This post provides a starting point for newcomers to the intersection of global development and effective altruism. It contains resources and organisations that may be useful for further research. If you think there is a useful resource missing feel free to add a comment.

 

Introduction to Global Development and EA

The global development and effective altruism community (partially located in the Facebook group) is a subgroup of effective altruism, and shares the EA movement’s emphasis on doing the most good we can.

There is no set of beliefs you must subscribe to but we are committed to productive dialogue which includes constructive criticism, making good-faith arguments and visible attempts to understand others' points of view. The Centre for Effective Altruism has a set of guiding principles that are a useful framework to follow.
 

Introductory Resources


Getting Involved

There are multiple ways that we can take action to reduce suffering around the world. This will generally be some combination of the following:- donations, career, volunteering and consumption choice.

 

Donating

Donating is usually the simplest way to take action but it can be useful to understand the context of individual giving within global development. The vast majority of money that is spent on the poorest in the world is usually national government spending in their own countries (~$2 trillion/year). This is followed by remittances to low and middle income countries (~$500 billion/year), then international aid from other countries (~$200 billion/year), then donations from foundations and individual giving. EA related donations in global development are around $100 million a year. Effective altruism has mainly been seen as a way to help individuals give more effectively, as governments and foundations already have resources to evaluate impact.


Key Principles

GiveWell have an overview of their key principles when deciding where to give;

 

Charity Evaluators

If you don’t have time to research possible charities to donate to, the easiest way to donate to EA vetted organisations is via GiveWell, The Life You Can Save (TLYCS) or the EA Fund for Global Development. GiveWell has a high standard for evidence and selects a small number of charities, TLYCS has a slightly lower bar for evidence and recommends more organisations. The EA Fund has a more experimental approach and can fund interventions that could be impactful even if there isn’t strong evidence. This is closer to a hits-based giving approach.

 

Recommended Charities

The below charities are sometimes recommended by the organisations above, but is not an exhaustive list of charities that could have impact. Most of these are health related as there is a higher evidence base but there are potentially many more organisations in other areas that have a larger impact.

 

Donating Efficiently

GiveWell also has links to other organisations if you want to give a tax deductible donation and you’re based in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany or Australia.

 

Further reading on choosing interventions

There is a lot of conversation in global development spheres on how to decide what the most impactful interventions could be, below are a few resources that might help if you’re interested in diving into those topics.


 

Career Choice 

Another way to have a large impact is with your career, the most obvious way might be to directly work in global development at a non profit. But it’s also possible to have an impact working in government, business and academia.

 

Learning More & Staying Up To Date

Books

Websites & Newsletters

Online Courses


 

Volunteering

Where to volunteer will depend on your goals for volunteering, if you’re looking for career capital different organisations will be more useful than if you want to connect with your local community. If you want to have an impact on global development 80,000 Hours have a short article looking at some heuristics to use.

In summary they are;

  • Volunteer for cost effective, labour constrained organisations
  • Use your skills
  • Don’t do replaceable tasks
  • Volunteer your enthusiasm

Other resources

 

Organisations

Below is a non exhaustive list of EA related organisations in the global development space

 

Other Causes

A lot of the links above focus on health interventions but there are many areas to have impact in global development, potentially in ways that are harder to measure and thus have less attention. Below are some areas that could be worth further investigation.


 

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