Vicky Clayton

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Refining improving institutional decision-making as a cause area: results from a scoping survey

Thanks EdoArad - hopefully I've answered your point when replying to Jonas below but let me know if not :)

Refining improving institutional decision-making as a cause area: results from a scoping survey

Thanks Jonas. We / I are also really interested in activities that people find promising within this area! The idea with the survey was partly to connect IIDM to categories which exist in other professional communities and academic literatures to help us understand what are considered promising approaches in those fields and allow us to build on existing knowledge.

Refining improving institutional decision-making as a cause area: results from a scoping survey

Thanks EdoAarad! Yes, I think there are definitely parallels. I was a bit personally disappointed not to see meta-science considered more within the scope of IIDM as it's something I'm very interested in too. And glad you like the name! :)

Refining improving institutional decision-making as a cause area: results from a scoping survey

Thanks Vhanon.  We did have some open text boxes so that we could pick up a bit more of the reasons why people gave the answers that they did. We've scattered those throughout the post so it's maybe  a bit less obvious where we've included that information. I don't have answers to the questions you're posing (e.g. what would make respondents change their mind?) but some extra snippets which I thought were interesting but didn't make it into the final cut were about considering the decisions of non-human agents and also where to place interventions to shift people's values towards long-termism. The comments on activities tended to be around encouraging us to prioritise based on the skillset of the team.

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

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