I have been interested in EA for quite some time but up until now just sticked to donating and haven’t actively worked on a project so far.
Now I recently stumbled upon an idea based on the fact that more and more people in extreme poverty have access to their own smartphones as they are getting more affordable. The idea is basically as if GiveDirectly and DonorSee had a baby which is an app that connects donors and people in need directly that allows them to communicate via chat and audio/video call so they can get to know each other and become friends and enables donors to send money directly to his match through the app which uses the the mobile banking systems prevalent in many African countries to send the money to the recipient like GiveDirectly does.
Through this direct personal connection between the donor and the recipient the empathy gap that Peter Singer describes in “The Life You Can Save” could be closed as they know each other way better than they currently do as there would be no intermediaries in between them which currently limits communication capabilites.
I sketched out a small prototype of what the app could look like from a donor perspective to make the idea more tangible: https://xd.adobe.com/view/893ef196-163e-43c5-8202-e9b75436ebc6-dc6d/
What are your thoughts on this? How disappointed would you be if such a charity app never existed?
This is a neat idea. I would recommend testing it out by finding say 10 GiveDirectly donors who'd be willing to try this and matching them to donees, using spreadsheets as needed, without making the app first.
This sounds interesting. One worry I have would be preventing any kind of exploitation of recipients in exchange for support.