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A shallow overview of the EA & global development ecosystem.[1]

There isn't one large EA & GD ecosystem, it is mainly individuals considering their own path to impact, with minor coordination amongst people who are part of the wider network and closer coordination amongst groups in a couple of areas (effective giving/charity entrepreneurship).



  • GD & EA newsletter - updates covering a variety of topics relevant to broad global development
  • GD & EA LinkedIn group - for anyone that has an interest in GD topics and can help people find each other who share that interest
  • EA Forum Global Health & Development Topic/Wiki
  • For global development professionals ( including think tanks/government/for-profit orgs/academia/finance) there is an EA & GD Slack. Currently there are ~200 members - you can apply using this form
  • For GD professionals based in London there is also a WhatsApp group to help coordinate and arrange monthly meetups,  message me for details[2]


Global Development Ecosystems

Effective Giving 

  • 57 organisations, including a few that evaluate impactful giving opportunities and others that only focus on fundraising 
    • There is one full time organiser to help with info sharing and connections between these orgs
    • GWWC support incubation of early stage effective giving initiatives
  • Givewell raised ~ $600 million in 2022 (the latest date I could find figures for, and includes OP giving ~$350m[3])
  • Other effective giving orgs in 2022 raised ~$103 million (for most of those orgs this isn't specifically for global development, although I wouldn't be surprised if 50%+ was allocated to GD)
  • For 2023 the data is incomplete but so far ~$157 m was raised by non GiveWell orgs


Effective Charities

  • There are several charities recommended by evaluators, most of them founded before EA existed and usually have funding outside of EA
  • Charity Entrepreneurship helps found charities attempting to be good enough to get recommended status
    • They also help the alumni network of charities and incubatees with connections, events and ongoing support


Foreign Aid

  • $211 billion was spent on international aid in 2022 by member states of the Development Assistance Committee - a collection of 32 donor countries
    • There are debates over how much actually counts as aid, and it doesn't include aid from countries outside of DAC
  • Open Philanthropy spent $16m on global aid policy in 2022 and 2023. They are aiming to -
    • Increase international aid budgets (and reduce cuts)
    • Increase funding to especially impactful programs
    • Spur cross-cutting improvements in existing programs
  • Sam Anschell recently wrote about his experiences working on OP's Global Aid Policy program
  • There are individuals who work in a variety of foreign aid departments who have an interest in EA ideas
  • Probably Good with a post looking at careers in aid policy & advocacy


Development Finance/Impact Investing

  • There are many multilateral & bilateral development banks, aiming to promote economic development, provide long term financing and stabilise the global financial system
  • It was hard to find out how much money was moved in development finance (and a lot of it is loans) but it is probably in the hundreds of billions
  • There are some EA interested people working in development finance but very rarely are they connected to each other or the wider EA & GD network
  • Similarly with impact investing, there are a few people but often not connected


Startups/Private Sector in LMICs 

  • The most well known success story is Wave, a mobile service provider that allows unbanked people in Africa to access financial services.  They estimated that the company saves people in Senegal over $200 million every year—or around 1% of that country's GDP
  • There isn't a similar level of EA support for people in the private sector/startups compared to the charity startup network 


Academic Research/Think Tanks/LMIC governments

  • Similar to the private sector and development finance, there are individuals interested in EA in all these areas but either disconnected or loosely connected with others interested in EA


Innovation/Metascience/Progress Studies

  • Open Phil supports some of these areas via their Innovation Policy and other programs
  • There are a few organisations in the progress studies area but I haven't seen much coordination outside of Twitter and Emergent Ventures conferences
    • Progress Forum, Roots of Progress, Works In Progress, Emergent Ventures, Institute for Progress
  • Metascience is a larger network of organisations and have a yearly conference


Meta EA & GD

  • Research
    • Giving What We Can
    • Rethink Priorities
    • Charity Entrepreneurship
  • Funding
  • Career Advice
    • Probably Good
    • 80,000 Hours has some research on GD related careers and provides some career advising to people interested in these careers, but not as a main focus
  • CEA
    • From data at conferences I've attended, EAGs have roughly 3-6% of attendees[4] who are development professionals and between 10-25% of attendees have an interest in global development (Roughly 16% at EAGs and more variable at EAGx events)
    • The newsletters, virtual programs and EA Forum also have some development related content
  • Open Philanthropy
    • Open Philanthropy spent ~$400 million on global development related causes in 2023
    • In 2022 OP spent ~$333 million on global development related causes
      • $232m - GiveWell recommended charities
      • $33m - Scientific research
      • $23m - Other/meta global development (CGD, CE, Policy Cures research,GiveWell operations)
      • $11m - Global public health policy
      • $11m - Innovation, land use reform, immigration, economic policy
      • $10m - Regranting Challenge
      • $9m - Global aid policy
  1. ^

    This post is not attempting to cover all of global development, which includes tens of millions of people working and several trillion dollars in money moved each year. Mostly from national government spending in their own countries, followed by remittances, then foreign aid (and not including private sector spending that helps people, which could be in the trillions)

  2. ^

    If you have other relevant resources, let me know and I can add them

  3. ^

    Which is more than OP spent on all GD in 2022, but maybe includes grants from late 2021 or early 2023

  4. ^

    Based on self reported Swapcard data at 5 EAGs and 6 EAGx events, professionals having 5+ years of work experience

  5. ^

    Some of the grants made related to scientific research were made via other program areas





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