Summary (with our key achievements)

This is an edited version of EA Philippines’ general report for the Centre for Effective Altruism about our progress made while on a 1.20 FTE community building grant from them. We were funded by this grant from October 15, 2020 to January 31, 2022. 

EA Philippines had a lot of exciting achievements even if we did not organize a single in-person event (due to the COVID situation in the Philippines) during this period - all of our events and activities were held virtually.

You can read this report to learn more about our group's achievements, engagement metrics, target audience and composition, and what our focus areas and activities were during this grant period. We hope you find value in reading it!

These are our key achievements (in no particular order), which we split into two main categories - project incubation & advising and community building work:

Project incubation and advising

  1. We incubated a spin-off organization called Animal Empathy Philippines in Q4 of 2021. They focus on doing community building work on effective animal advocacy (EAA) in the Philippines. It was started by 3 of our key members, and they received a 1.53 FTE, $64,000, 12-month grant from the EA Animal Welfare Fund. The organization was officially launched in December 2021.
  2. We supported the creation of Makaisda, a fish welfare project of Fish Welfare Initiative in the Philippines, in early 2021. Makaisda is being led by an EA Philippines member who now works 0.75 FTE for them (as a project under the Fish Welfare Initiative).
  3. We received in August 2021 an $11,000 grant from the EA Infrastructure Fund for 8 months of 1.2 FTE salary split across me (Brian Tan), Shen Javier, and AJ Sunglao and 2 part-time research analysts to research on the top mental health charity ideas in Southeast Asia.

Community building

  1. We incubated two new student chapters (EA UP Diliman and EA Taft) in late 2020, and we now have a student chapter at each of the top three universities in the Philippines.
  2. We generated these 12 case studies of members (including two of us grantees) who’ve gotten very engaged in EA and took some significant actions based on EA principles.
  3. During the grant period, with our help, our student chapters ran a total of five 8-10 week intro EA fellowships, one 4-week intro EA discussion group, and one 7-week career planning club. A total of 126 people have graduated from the five intro fellowships.
  4. If we define an “active EA Philippines member” as someone who has spent at least 10 hours within the last 12 months engaging in any activity of EA Philippines or our student chapters, then we estimate we have 168 active members as of Jan. 31, 2022.
  5. We estimate that compared to Oct. 30, 2020, EA Philippines has ~3.6x more active members as of Jan. 31, 2022. We have had considerable growth on all EA engagement categories, mainly thanks to our student chapters and their fellowships.
  6. We ran a 9-week Effective Animal Advocacy fellowship from July-September 2021. 17 out of 23 fellows completed the fellowship, and we had an average likelihood to recommend score of 8.67 for the fellowship.
  7. We have had calls with group organizers from 11 foreign EA groups, mostly from those in low-middle income countries or Asia, who reached out to us to ask for advice about EA community building and/or other topics. We also gave 3 talks about our experience with EA Philippines and EA community building in a developing country.

We received an $89,350 grant from the EA Infrastructure Fund!

Since CEA has narrowed the scope of their CBG program, we have recently applied for and got accepted for a 2.32 FTE, 12-month grant from the EA Infrastructure Fund (EAIF)! We have received $89,350 in funding, and the following people will be funded at these FTEs:

  1. Elmerei “Elmer” Cuevas (1 FTE) as our new Executive Director
  2. Raymund “Red” Bermejo (0.5 FTE) as our new Associate Director
  3. Me (Brian Tan) (0.5 FTE) as our Associate Director (though I will only work at 0.25 FTE from May-June and 0.05-0.1 FTE from July onwards, since CEA and I agreed to increase the hours I work for them)
  4. Janaisa “Janai” Baril (0.25 FTE) as our Communications and Events Associate
  5. Nastassja “Tanya” Quijano (0.15 FTE) as our Health and Development Community Builder

We ran a private hiring round to find new community builders for EA Philippines who could apply with us for an EAIF grant. We did this because CEA showed interested to have me work for them for at least 0.5 FTE, and I started working for them as a Group Support Contractor at 0.5 FTE in December 2021. Elmer and Red were the top two candidates of our hiring round, so we just had them both apply with us for 1 FTE and 0.5 FTE respectively.

The grant will also cover our group’s general expenses for the next months. We’re very grateful to CEA for supporting us with funding for 15.5 months and to the EAIF now for supporting us with more funding.

Overview of our group

Introduction and CBG funding details

EA Philippines was founded in November 2018 by Kate Lupango, Nastassja "Tanya" Quijano, and I (Brian Tan). We made great progress in growing our community in 2019 and 2020, and the three of us decided to apply for a community building grant (CBG) from CEA back in June 2020.

We received a 1 FTE community building grant, and the grant period for that was from Oct. 15, 2020 to Oct. 14, 2021. The 1 FTE grant was to be split among us in this way:

  • 0.61 FTE for Brian Tan
  • 0.23 FTE for Kate Lupango
  • 0.15 FTE for Tanya Quijano

Later on, starting Mar. 1, 2021, CEA decided to give me further funding to allow me to increase my hours to 1 FTE for the remainder of our grant period. I also took part though in Charity Entrepreneurship’s Incubation Program, specifically their region-specific research track, in July-August 2021. CEA allowed me to reduce my hours (alongside a proportional reduction in pay) for EA Philippines to 7-10 hours per week during the full-time program. 

We then received a 3.5 month grant extension for October 15, 2021 up until Jan. 31, 2022. This is because I had less time to apply to the EA Infrastructure Fund for a renewal grant for EA Philippines, given that I started trialing and working for CEA as a 0.5 FTE Group Support Contractor. This grant extension allowed me to delay our grant application to the EAIF.

Main organizers and hours worked

These were our average FTE worked during the grant period, which totals around 1.20 FTE:

NameAvg. FTE during period
Brian Tan0.77 (31 hrs per week)
Kate Lupango0.23 (9 hrs per week)
Tanya Quijano0.20 (8 hrs per week)

Scope of the group

Currently, EA Philippines does not have formal membership criteria, nor are we a legal entity yet. However, we usually define the EA Philippines community as composed of all members of our 3 university chapters (and the participants/graduates of their fellowships), as well as people who attend EA Philippines’s events. EA Philippines’s events pre-pandemic were all held in Metro Manila, similar to a city group, but we have since only held events virtually since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Sometimes though, we also refer to EA Philippines as only the people who attend EA Philippines’s events or volunteer with us, and are not a member of our student chapters. (We understand this can be a bit confusing, so we may want to solve this in the future, such as by creating a city group called EA Manila or EA Metro Manila.)

Who we define as an active member

For CEA and others to get a sense of how many members we have, if we define an “active EA Philippines member” as someone who has spent at least 10 hours within the last 12 months engaging in any activity of EA Philippines or our student chapters, then we estimate we have 168 members.

We think it is fair and correct for us to include the members of our student chapters as active members of EA Philippines since:

  1. We see ourselves as the parent organization and as the unified community of all of our student groups
  2. We helped each of these student chapters get started and become successful, including by:
    1. Being in 70% or more of the executive board meetings of EA Blue in their 1st semester of schoolyear 2020-2021 and of EA UP Diliman in their 1st official semester
    2. Creating the syllabus they would use for their introductory fellowships
    3. Being speakers in their first 1-2 events
    4. Facilitating and helping organize their intro fellowships
    5. Providing them funding and advice
    6. Helping them find and vet co-organizers
    7. Helping them coordinate with each other (i.e. by organizing 2 virtual events for student chapter leaders)

Currently, we have 3 student groups. The data below on their number of executive board and core team members is as of January 2022:

  1. EA Blue (in the Ateneo de Manila University)
    1. They have 5 executive board members, who are all spending at least 4 hrs per week organizing for the group. They also have 6 core team members, who each usually spend at least 2 hrs per week organizing for the group.
  2. EA UP Diliman (in the University of the Philippines - Diliman Campus), also known as EA UPD
    1. They have 7 executive board members, who each spend at least 4 hrs per week on the group, along with 2 faculty advisers and 1 student adviser. They also had 5 students who volunteered for them as intro fellowship facilitators recently. They have recently recruited a number of additional core team members.
  3. EA Taft (in the De La Salle University - Manila Campus), and formerly known as EA DLSU
    1. They currently have a president, 3 core team members focused on publicity and communications, and 2 core team members working on operations. 2 founding executive board members remain in contact as student advisers, and a teacher in the De La Salle University also serves as their faculty adviser.

EA Philippines’s core team members and volunteers

Meanwhile, EA Philippines’s core team members and volunteers as of Jan. 31, 2022 was composed of:

  1. 4 “community builders” - composed of us 3 co-founders and Janaisa Baril, our communications and events volunteer who has been volunteering for us for 6 hrs per week since Dec. 2020
  2. 1 design and communications volunteer (Faith Lawas), who has been volunteering for us at 5 hrs per week since Sept. 2021
  3. 3 professionals (Elmer Cuevas, Red Bermejo, and Roc Bata) who volunteer as facilitators for our student groups’ fellowships, and Kira Chan who volunteered for our Local Effective Charity Fundraising project.

As of Jan. 31, 2022, we have around 39 people working for or volunteering for EA Philippines or one of our student chapters, whom we are grateful for. There are 11 involved in EA Blue, 13 for EA UPD, 7 for EA Taft, and 8 for EA Philippines.

Our primary target audience

Our main target audience is Philippine university students, especially those studying in the top 3 Philippine universities, who are interested in effective altruism and/or making a large social impact. We now have a university chapter in each of the top 3 local universities. Our secondary audience is professionals aged 22-35, especially those who reside in Metro Manila (the capital region of the Philippines), who are interested in effective altruism and/or making a large social impact. We focused on university students because:

  1. CEA’s strategy also focused on university students
  2. We agree with CEA’s strategy and see that these people have more time and willingness to engage with effective altruism and make career plan changes
  3. We met students who were interested to start or help start an EA chapter in their university

Breakdown of active members by educational attainment

If you’d like to know the type of people who are among our 168 active members as of Jan. 31, 2022, you can view this breakdown:

Type of Member

# of Unique People

% of Total

High School Student

10

6.0%

University Student

125

74.4%

Master's / MD Student

6

3.6%

PhD / Law Student

1

0.6%

Professional

26

15.5%

Total

168

100%

As seen above, 125 of them (74%) are university students, most of which are primarily joining the events of one of our student chapters.

Breakdown of active members by EA chapter

If we segment our active members based on which EA chapter they primarily attended events of in the last 12 months, then we get this data:

Main EA Chapter in Period

# of Unique People

% of Total

EA Blue

80

47.6%

EA UP-Diliman

50

29.8%

EA Philippines

29

17.3%

EA Taft

9

5.4%

Total

168

100.0%

Almost 50% of our active members in the last 12 months were primarily attending events of EA Blue, since they ran 3 introductory fellowships over that time period.

Our impact & member engagement over the grant period

Comparing our members’ engagement in Jan. 2022 vs Oct. 2020

EA Philippines made significant progress during our grant, even with no explicit year-long goals or objectives and key results (OKRs) at the start of our grant period, which would have been  good to have and look back against. We did this though to have flexibility on our strategy, given that the most important goals for us to achieve were still being formed and defined. As such, we only set OKRs for 3-4 month periods with regular review.

Before we dive into what things we did over the grant period, we want to first show some metrics on the EA engagement of our members.

Estimated # of active members in each EA engagement category

The chart above compares the EA engagement of our active members as of Jan. 31, 2022 to that of our active members as of Oct. 30, 2020. The definition of an active member was covered earlier. For more information on these EA engagement categories, which were made by CEA, you can view this separate document. People marked in higher engagement categories are not counted in the sums for lower engagement categories. The exception to this is the category of “Highly-Engaged EA” (HEA), which is a metric CEA introduced. Those that we counted as HEAs are also included in either the sums for category 3 or 4.

Definition of a highly-engaged EA (effective altruist)

CEA’s definition of a highly-engaged EA is someone who has taken significant action on the basis of a solid understanding of EA principles. Their best guess is that it takes spending over 100 hours to have a solid understanding of EA principles, and that taking significant action based on these involves both making a major career plan change, and whether the person has EA-related “cruxes” which would change their action. You can read more about the HEA metric and definition here.

We’re uncertain about if some of the people we’re counting as HEAs are truly HEAs, or if we should classify a couple others as HEAs too. Us community building grantees are also included in the numbers below, and we count 2 of us as HEAs (as of Jan. 31, 2022.)

As seen in the chart above, we have had considerable growth on all EA engagement categories, mainly thanks to our student chapters and their fellowships. Compared to last Oct. 30, 2020, we estimate EA Philippines has 3.6x more active members as of Jan. 31, 2022. Currently, we would love to see a further increase in the number of people at the engagement categories of 2-4. We think we can do more work to get those who are at category 1 to reach category 2-3.

Main case studies of our group’s impact on our members

To show most of our group’s impact during this grant period, here is a separate post about 12 of our group members who we think are the main case studies of our group’s impact. We think this is highly important to read if you want to understand our impact, since our case studies are a big portion of our group’s impact so far.

If you’d like to just read shorter versions of some of our best case studies, here they are:

  1. Marifel “Ging” Geronimo, a former communications associate at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and a consultant at the World Bank, left her job in NEDA in December 2021 to co-found and work near full-time (0.75 FTE) on Animal Empathy Philippines (AEP).
  2. Rochelle “Roc” Bata was a 0.38 FTE personal assistant for 1 year for the CEO of Eon V Labs, an EA-aligned x-risk organization. She is now the full-time COO of Climate Science, a U.K.-based non-profit working on online climate science education. We think Climate Science is doing EA-aligned work, and some of their content does align with the views of EAs.  She was mentored by Kathryn Mecrow-Flynn through WANBAM and has spent 200+ hours learning about EA.
  3. Pierce Manlangit is now taking a Masters in Biology in Radboud University in the Netherlands. He got an internship to do clean meat research under Mark Post in the Netherlands, and aims to have a career related to clean meat / cell ag research.
  4. Shen Javier, the former president of one of our student chapters (EA UPD), got into Charity Entrepreneurship’s Incubation Program in 2021, and plans on having a career in health and development.

All of the people above only engaged heavily with EA starting in 2019 or 2020 after joining events of EA Philippines. I included myself as a case study too, since I am now working 0.5 FTE for CEA as a Group Support Contractor since December 2021. And before this, I left my job as a UI/UX designer to work full-time on EA Philippines, which is a decision I’m really happy about.

Activities / thematic areas over the grant period

To learn what we did to grow our community and produce these case studies of our impact, we categorized our activities/projects for this grant period into the six thematic areas below. We also put below beside each thematic area:

  1. In parentheses, we put what was our estimated % of our CBG time that went into each area.
  2. We put a rough score from 1-5 on how impactful we think the area was.
    • The scores correspond to these ratings: 5 = High impact, 4.5 = medium-high impact, 4 = medium impact, 3.5 = low-medium impact, 3 = low impact. (2.5 = no impact, 0 = high negative impact, but we didn’t score anything below a 4.)
  3. We put a description of what we mainly did under each area.

Thematic areas summary

  1. Student group support (20%, 5/5 in impact)
    • Create 2 new university groups and help our university groups run high-quality events and fellowships, as well as find enough capable executive board and core team members for each group.
  2. Career advising (15%, 4.5/5 in impact)
    • Help give advice or resources to some of our members to aid in their career planning, and help them land internships, volunteer roles, or jobs at EA or EA-aligned organizations abroad or locally.
  3. Project incubation and advising (15%, 4.5/5 in impact)
    • Start or incubate projects of our own that could be high-impact and help them succeed.
  4. Local priorities research (15%, 4/5 in impact)
    • Research and figure out which causes we should prioritize discussing, promoting, and getting people in our community to work on, and what they can do (especially locally) to contribute to these causes.
  5. Community building and communications (20%, 4/5 in impact)
    • Help recruit, engage, and retain members, including those not supported by our student groups, such as through our events, 1-1’s, job board, newsletter, and online channels.
  6. Executive and operations (15%, 4/5 in impact)
    • Run EA Philippines in a structured and professional way, and make sure our member data and finances are updated and well-managed.

Below we’ll talk about our progress in each thematic area. We didn’t put as much detail in the “executive and operations” section, and put a lot more detail in the first three sections, which we think shows more of our impact.

Student group support

We achieved the following:

For EA Blue

During the grant period, we helped EA Blue:

  1. run their first 7-week intro EA fellowship (held virtually) in their 2nd year of operation (SY 2020-2021). They got 26 participants, 20 (77%) of which graduated (meaning they went to 4/7 events). They got an average likelihood to recommend score of 9.4/10 for the fellowship, out of 20 respondents. 2 of us CBGs (me and Tanya Quijano) facilitated for this fellowship.
  2. successfully recruit 7 people to join them as core team members for the 2nd semester of SY 2020-2021.
  3. run a second virtual intro fellowship, for 10 weeks from March-June 2021, using this syllabus (edited from CEA’s January 2021 Intro syllabus) with 33 applicants, 28 overall fellows, and 28 graduates (meaning they went to 6 out of 10 weeks, although there were make-up sessions for people to attend). The fellowship got an average likelihood to recommend rating of 9.25/10 (with 8 respondents) in its completion survey.
    1. Apart from helping them make the new syllabus, we were more hands-off in helping EA Blue in this fellowship and in their 3rd fellowship.
  4. recruit a new executive board (EB) of 7 people for SY 2021-2022 and 4 other core team members. (I helped design the application process, sat in some of the interviews, and helped them deliberate who to get.) Most of these EB members are now spending an average of at least 5 hours per week on EA Blue activities.
  5. run a third 8-week virtual intro fellowship from October to December 2021. They accepted 49 participants, and 29 graduated (59%). The fellowship got an average likelihood to recommend rating of 9.27/10 (with 11 respondents) in its completion survey.
  6. run their 1st ever career planning club, a 7-week program to help participants who have finished an intro EA fellowship develop their career plans. I helped them design the program. We also matched a “resource person” (usually a professional from EA Philippines or in our network) to each participant for them to have a 1-hour 1-1 call with, so they can get career insights and advice that way. They got 19 applicants (all of which were accepted), and 12 of them (63%) graduated from the program.
  7. This is the primer for the program, and the weekly program flow is here. I helped them design this program based on similar programs run by EA Stanford and EA Oxford, as well as 80,000 Hours’s career planning course.

For EA UP Diliman (EA UPD)

During the grant period, we helped:

  1. Shen Javier, who wanted to start the EA UPD chapter in Nov. 2020, recruit 3 executive board members and 2 core team members, as well as register the organization in the university. We helped her create the constitution, find a faculty adviser, and create a member recruitment strategy. I attended around 70% of their EB meetings in their 1st semester to guide them quite closely. We estimate a 75% chance that EA UPD would not have been founded if not for our work to help them, since Shen would likely not have been able to do all of these things on her own.
  2. the team organize their first intro fellowship (held virtually), which lasted 10 weeks and had 28 graduates (attended 6/10 meetups) out of the 36 accepted fellows, and an average likelihood to recommend rating of 9.43/10. All 3 of us CBGs facilitated for their fellowship, and we helped them get other facilitators too.
  3. the team have 7 executive board members for SY 2021-2022, most of which are now spending at least 4 hours per week on EA UPD activities.
  4. the team organize their second intro fellowship (held virtually too), which also lasted 10 weeks. It had 38 accepted participants and 21 graduates (55%). We were hands-off in helping in this fellowship, apart from helping them make revisions to the syllabus.

For EA Taft

During the grant period, we:

  1. supported one student to start an EA chapter in the De La Salle University - Manila Campus in Nov. 2020, by matching him with one co-organizer and encouraging him to recruit his friends as potential members or co-organizers.
  2. helped the team apply to be an official student organization of their school, by helping them find 2 faculty advisers, assign roles and responsibilities, and make plans for the organization.
  3. helped the team organize a 4-week intro to EA discussion group, which had 18 participants and 15 graduates, and an average likelihood to recommend score of 9/10.
  4. agreed with the team that they would transition out of being an official student organization of the De La Salle University, and rebrand to EA Taft (because the school is in Taft Avenue), to give them more flexibility and less paperwork to fill up, given that their school had lots of restrictions on what they can do and paperwork to fill up for each event or social media post.

Career advising

1-1’s

To generate these case studies and the higher levels of EA engagement, us community builders did a number of 1-1’s with people active and not-so-active in our community, especially those from our student groups. Most of these were related to helping people think about actions they can take to have a more EA-aligned career. 

We were not able to properly track how many we did of these though, but we estimate we did around 50-70 of these during the grant period, with most of them being around an hour long. Out of 17 calls that we got feedback for from our feedback form, we had an average call usefulness score of 6.65/7 and average likelihood to recommend score of 9/10. We hope to do more of these in the next months, since we think some of these were quite impactful to do, especially with more engaged members.

Project incubation and advising

During our grant, we also were able to advise or incubate these 4 projects, most of which we were quite involved in:

Animal Empathy Philippines (AEP)

Animal Empathy Philippines is a spin-off of EA Philippines focused on doing community building work on effective animal advocacy (EAA) in the Philippines. It was started by 3 of our key members, including one of us grantees (Kate Lupango). They received a 1.53 FTE, $64,000, 12-month grant from the EA Animal Welfare Fund in November 2021. This project was launched publicly in December 2021, and they wrote a Forum post about their organization and plans here.

EA Philippines’s Mental Health Charity Ideas Research (MHCIR)

EA Philippines received an $11,000, 1.2 FTE salary grant for 8 months split across me (Brian Tan), Shen Javier, and AJ Sunglao and 2 part-time research analysts to research on the top mental health charity ideas in Southeast Asia. We received the grant in September, and our project is from Sept. 2021 to May 2022. Our goal is to find 1-2 mental health charity ideas that would be good to start in the Philippines or a different Southeast Asian country, and that Charity Entrepreneurship would be willing to incubate in their 2022 or 2023 incubation program. Sam Hilton from CE is mentoring us on this project.

Makaisda

Makaisda is a project started in March 2021 that aims to improve fish welfare in the Philippines. It was started by 2 part-time Filipino interns at Fish Welfare Initiative (FWI), both of which are part of the EA Philippines community. One of these interns would not have joined FWI if not for their engagement with EA Philippines, and we think Makaisda might not have started without this intern’s involvement.

I (Brian) created a logo and branding for Makaisda, and provided them advice via joining around 4 of their calls and giving feedback on documents about their plans. Currently, Makaisda is still being led by Chiawen Chiang, an EA Philippines member. FWI hired her at 0.75 FTE in January 2022 to work as the project manager of Makaisda. (Previously she was just working as a part-time intern for FWI on Makaisda.) We are excited about what Animal Empathy Philippines, our mental health research, and Makaisda can achieve.

Our local charity effectiveness research

This is a part-time project started in June 2020 and led by Tanya Quijano and me (Brian), with the help of three volunteers of EA Philippines. We worked to compile this tentative list of local charities that are likely to be very effective, based on the existing research and advice of EA and EA-aligned organizations abroad, like GiveWell and The Life You Can Save. We finished writing most of the list by March 2021, and made small updates through the year. 

We decided not to publicize our list and research that widely though, since we are not confident enough about whether we should yet. We instead did some work to try fundraising for these organizations more privately, and also shared the research to the EA Philippines community. We did run a short, public donation campaign for Vitamin Angels, a charity GiveWell gave a $25,000 grant to during their Southeast Asian grant round in 2019, and has operations in the Philippines. However, we only tracked one person and one organization who donated to them as a result of our campaign, and they only donated small amounts. Although we haven’t been able to fundraise much for these charities yet, this research could help us in helping these charities fundraise or garner support in future years.

We want to note that although most of these projects sound impressive and show the “impact of EA Philippines’s work”, they are not directly causing a cost-effective improvement yet in the lives of humans or animals, and they may end up failing to do so. As such, we want to continue supporting and evaluating these projects and see what impact they create.

Local priorities research

In March 2020, I (Brian) started doing local priorities research. This was done to figure out which are the top causes Filipinos should contribute to and which career paths are the most effective for them to take to contribute to these causes. During this grant period (from October 2020 onwards), we did the following related to local priorities research:

  1. We onboarded and supervised two student interns to write a problem profile on the scale and neglectedness of mental health in the Philippines, which we published in March 2021. We also had a virtual event (recording here) to publicise the research, which had around 80 attendees, and it was one of our most attended events ever.
    1. This research was foundational work that if we didn’t do, we would likely not have gotten an EAIF grant to do our mental health charity ideas research project, or we wouldn’t be doing this project at the same quality. I (Brian) also supervised two student interns of EA Philippines to write a career guide on why and how to become a clinical psychologist in the Philippines. They finished this career guide in August 2021, but we have not published this guide publicly due to a lack of time to post it and market it.
  2. We onboarded and supervised two student interns to do research relevant for Filipinos interested in AI safety. They finished writing 2 reports - one as a career guide on why and how Filipinos can get a PhD in computer science abroad, and one on what 5 Filipinos in the field of computer science think about questions or topics related to AI safety. Both reports were finished in August 2021, but we also have not published these publicly.
  3. We also did work to launch a job board with EA-aligned job opportunities, which we talk about here below.

In hindsight, the work done on the 3 unpublished reports (1 on mental health and 2 on AI safety) might not have been a good use of time of mine (Brian). But maybe it was still good to do from a value of information perspective (that we should not spend much time supervising people to do research like this for the next year).

Aside from the work above, we also did some interviews and research to try writing a problem profile on farm animal welfare in the Philippines. We never completed this problem profile though, but it was useful research for us to do, since we got to talk to experts/professionals working on farm animal welfare in the Philippines.

Probably the more important things that came out of local priorities research though were the following:

  1. Realizing we should support the creation of cause-specific projects that Filipinos have a comparative advantage to work on, like Makaisda, Animal Empathy Philippines, and our mental health research.
  2. Realizing why and how we should tailor the cause areas and career paths we focus on in EA PH’s to be the ones Filipinos can contribute more to. Generally, we put more focus on farm animal welfare, health and development, and mental health as compared to other EA groups abroad, although we also feature EA movement building and longtermism sometimes and support some group members interested in those causes. Our “focus causes'' are featured more in our student groups’ community building, career advising, and communications, including in our intro fellowship syllabi.

Community building and communications

Event organizing

EA Philippines organized 19 of our own events (not including ones organized by our student chapters or our regular virtual coworking event) during the grant period, averaging 28 attendees per event and 1.9 hrs per event. Here’s a list of events we organized (all of them were virtual and held on Zoom):

Event Title

Date

Length (in Hrs)

Attendees

EA PH Strategy, Progress, and Socials (Year-End Event)Dec. 5, 2020226
Local Charity Effectiveness Research EventDec. 18, 2020224
Intro to Charity Entrepreneurship + Q&A with Joey SavoieJan. 9, 20211.525
WTH Foods Talk and Food-Tasting EventJan. 23, 20211.538
The Scale and Neglectedness of Philippine Mental Health Apr. 11, 20211.5~80
How to Improve the Welfare of Locally Farmed ChickensMay 29, 20212~50
EA PH + Student Chapter Leaders Sharing SessionJuly 10, 20213~20
Effective Animal Advocacy Fellowship (9 meetups)July - Sept. 2021Each meetup was around 1.5 hrs17 graduates out of 23 accepted applicants + 3 facis
EA PH SocialsSept. 18, 2021216
EA PH SocialsOct. 23, 20211.5~9
EA PH Year-End EventDec. 18, 2021230
EA PH SocialsJan. 29, 20221.511


 

We also organized regular co-working sessions on most weekdays from 2pm-4pm starting March 2021 up to the present, with an average of 4-5 attendees.

Newsletter

We have been sending out a newsletter almost every month since Nov. 2020. We’ve grown the number of subscribers from 349 subscribers to 678 subscribers over the grant period. We average around a 25% open rate and a 7% click rate. We think the newsletter is somewhat helpful to keep our community up-to-date about upcoming events, share updates about EA PH and our student chapters, link to EA-related resources, and feature EA-aligned job opportunities.

Job board

We launched a job board made via Airtable on our website in April 2021 that features EA-aligned internships, volunteer opportunities, and jobs accessible to Filipino EAs. We typically feature around 50 active opportunities at a time and update the job board monthly. We haven’t heard of or tracked anyone who has landed an internship or job because of our job board, and we’re unsure of how impactful the time we’ve spent on this is, but we think it’s still worth updating.

Social media, Slack, and website

EA Philippines has a Slack workspace, Facebook Page, Facebook Group, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and website. We launched a simple website for EA Philippines in April 2021 at effectivealtruism.ph.

As of Jan. 28, 2022, our Facebook page has 1,777 followers, our Facebook group has 553 members (with 123 of them active within the last month), and our private Slack workspace has 124 members with 31 of them currently as weekly active users. These are the main places where we post announcements.

Advising foreign EA community builders (especially those in LMICs or Asia)

We also have had calls with 11 groups/group organizers who reached out to us to ask for advice about EA community building and/or other topics. We also gave 3 talks about our experience with EA Philippines and EA community building in a developing country:

  1. Brian gave a talk to the Spanish-speaking EA community (~10 people) and to the virtual version of EA Global London (~20 people)
  2. Tanya gave a talk to ~15 foreign EAs as a speaker in EAGxPrague (virtually)

Executive and operations

To plan and coordinate among us three grantees, we:

  1. had weekly 1-hour meetings
  2. set objectives and key results every 3-4 months, and evaluated our progress on them
  3. had our student chapter leaders and our core volunteers fill up a weekly updates document. Here’s a template for that. (We found this to be quite useful and fun.)
  4. use Asana to track some of our projects, and which we have our student chapters use too. We are now on a paid plan on the EA Hub Teams Asana.

We also write below two things we did that helped us in managing our group, and that we created templates for:

Airtable CRM

I made an Airtable CRM for EA Philippines in mid-2020 (before the start of this grant). In late 2020 (during the grant period), I then turned it into a template Airtable CRM for EA groups here. I shared this with other EA groups on the EA Groups Slack, and at least 2 other EA groups have duplicated it and found it useful.

Budget and expenses tracker

We made a new budget and expenses tracker on Google Sheets for EA Philippines to use, and 2 of our student chapters use a similar version too. Here’s a link to the sample tracker.

Future plans

Here is a separate post about our tentative plans for the next 12 months.

If you have any feedback or questions about this report or EA Philippines, feel free to comment them below. You can also email them to me at brian@effectivealtruism.ph or to team@effectivealtruism.ph. We’re grateful for the support the EA community has given EA Philippines, and we hope to keep contributing to the growth and impact of the movement!

This report was written by Brian Tan, with input from Tanya Quijano, Red Bermejo, Elmerei Cuevas, Kate Lupango, Janai Baril, and some of our student chapter leaders. Thanks also to Rob Gledhill for his feedback on this report.

Total time spent on this report: ~25 hours.

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Glad to see EA PH's progress! Truly a valuable resource for other EA groups of similar demographics.