I work at Open Philanthropy on cause prioritisation and on our science giving, and I agree with the direction of your conclusion here from a “Global Health and Wellbeing” point of view (i.e. rather than a longtermist POV), that funding particular infectious disease R&D could be as or more cost-effective at averting DALYs as GiveWell top charities. Indeed I’d expand what you’re saying from vaccines to other global health R&D - new therapeutics, new low cost diagnostics, new mosquito control tools, etc.
I’m not sure what level of investment that might remain true at, and we’re always interested to explore which diseases and health technologies might be most worth investing in. If you (Josh) or anyone else reading this has more ideas on what directions to head, or are interested in global health R&D and just want to say hi, feel free to comment here or email me at jacob [at] openphilanthropy [dot] org.
(For other readers, I know Josh via his work at 1Day Sooner, and we fund 1DS, but I didn’t know he was going to write this post, and stumbled on it organically. I liked it, thanks for writing it Josh!)
This is a useful write-up, thank you for this and your previous posts on alternate foods.
Do you know which US government departments are working on food in catastrophes, if any? DHS? FEMA? USDA (e.g. https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster)? I assume that in catastrophes government coordination on food is key - the closest parallel that comes to mind is rationing in the UK after WW2. I'd be interested if there's anything public to read about departments' budgets for things like this, or how they're thinking about it.
Chiming in with another thank you for putting in the time to do this - I found it helpful.
One data point on your idea for a year-round blog: I would find it interesting to read, though it wouldn't change my donations as much as targeted holiday giving posts like these, since I currently donate yearly.
Yep, good point - that's a biggie.
Thanks for this - I found this useful, especially the details on your process for making the decision(s).