Yale-affiliated program in Bangladesh named a top charity

A wooden sign with the Bangladeshi flag painted on, with a forest in the background.

A program that protects families in rural Bangladesh from seasonal income insecurity — established in collaboration with Yale economist Mushfiq Mobarak — is among the world’s most cost-effective anti-poverty interventions, according to charity evaluator GiveWell.org.

The program, No Lean Season, is a new addition to the website’s annual list of top charities, which identifies effective charitable organizations based on evidence of their impact per donation.

No Lean Season offers no-interest $19 loans to poor, rural families in northern Bangladesh to pay for round-trip bus fare. This enables families to send a migrant to cities to find temporary work during the lean season — the period between the planting of rice crops in August and the January harvest — when jobs are scarce in the countryside and food insecurity is widespread.