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I'm a Sociology & Social Anthropology student from Scotland. I'm interested in social movements and change. Myself and my colleagues are here to learn about 'effectiveness' in charitable giving from and with you. Please drop me a message if you'd be interested in talking with me :)


Hello! I'd like to apologise that I'm not well-versed in economics, and I'm not a utilitarian, so I'm not sure I followed this very well, but I'd be interested to know a bit more about what's being presented in this article. 

If I understood it correctly, this argues that different nations yield different 'utility returns' (i.e. quantified representations of positive impact?) based on the average income of people in those countries- assuming that the aid projects are targeting people in near identical socioeconomic conditions within those countries. If this is the argument, how could this be evidenced in data? It seems tricky to me to understand whether you are getting greater 'returns' from a family who are able to pay off a protection racket and avoid violence for an indeterminate period of time, a single homeless person who can get a bed for a week, or a struggling small ethnic minority businessperson who can afford to pay rent on the next month of their store, across national differences. In short, how do you translate real circumstances into utility?  

I know that this might be a big question and I appreciate that it might not be possible to condense down to a comment, but if you'd be willing to explain your perspective on this I would appreciate it a lot.

Another thing I was wondering is if you'd say that 'returns' correlate to or are the same thing as 'effectiveness'? 

Thank you

Hello everyone!

I'm a 2nd year Sociology & Social Anthropology student studying at the University of Edinburgh. I've joined this forum as myself and some of my colleagues are interested in learning about what various participants in the EA 'movement' think about 'effectiveness' and the organisation as a whole. 

We're doing ethnographic research, which means taking part in some activities alongside you, while talking to you directly in events, on forums, and in interviews. If you'd be interested in talking to me about your experiences and thoughts about effective altruism, please feel free to send me a private message and we can find a time to chat!