[ Question ]

Help in choosing good charities in specific domains

by Conundrum 1 min read20th Feb 20207 comments

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I'm wondering if you could help me with providing some source or a way to choose some charities to donate to.

I've watched Peter Singer's lecture on effective altruism the other day. I did some thinking and some research. Still, it's not so easy to find the charities that focus on specific issues I care about and at the same time are measurably effective.

The 3 main areas I'd like to focus at the start are:

1. Increasing access to birth control and contraception.
2. Work on sex education, health education, and general education, mostly for women.
3. Animal welfare.

I already have some potential charities (for 1.) or evaluation websites (for 3.) for some of them.

But I still couldn't find potential charities for 2.

Also, for 1. I found these charities:

Population Services International. https://www.psi.org
Marie Stopes International. https://www.mariestopes.org
Guttmacher Institute. https://www.guttmacher.org
International Planned Parenthood Federation. https://www.ippf.org
Population Matters. https://populationmatters.org
Population Action International. https://pai.org

From the above, I've so far only seen PSI, Maries Stopes International recommended as "best" or at least evaluated and. Do you know of any good charities that would fit this domain that have been evaluated?

Also, I couldn't find evaluated charities from the second topic (education, mostly for women). Do you know of any?

My lack of knowledge stems mostly from my being new to the topic, probably. But if you could give any pointers, I would be very much grateful.

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3 Answers

Charity Entrepreneurship is incubating new family planning and animal welfare organizations, which will aim to operate via principles of effective altruism - potentially relevant to your interests.

Hi, you might be interested in some of our research at Founders Pledge! Specifically, you might like the charities we recommend in our cause reports on education and women's empowerment.

It sounds like you would be interested in the work of Development Media International. Their work was well-evaluated, and they are a recommended charity by GiveWell and TheLifeYouCanSave.

Development Media International runs large-scale media campaigns in low-income countries via radio, television, and mobile video. They work with local broadcasters to create informative and engaging programming that focuses on maternal and child health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, sexual reproductive health, and early childhood development.

Also, you may want to consider the fact that some of the most cost-effective interventions on improving general education may seems to have little to do with education itself.

Take deworming program as an example, deworming was probably the most cost-effective method of improving school participation! At a cost of $3.50 US dollars per additional year of school, it's certainly far more effective than many conventional programs like teacher-training, or providing school uniforms etc. (For a better explanation, check out this TED talk).Relating to your interest in education for girls, another research found that women who received deworming treatment as girls are approximately one quarter more likely to have attended secondary school, halving the gender gap.

While it might be difficult to find charities working directily in education that are as effective as GiveWell's recommended charities, effective health interventions can improve education greatly. Although the eductaional effect of other health programs are not as well-studied as that of deworming, I think it would be reasonable to expect some most effective health programs to bring similar benefits.

If you would like to improve education of poor people, you should also consider donating to effective charites working on global health.