Co-founder of Charity Science, a nonprofit that runs multiple projects, including Charity Science Health (a Givewell incubated charity) and Charity Entrepreneurship (a program to help new charities get founded).


Why EA meta, and the top 3 charity ideas in the space

Thanks for this – I checked out the full list when the post went up. 

We will be researching increasing development aid and possibly researching getting money out of politics and into charity as our focus moves to more policy-focused research for our 2022 recommendations. 

We also might research epistemic progress in the future, but likely from a meta science-focused perspective.

We definitely considered non-Western EA when thinking through EA meta options, but ended up with a different idea for how to best make progress on it (see here).

For-profit companies serving emerging markets I see as a very interesting space but a whole different research year from EA meta. Maybe even outside of CE’s scope indefinitely.

I do not expect us to research Patient Philanthropy, Institutions for Future Generations, Counter-Cyclical Donation Timing or Effective Informational Lobbying in the near future. 

In general, I do not expect our research on EA meta to be exhaustive given the scope. I would be excited to see more ideas for EA meta projects, particularly ones with quick and clear feedback loops.

Why EA meta, and the top 3 charity ideas in the space

Indeed I have seen that post. I would be keen for more than one group to research this sort of area. I can also imagine different groups coming at it from different epistemic and value perspectives. I expect this research could be more than a full-time job for 5+ people.

Five New EA Charities with High Potential for Impact

Good question. We keep the information updated on room for funding on this page.

Why EA meta, and the top 3 charity ideas in the space

Indeed these sorts of issues will be covered in the deeper reports but it’s still valuable to raise them!

A really short answer to an important question: I would expect the research to be quite a bit deeper than the typical proposal – more along the lines of what Brian Tomasik did for wild animal suffering or Michael Plant did for happiness. But not to the point where the researchers found an organization themselves (as with Happier Lives Institute or Wild Animal Initiative). E.g. spending ~4 FT researcher months on a given cause area. 

I agree that a big risk would be that this org closes off or gives people the idea that “EA has already looked into that and it should not longer be considered”. In many ways, this would be the opposite of the goal of the org so I think would be important to consider when it’s being structured. I am not inherently opposed to researching and then ruling out ideas or cause areas, but I do think the EA movement currently tends to quickly rule out an area without thorough research and I would not want to increase that trend. I would want an org in this space to be really clear what ground they have covered vs not. For example, I like how GiveWell lays and out and describes their priority intervention reports.

What areas are the most promising to start new EA meta charities - A survey of 40 EAs

Our current plan is to publish a short description but not a full report of the top ideas we plan to recommend in the first week of Jan so possible applicants can get a sense before the deadline (Jan 15th).

What areas are the most promising to start new EA meta charities - A survey of 40 EAs

Glad you found it interesting!

  1. It tended to come from people focused on that area but the concerns were not exclusive to technologies (or even xrisk more broadly). 
  2. To put it another way, people were concerned that “EAs tended to help their friends and others in their adjacent peer-group disproportionality to the impact it would cause.” 
  3. Regarding polarization in "Intercommunity coordination and connection," my sense is this came from different perceptions about how past projects had gone. No clear trend as to why for “community member improvement”
  4. I think the way this is reconciled is the view that “current organizations are highly capable and do prioritization research themselves when determining where they should work.” But prioritization including that type is hard to do right and others would struggle to do an equally good job.

P.s. reminder these are not my or CE’s views just describing what some interviewees thought. 

What areas are the most promising to start new EA meta charities - A survey of 40 EAs

I agree I was expecting a much stronger consensus as well. Sorry to say I told the folks I interviewed the data would remain at this level of anonymity many were fine with sharing their results but some preferred it to be pretty anonymous.

Number scores are based on people ranking the option above or below average with 3 being average. 

What areas are the most promising to start new EA meta charities - A survey of 40 EAs

Sadly not able to share that data I can say it tended to be bigger organizations and bigger chapters. 

An experiment to evaluate the value of one researcher's work

Happy to have my posts used for this. One thing I would love to see integrated would be a willingness to pay metric as we have been experimenting with this a bit in our research process and have found it quite useful. 

What is a book that genuinely changed your life for the better?
Answer by JoeyOct 22, 20209

Great question. Keen to see other people’s recommendations. We have a list of some of our team’s favorites organized into categories – can be seen on the website here or below. My personal top 5 are Principles, Made to Stick, The Life You Can Save, Algorithms to Live By, and The Lean Startup.

Charity entrepreneurship

Values and ethics


Making good decisions 



Getting things done



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