Rachel Shu

238 karmaJoined


Does AMF still conduct follow-up studies on deployments at 6 month intervals, does it still intend to? I don’t see any published since 2019, but between the pandemic and budget shortfalls and what I assume to be fairly predictable study results I’d understand this receiving lower priority in recent years. I am not criticizing, I was just hoping to look into the numbers while doing research for a recent post.

Thanks so much for this! I’d only been thinking about the potential harms to people with fish welfare as a side note. You’re absolutely right that we can get a decent estimate on the added burden of fish suffering here, which will be relevant to the calculations of many EAs

I think this summary captured the article's main points quite well. Good bot!

Some extra context on scope:

  • UNICEF directs about 30 million nets per year over the last few years. Not sure if counts partners and whether AMF counts as a partner.
  • By compare AMF has donated 250 million nets over the last 18 years, averaging 14 million per year.
  • Global net production is about 480 million per year, unsure what percent are charitably distributed vs purchased.
  • Presumably use of purchased nets is scarcely tracked at all.
  • Price per net is about $2 to distributors. Unsure what they are on the market, guessing around $3.

Noting that even with AMF's tracking methodology I'm not seeing strong evidence that nets distributed are not being diverted even within AMF's tracking period:

For example, this survey shows about 36% utilization as intended at the 18 month mark. Since they don't need to be brand new to be used as fishing nets, some portion of the other 64% might be serving an economically productive second life. (The link to underlying data sadly appears to be broken at the moment, and no detailed report is provided, only the overview.)

Also, AMF has documented far fewer surveys than 'monitor every distribution effort every six months for three years' as implied by the 2015 article Marzhin cites - actually doing so may be cost prohibited. Furthermore no surveys have been published since 2019, I'm assuming COVID was a major contributor there. All the tracking here:

Thank you for adding this clarification! It's good to determine whether EA-driven funds are unlikely to be substantially exacerbating the issue. Other bednet distributors besides AMF may have worse outcome tracking methods but that is outside of the EA community scope to discipline.

One minor caveat to your clarification is that many of the nets are reused for fishing only after they are considered too worn out for bednet use, at which point even distributors using AMF's methodology may no longer be tracking their utilization.

I haven't - even after this much research I don't feel epistemically confident enough to do so. I welcome anyone else to do it!

Thanks Jesse, wish we had more like this on the forum! I really appreciate being able to see more clearly what the obstacles between what seem like the most effective set of solutions and their actual implementations are, and how to overcome them.

Thank you, Michael - this helps me better understand what occurred from your perspective. As mentioned in my post, it had become difficult to ask for clarification regarding the issue at hand, which is why I had not mentioned the outcome to you until now, and that is one of the ways I mentioned I would love to see improvements made in communications at large. I don't have any ill will towards you.

I replied to this in a longer comment. It was in fact at our discretion, we only received a suggestion from EAIF, and only applied to Zvi. However, I think a bunch of expectations set by communications norms affected how we made our decision, which is the substance of my comment.

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