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GHD charity additionalities & alternatives
Wellbeing Growth


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Always remember that impact is achieved through direct work...

Even in emerging economies, impact needs funding. (Effective) donations are not mentioned in the post. However, they should be quite central, because of

1) Solidarity: Even little privileged people in EA in LMICs should keep solidarity with large donors: everyone is giving up some 'next level' comforts, compared to their norm. Whether that is the smaller Tesla or walking for the hour every day.

That personal commitment can make the community a yet more honorable place to be a part of.

2) Impact: Not only "[s]mall donors can sometimes beat large donors in terms of cost-effectiveness,[1]" for example by identifying the 1 in 10,000 children who would have died from malaria in a community with or without nets and buying them the $4 treatment, but also they can show/test paths for more cost-effective donations.

This will make dialogues with large donors very fruitful, as both parties[2] will be bringing their very significant comparative advantages.

3) Change leverage: People who are invested in finding yet better ways of caring for others whose issues they connect with should enjoy greater community approval than those who waited for instructions and received funding to advance others' solutions.

People who could be supported in scaling up programs will be the ones who sincerely care. This is necessary for a change to happen.

4) Solutions pressure: For many relatively privileged people in LMICs, it can be common to support many others. For example, it is possible to meet even 5 begging children trying to gain attention every day and donate to some. If one is spending others' funding, they may seek to just gain the $1,000 GiveDirectly transfer for each of them, which is unrealistic given the scale of poverty.

If one is spending their own funds, they may think twice about a sustainable yet affordable program that would make a decisive impact for the children.

We think it is unlikely that new EAs in LMICs will find comparable charities to existing GiveWell’s recommended charities, particularly in middle income countries. Existing charity evaluators are probably better suited to do this work.

On the other hand, engaging in some charity evaluation efforts can be formative for some EAs to help them internalize cost effectiveness evaluation and prioritization. 

The post suggests to start with values and methodologies used by prominent Western institutions[3] and conduct evaluations of local situations only after these values are internalized.

This can lead to value imposition.

Rather, one can start with local values or value systems and develop/refine/discuss methodologies for their measurement. This can enrich the discourse on the meaning(s) of 'good.'

Some resources on values presented by local scholars and their measurements include  this paper on measuring Ubuntu, this "Buddhist perspective on measuring wellbeing and happiness in sustainable development," and this page on broad values in Hinduism.[4]

The key can be to discern which values are truly held by the people vs. presented by a scholar but not held as well as which are internalized based on own decisions vs. based on conformation to a previous or an external standard.

  1. ^

    I interpret, here, small and large donor as an average-income person in a LIC and a HIC.

  2. ^

    I am imagining a person who had only $4 to donate in a month and someone who had $4,000 speaking about effective ways of saving lives. I am not stating a LMICs vs. HICs dichotomy.

  3. ^

    based on the presumed origin of the frameworks in the post and the resources sheet

  4. ^

    People in different contexts in LMICs (and HICs) can be better informed on various quality values-measurements resources.

While I agree that FTX.com has more than enough experience negotiating deals objectively, I also think that this decision considers the fear that CZ is creating.

This is because as long as FTT gains value after Binance's sell (due to speculation), then there is no need to agree to the deal. Whether FTT gains value is influenced by investor sentiments.

The deal with Binance shows that SBF does not expect FTT to appreciate after Binance's sell. This would be the case when fear is associated with FTT. This is what CZ is creating.

Based on this line of reasoning, it is not necessary to agree to the deal with Binance, if one can mitigate the fear being caused by CZ.

Market price manipulation is illegal, so, technically, CZ cannot do anything besides influencing investor sentiments. One can argue that mitigating CZ's ability to threaten can be the key here, because that is the only effective strategy to keep FTT value high.

One way to mitigate one's ability to threaten is disclosing their techniques, such as deliberate motivation of negative emotions by appeal to biases, possibly using Twitter bots, etc.

On one hand, ignoring Binance's offer had to be already thoroughly considered by FTX.com. On the other hand, introducing an external motivation to find a solution by 'making CZ sincerely contribute' or ignore him could improve the sentiments around FTT value and thus resolve the problem.

Thank you. This actually makes a lot of sense. The farming improvements (although could be different in different areas and studies) are astounding. For example, One Acre Fund increases farmers' annual income by about $100 or 50%, for the cost of about $25/farmer in 2021. Bednets have an equivalent nominal impact for about a fifth ($5) of the price.

Sidenote: the lower % improvement suggests that AMF serves relatively affluent farmers (with average annual incomes of $633 ($76/12%*100%), which can have twice to five times the real value) (unless the $76 is real value).

The agricultural productivity can increase because people are less sick and more productive. Also people could have a greater capacity to seek better farming practice information, livestock could be less ill (if bednets are used to cover livestock), and fishers could have better equipment.

Also, children could be able to help with chores rather than occupy parents or older siblings to care for them. Reduced treatment spending can be also substantial. Assuming that malaria treatment costs $4 and a bednet prevents 2 cases of malaria per year, then a family with  5 children (who would be treated if they get malaria) can save $40/year, which can a substantial proportion of their income.

In terms of attendance, bednets can have limited effects (about an additional week of school per year?).

In Kenya, primary school students were considered to miss 11% of the school year (20 school days missed per child per year) due to malaria, while in Nigeria the figure varied between 2% and 6% of the school year (3 to 12 days per year per student). Kimbi et al. (2005) estimated that in the Muea area in Cameroon, 53 out of 144 (36.8%) malaria-infected children lose 0.5 to 14 days of school (averaging 1.53 schooldays). (Thuilliez, 2009)

That is about 10 days/year. If a bednet prevents half of the cases, that is 5 days or a week.

The impacts on enrollment can be relatively larger due to the increased farming income and reduced treatment cost if education expenses are substantial. For example, if education costs $100/year, then an additional child can be educated. If education expenses are close to zero, then malaria does not affect enrollment.

The quality of education or its relevance to employment is not directly addressed but can be addressed indirectly by enrolling a child in a better (higher paid) school.

Reducing mortality can have positive impact on savings and investments due to the reduction of funeral costs, which can constitute a large proportion of a family's annual income.

I am not familiar with the research on long-term health improvements. I imagine that early treatment of cases that would be more severe, especially for young children, is a key factor. Prevention reduces the rate when this would be needed.


Ah hah hah, yes, it is "net-positive life" but perhaps not life quality. Let me show you some of these videos:

People in a slum, possible abuse and neglect in spousal relationships, FGM, FGM and family, some parents decide that their child cannot live, and sending family members for life-long shrine work.

These are just arbitrary examples that show abuse, neglect, and addiction, mostly from countries that AMF does not operate in. It is possible that similar situations exist in some areas of countries of AMF operation.

The argument that in these situations, people can feel worse than if they were dead.

On a positive note, there are also very chilled environments where lovers get married as well as officials who support consideration based on reasoning.

Although currently you do not consider life quality factors, you could use these factors to put pressure on governments to advance legislation and governance that prevents dissatisfied lives, such as by banning FGM, forced marriage, or ritual servitude.

Even if additional measures are needed to improve life quality, considering these factors can be a statement that AMF, a large player, communicates. Implementing an somewhat sophisticated metric (such as a weighted average with some exponents) can engage officials in calculating what legislation and agreements would net them the most nets (haha), rather than using blame or other negative motivation to achieve the same result.

Preferring life satisfaction (or its proxies) statistics and expert estimates can have positive effects on governance/institutional decisionmaking of AMF partner countries and regions, such as the development of government networks of people familiar with the concepts (and interested in the improvements) of life quality measures and the government's interest in quantifiable impact.

Not to bother you anymore, but if a government decides to give its 1 million nets to its worst slum and leaves the people who seem to have all they need (except maybe bednets) uncovered, that's actually equally great as vice versa, and better if malaria rates in the slum are 10% higher than those in the countryside, because more children will be able to survive and people will have more for daily spending. Right.

a) While in formal writing, there are specific formats of citing others' citations, in this context, I decided to link the report directly, alongside with this comment thread that reads

I added the 4.5 value from the 2019 World Happiness Report also cited by HLI.

In this comment, the HLI's Estimating moral weights page (with the footnote) to which I referred several times in this thread is not referenced, because I assumed that those who read this thread carefully are already familiar with the page and those who are quickly skimming do not need to be distracted by that link.

I am keeping in mind that this is the Change Our Mind contest. Citing HLI could be read as an intent to convince GiveWell to implement HLI's framework, which they are familiar with, by repetition. WHR allows readers to form and update their opinions based on data which does not intend to change GiveWell's mind. Thus, WHR can change the mind of an evidence-based decisionmaker better.

Further, historically, GiveWell has used top statistical evidence to make its recommendations. WHR enjoys similar level of comprehensiveness as RCT-based research, while HLI's research is more speculative. Thus, WHR can allow GiveWell to change their mind more consistently with its fundamental values than HLI's research.

b) I have not checked the Report, but rather deferred to HLI's standards of citing statistics. I reviewed some papers cited by HLI and did not find inconsistency (other than the vague sample size interpretation as further above in this thread). This can be understood as a form of a spot check.

Nevertheless, I searched for the statistic in the 2019 WHR. (I used the search function for "4.5" and "Kenya".) "Kenya (4.509)" is cited as the value on p. 29 of the WHR pdf (pp. 26–27 of the document). I added the page reference.

This actually leads me to the methodology of the WHR. It seems like 'happiness' is a function of (pp.  26–27):

  • GDP per capita
  • Social support
  • Healthy life expectancy
  • Freedom to make life choices
  • Generosity
  • Perceptions of corruption
  • (Constant)

Although this can cover many aspects of happiness, other factors which could influence this metric (including by changing its sign), such as the normality of abuse or parental acceptance/rejection, do not seem to be included. WHR 'happiness' can thus measure governance quality and public cooperation rather than seek to understand intended beneficiaries' quality of life. However, further research is needed.

I also added a note on the interpretation of this metric.

This will all else equal favor consumption and growth interventions over lifesaving measures (though of course there are many other considerations in place).

Yup, assuming causality.

[D]oubling consumption corresponds to a 0.42 increase in the life satisfaction score ... Our ‘wealthy’ households had an
average life satisfaction score of 4.3, while the ‘poor’ households had an average life satisfaction of 2.8. (p. 42) ... Stevenson and Wolfers (2013) finds a lower coefficient of 0.25 among lower income countries (p. 41)

I would be careful about simply increasing consumption and growth. More marketing (including that which highlights negative/abusive cultural aspects) could enter areas where identities are otherwise based in emotional navigation of relationships, which can be understood as deeply satisfying (these identities would be lost with increased societal attention paid to current globally competitive marketing).

Perhaps, this would start from an income level that would not be reached even with income doubled a few times, but, considering very affordable products, the Belt and Road Initiative, and growing marketing analysis and capacity in rapidly growing countries in Asia, growth without co-interventions can lead to an increased consumption of 'aggressively' marketed products, which may not increase one's life satisfaction.

This paper on cultural combination ('syncretism') from the South African University of Pretoria. There is little on the possibility of 'disturbing' pictures or arguably sexist bias-based and objectifying/physically judging advertisements becoming popular among some people. It is unlikely that the people affected by the marketing (even non-customers) would be interacting with humans of different cultures (but rather see the ads which do not respond to human emotional expressions).

People could be reporting an 'objective' life satisfaction, based on status portrayed in the ads, without emotional introspection. It is possible that they would not report dissatisfaction, because that would mean decreased competitiveness, which, based on some advertisements, could be associated with one's vulnerability or undesirable situation/identity. This is just a hypothesis. 

Also, the lives of the poorer persons can be worse because of the norms that they grow up in (for example, threatening of neighbor's life for $3, sending children to work or beg from a very young age, defaulting on a group loan, ... vs. going to different neighbors for humble meals weekly, trying to put children through school, vetting microfinance firms and contemplating the EV of an income-generating asset lease).

The argument is that if you increase the (for instance) children's who grew up begging income, it does little for them because of their upbringing (it may be difficult for them to form enjoyable relationships because they are used to a lot of unwelcomingness). A better approach would be education in locally relevant skills so that they can be (considering the situation) welcome since a young age.

An alternative thinking is that the people who had limited opportunities when they were young would be super grateful for the improved opportunities and will educate their children so that they do not experience low life quality rather than approaching them as people would approach a begging child (illustrative example of gratitude of situation improvement - actually life saved - from an island I've seen). This suggests that the present adult generation should be targeted with consumption increase programs rather than children educated. Saving lives, at least by caring individuals sincerely interested in the saved people, can be actually also valued.

Still, at least some budget should probably be allocated to the "other considerations," just to make sure that it is not that, for example, men who beat their wives and women who would perpetuate the normalization of beating are not just going to get more colorful washing baskets with 'women overpowering men by using the product' for the women. I argued similarly here.

The 4.5 is footnote 30 in the HLI summary.

Detail possible inaccuracy:

IDinsight asked an SWB question in their beneficiary preferences survey; those surveyed in Kenya had an average life satisfaction score of 2.3/10 (n = 1,808, SD = 2.32 ).

While the total study sample size was 1,808 (which is also what the SD refers to), in Kenya 954 respondents were surveyed.

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