What have we set out to do?
Fortify Health’s founding team received initial funding from Charity Science, with the aim to set up an iron and folic acid fortification initiative that may eventually meet GiveWell’s rigorous standards for the most effective charities. The first few months involved: setting up operational systems, reading literature on supplementation and fortification, developing a knowledge base, talking to fortification experts, pinpointing several potential approaches, and selecting a project location.
In December 2017 we committed to proceeding in India, and in January conducted a country visit to learn more about how we can contribute to the fortification landscape there. We dedicated February 2018 to refining our approach to fortification in India and working on project proposals for donors. In June 2018 we received a Givewell Incubation Grant, fully funding our budget for the year, and allowing us to continue setting up a micronutrient initiative in India.
What makes us unique?
Our uniqueness stems from the unusual absence of restriction to working in a specific location or to adopting a specific approach in fortification; we have no strict donor requirements to adhere to and, therefore, we are able to be as adaptable as needed in the process of setting up an organisation. Our motive is to find a niche or neglected area within micronutrient fortification, either in terms of geographical location or approach, and to direct resources there.
We are newcomers channeling in-demand resources to an intervention area we believe to be especially high-impact. The flexibility we have to implement where the need is greatest, rather than according to strict donor regulations, allows us to focus our resources almost anywhere we believe they could be used most effectively to help others. Should our first year of implementation demonstrate success and receive ongoing support from the effective altruism community, we may be uniquely positioned to scale the project so that the impact can reach many more people.
Throughout the startup process, we have been receiving strong mentorship from Joey Savoie, CEO and Co-founder of Charity Science: Health, who runs an organisation in India founded with similar goals to have a scalable and evidence-based impact on health.