GiveWell

2399Joined Dec 2018

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56

[This was originally posted as a response in the wrong thread - I've deleted the incorrectly placed response.]

Hi, David,

Thanks for tagging us in this suggestion! We're happy to see people talking about the creation of more compelling resources to correct misperceptions and get people thinking about the true cost of saving a life. 

This doesn't seem exactly like what you have in mind, as it was more narrowly focused on GiveWell's recommended charities, but in the past we provided an impact calculator on our site.  It allowed users to insert a donation amount and choose a GiveWell top charity to give to, and would return the number of outputs (e.g., nets or vitamin A supplements distributed) and outcomes (e.g., lives saved). 

We stopped sharing the impact calculator in November 2021, because we didn't feel confident enough in our ability to produce a useful forward-looking estimate of an individual donation's impact. We now report on the impact of past grants directed by GiveWell (see this spreadsheet, for example, and our 2021 cost per life saved estimates for top charities). We feel that giving the estimated cost per life saved of a past grant to a program serves as a helpful proxy for the impact of a future donation to that same program, even if we can't count on the impact remaining the same.

We've written a bit more about why we focus on backwards-looking impact estimates here and here

Best,

Miranda Kaplan

GiveWell Communications Associate


 

Hey, David - yes, the section of the post you linked to contains our thinking on possible changes that could result from COM Contest critiques. We are still in the process of figuring out what specific changes we might make to our analyses based on these critiques.

Best, Miranda (GiveWell communications associate)

Hi, Thomas,

We agree that the language you highlight is misleading, and we're sorry that it was included in the ad. It wasn't a part of the copy we provided to advertisers, and we didn't notice it in our review of the ad before it went live.

We're now speaking to the agency that coordinates these ads about the possibility of updating the video, but we think this is unlikely to happen, as the ad has already been live as is for some time and can't easily be reuploaded.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

Best,

Miranda (GiveWell Communications Associate)

Hi, Bob,

We're very sorry to hear that you had a bad experience! We take feedback like this seriously and have passed it on to the senior staff in charge of research hiring. 

Responding to all applicants in as timely a manner as we'd like has been challenging, in large part due to understaffing on the research team. But, we are working to improve on this. We invite others who may be considering applying for one of our research positions to review our FAQs for more information about the hiring process, including the typical timeline.   

Thank you for sharing your concerns!

Best,

Miranda Kaplan, GiveWell Communications Associate
 

Hi, Tom,

Thanks for your question! There really isn't a tremendous difference between the two in terms of purpose—both are allocated to global health and development opportunities, either among GiveWell's top charities or to other programs that are high-expected-value. The EA Global Health and Development Fund preceded the All Grants Fund, which we launched in August of this year

Best,

Miranda

Hi, kokotajlod,

Thank you for following our work; we're happy to have been a part of your journey! Apologies for the delay in responding here.

I'm not sure if by "your recommendations," you mean GiveWell's top charities, or our advice in the above post on giving to the All Grants Fund. It'd be pretty challenging to answer your question if it's about the All Grants Fund, since that money can go to any grant that meets our bar. We expect that a lot of All Grants Fund donations will support grants to top charities, but they could also support other programs, and there could be wide variation in how much of these programs' impact will occur in the next five years. 

In our cost-effectiveness analysis for each of our top charities (AMFHelen Keller's VAS programMalaria Consortium's SMC program, and New Incentives), we count both deaths averted and future expected earnings from development effects as benefits. Our discount rate of 4% in our cost-effectiveness analyses applies to future expected earnings—if we raised the discount rate to 10%, it would reduce our estimate of these benefits across all four top charities. We don't expect that this would result in changes to our overall top charity recommendations, but it may have a greater impact on our estimated cost-effectiveness of some funding gaps than others, due to variance in the proportion of total benefits coming from development effects. 

Steeply discounting future benefits would also make deworming look less cost-effective, since we expect the benefits of deworming to materialize only after treated children become adults.

I hope that's somewhat helpful!

Best,

Miranda
 

Hi, Peter! It's roughly the former - $600M at 10x cash (or higher) and an additional $300M in opportunities that are 6-9x cash.

Hi, Akash - all else equal, starting sooner is better, but the date is negotiable. We care more about finding someone who is an excellent fit for the role than when they can start, since we hope we’ll be working together over the long term. Thanks!

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