Vicky Clayton

Comments

Improving Institutional Decision-Making: a new working group

Thanks for your comment, Ryan, and apologies for only spotting it just now. I agree there's lots of efficiency gains to be made on big projects! I wonder whether it's difficult to gain evidence on "what works" to improve them because there are so few and there's lots of different complexities (vs small projects - we have a lot more to observe and there's fewer dimensions).

Improving Institutional Decision-Making: a new working group

Thanks for the comment, and apologies that I've just seen it now. Similarly to Ian (see the comment above) I was originally drawn to the area because of the focus on decision-making but have since updated that improving institutions is also about the broader landscape of the design of institutions and how they interact with each other. As you mention, they are currently pretty different (at least academic) fields. I can imagine that there would be some crossover where identifying problems within the existing systems at a lower down level help identify what new systems need to do better but I think, as with a lot of these kind of open questions, it'll be about starting these conversations and seeing whether they are useful. Thanks again.

AMA: Ian David Moss, strategy consultant to foundations and other institutions

What are the frameworks you find most helpful in your work supporting clients with their decision-making?

Are we actually improving decision-making?

Thanks for writing this up as a post Remmelt - great to have these kind of thoughts written up! I agree that type 2 efforts can i) help us improve the quality of our work through exposing blindspots, and ii) access expertise quickly in response to changing situations (the example you give of working with anthropologists specialising in the funeral rites during Ebola). I also think it could improve the reputation of the EA community through i) above and the act of engaging with others.  Also hopefully we can have a positive impact on the groups we interact with (treating it as a two-way learning process)! I think this is particularly important for cause areas where there's been lots of work done outside EA circles in a range of disciplines. I see an important part of the efforts we're undertaking on IIDM (improving institutional decision-making) as translating what's been done by experts already and then understanding how they interact with an EA lens. Thanks again, Vicky

Improving Institutional Decision-Making: a new working group

Yes, thank you! Do you know of any institutions which are currently using QV/QF? Thanks

Improving Institutional Decision-Making: a new working group

Thanks Tony.Sena for the comment and the great questions. It's really good to challenge premises, particularly at the beginning! I guess focusing on institutions is on the premise that good decision-making within institutions involves more than each individual within that institution making good decisions separately - there's coordination, aligning goals etc to think about - and also on the premise that we think most resources / norms are controlled by institutions rather than individuals (even authoritarian leaders operate within a greater decision making operation). I / we shall have to think a bit more about the similarity to economic growth / more macro interventions. I'm imagining you could frame economic growth as the goal and then figure out which institutions to work with and how to support better decision making to promote economic growth, or define "welfare" as the goal and assess economic growth as one of the potential options to get there. I'm much more comfortable on the randomista side of the things myself but shall do some more thinking about what IIDM looks like on a macro level. Thanks again.

Improving Institutional Decision-Making: a new working group

Thanks for the comment rorty! It's a really good question. I think the simple answer is that we don't know at this stage. I don't think it has to be the dichotomy you suggest though. A process could help individuals within a group align better and figure out what compromises they are happy to make. The question of whether we try to change people's goals I think depends on how tractable it is and we also recognise that there is already considerable efforts in EA movement building which may better cover trying to change people's goals. Thanks again.