This is an excellent example of a powerful advantage EA/Non-profit has over non-EA/for-profit in that we all (in theory) have the same goal - to make the world a better place thus we can play a positive sum game, leveraging collaboration, coordination and reducing duplicating work.
Zero or negative-sum games are also IMO a broader societal problem that we need to put effort and work into fixing, so we should at least be cooperating with EA.
There is also something to be said for growing the pie or that the pie is already big enough to be shared with all, defo in the camp that EA should be a lot bigger and less elitist.
Awesome initiative, excited to read some of the entries. I hope this can be a springboard for higher levels of involvement and activate individuals and writers or writers to be in Africa.
Also, I think what could also go far in getting more African and other less represented individuals (in EA) to participate and engage more in the international EA space would be a funding pool/assistance specifically for getting individuals to conferences, there can often be issues with visas and funding.
EA Animal Welfare fund does ask on their application form about counterfactual funding, IE "If we don't fund you will anyone else fund you?/what would happen if we don't fund you" of course as an org it can be hard to know if you'll get funding or not so in some sense you're being speculative when answering this question
I suppose the realistic effect is you may donate let's say an additional 1 month of runway to the org, therefore the org applies for 1 months less funding from EA Animal Welfare next time round, and that money then flows through to the next best opportunity EA Animal Welfare would fund, so the effect may be thought of as additional money going to the worst/borderline EA Animal welfare grantee, at least that would be my speculation in this situation
Really important work, thanks for posting, looking forward to your continued outputs!
It's a complicated question, I think in the animal movement there are a variety of different "Pathways to Victory" and ongoing debates on what the most effective solutions are.
Realistically though your donation is counterfactually going to go further in neglected geographies so it may be worth looking towards Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Beyond that, you have your animal cause area (Wild, Farmed etc), intervention type (Direct help, Lobbying, Movement Building, Research, Education and so on), and stage of the organisation. Then, maybe, you're adding how talented and how much you trust the founders/staff and organisation.
So basically you're playing mix and match with the above based on what you think is effective.
Some Ideas:https://www.animalallianceasia.org/ - Asian capacity building, are starting a regranting program, so could see what effective orgs there are in Asia through them.
https://www.animaladvocacyafrica.org/ - African capacity building, we're looking to regrant in 2023 and have a funding gap for it, I'm a co-founder so am slightly biased! (Orgs to look at in Africa)
https://www.sinergiaanimalinternational.org/ - Doing work In Latin America and Asia (I'm least familiar with south America as a region) but could be a good touchpoint to find effective programs there.
https://funds.effectivealtruism.org/funds/animal-welfare - If you don't know where to give or want to evaluate this is a great bet, they fund a lot of early work that probably wouldn't happen without them
https://animalcharityevaluators.org/donation-advice/ace-movement-grants/ - Imo they have improved their granting and evaluation criteria recently, I think now an EA is a primary evaluator (but not sure), it's not perfect but I think it's a lot better than it historically has been
https://kafessizturkiye.com/ - Turkish org doing cage-free, I've met the founder, and he is a great advocate
Just some orgs/areas I'd be looking to if I were to donate, but it strongly depends on your personal and moral thoughts on what works and what doesn't. For example, I'm more interested in meta, movement building orgs as I believe we're quite early stage to ending animal agriculture, but there are tons of other different types of organisations as well, like fish/shrimp welfare, Animal Ask, alt protein, Cage-free movements like THL and so on.
I believe they are largely tractable, there's a variety of different intervention types (Policy, Direct work, Meta, Research), cause areas (Alt Proteins, Farmed Animals, Wild animal suffering, Insects), organisations and geographies to pursue them in. Of particular note may be potentially highly tractable and impactful work in LMIC (Africa, Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe)
I will say animal welfare is a newer and less explored area than global health but that may mean that your donation can be more impactful and make more of a difference as there could be a snowball effect from funding new high-potential intervention or research.
If you are quite concerned about traceability, perhaps you could consider donating to organisations that are doing more research or meta-work to discover more tractable interventions
Either way, it's not entirely clear and highly depends on your philosophy, risk tolerance, knowledge and funding counterfactuals.
Great post, not something we often see discussed. I think it's unlikely to take off because it's hard for EAs to sympathise, EA often becomes a purpose. What if we circulated something like this book around as a "Guide" for people to find their purpose - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38452905-the-pragmatist-s-guide-to-life
Great post, should have more upvotes IMO, don't see many people thinking too much about this.
Thoughts on Correlations:
Too much money comes from Tech and Crypto - We should diversify EA funding into pharma, energy, healthcare, transport etc (We could do this by encouraging E2Gers to go in this direction, there are also direct impact opportunities here).
Too much focus on non-profits and not enough focus on for-profits and entrepreneurship - I've gotten more sold on for-profits recently, why? The self-reinforcing mechanism of your product funding itself can create a flywheel effect allowing for scale as fast as the possible and pushing impact that is uncapped by funders. It's worth noting SBF was EA from the start - we should seed the next 5 SBF's to cover the other 5 (and growing) cause areas of EA.
Too Much Risk Aversion - We play by the rules too much and play it safe often, I think the iterative and empirical approach is great, we have a lot of that stock in our Portfolio as EA, what I think we do not have is that ~10% of our portfolio allocated to high-risk high reward projects. I'd like to see a culture shift into larger risk-taking and more status, money and awards for failures.
Too much stock is put into specific individuals and entities' opinions and takes - at the end of the day one person's opinion is just that, in EA as has been previously written about there is a large culture of deference and referencing. Individuals should be encouraged to think for themselves and reduce their level of deference - IMO EA has a bad culture on this front, what are the real chances 80+% of people would come to a specific conclusion on their own (which often happens in EA).
I'm highly sympathetic to this. Informational asymmetries likely account for a lot of harm worldwide, and there are plenty of informational arbitrage opportunities.
I suspect this gap may be closed by something like a combination for GPT-3 like AI and a recommender app as mentioned in the post. Seems like something worthy to pursue and could work well as a for-profit model too. (Interesting to think how much good Google has done in the world with search, docs, sheets, meets and so on).
It's also worth considering how "bad" google can be these days, with website owners and companies optimising for SEO to make money. I often pine for the ability to talk to my phone and for it to intelligently talk back, make recommendations and take notes based on how I use it and in general be an excellent PA and life planner, but it's not.
Really interesting post, I think this kind of macro thinking and overview is sorely needed.
I agree with the improving forecasting, realistically what we should do is model out chances of success as you have done here with weights and then allocate our resources accordingly IE.
For example, if lab-grown meat is 50% then we should weigh this with 50% of the resources and so forth, I'm pretty sure this is currently very out of alignment, and unfortunately influenced by funder preferences and so forth.
thanks for the insightful post.