 million children under the age of one did not receive the most basic childhood vaccines in 2021 — the highest level in over 10 years. The good news is that the world has made great progress in reducing the deaths from vaccine-preventable causes in the last few years (see chart below). Nonetheless, there are still 1.5 million deaths a year from vaccine-preventable diseases. Getting vaccines to more people would help to prevent these deaths.

The problem is especially acute in Nigeria, one of the world’s fastest-growing countries. To illustrate, consider the following visualization of global pneumococcal vaccine coverage, where Nigeria ranks among the lowest in the world:

The data are no better for other childhood vaccinations:

New Incentives_Reduction-of-child-deaths-due-to-vaccine-preventable-diseases-2019.png

To tackle the problem of vaccine-preventable deaths, New Incentives uses evidence-based interventions like conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to increase the rates of childhood vaccinations in Nigeria. In addition to CCTs, New Incentives also supports outreach to caregivers and works to improve vaccine supply. They operate largely in remote and poor parts of northern Nigeria, with very low rates of childhood vaccinations. In their own words:

"In partnership with local government partners, we provide small cash transfers to caregivers when their infants receive each of four vaccines: BCG (against tuberculosis), PENTA (against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b), PCV (against pneumococcal disease), and MCV (against measles). These vaccinations are part of the routine schedule for infant immunizations in Nigeria and are provided at no cost to the caregiver through government-supported clinics."

New Incentives is one of GiveWell’s top-rated charities, and one of our top recommendations for saving a life. New Incentives implements a programme with strong evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness and has strong, thorough monitoring processes in place to ensure that its CCT programme reaches the intended participants and that other aspects of its programme run smoothly. Its success is documented in part by the results of a 2017-2020 randomized control trial (RCT) on the intervention (learn more about the evidence behind New Incentives on their website). We estimate that New Incentives is more than 10 times as effective as direct cash transfers.

With additional funding, New Incentives plans to expand to reach an additional 2 million infants by the end of 2025. This will require nearly $53 million dollars.

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