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"The research behind Giving What We Can is outstanding. By combining the most important empirical research with novel methodological insights about the ethics of aid, it is changing the way we think about aid effectiveness, and providing the basis for well-grounded advice on donating to fight global poverty."
- Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University
Giving What We Can conducts research to help our members and the public to identify the most cost effective charities to donate to. We also sometimes suggest promising and neglected strategies that charities may want to experiment with. To make these recommendations we draw heavily on existing research into cost effectiveness, from sources such as GiveWell, the Copenhagen Consensus, the Poverty Action Lab, the Disease Control Priorities Project, the World Health Organisation and academic literature.
A large share of our research in the past has examined health programs that improve the lifespan and quality of life of people living in low-income countries, as measured using Quality Adjusted Life Years. This is both because health programs appear very effective, and because there is a great deal of evidence collected which provides a sound basis on which recommending them. However, Giving What We Can would be willing to recommend other approaches if the evidence were available to do so. We are currently trying to branch out and evaluate the value of other projects which are harder to quantify, including:
- research into which charities or programs are most effective (so called meta-charity)
- political advocacy, in particular for additional funding for effective programs to assist the world's poor
- biomedical research which could offer vaccines or cures for neglected diseases.
We are also planning to use our access to highly specialised academics graduates in statistics, mathematics and economics to address neglected methodological questions.
We release our research in the following forms,
- recommendations and other pages on our website (listed through the menus above)
- blog posts (e.g. Researching what we should)
- draft reports to solicit feedback (new)
- research papers.
Our research is conducted by a combination of full-time staff, interns and volunteers. Due to a high level of interest, entry to the research team is competitive; if you have skills or expertise you would like to offer the team, please contact email@example.com with your CV and research interest. A prospectus of research opportunities is available here.
- The moral imperative towards cost-effectiveness by Dr Toby Ord (2012) - (PDF)
published by the Centre for Global Development on 12th March 2013
- Giving Without Sacrifice? The relationship between income, happiness, and giving by Andreas Mogensen (2012) - (PDF)
- Should you give now, or give later? by Bastian Stern (2012) - (PDF)
- Protocol on making practical estimates in cases of large uncertainty by Owen Cotton-Barratt (2013) - (PDF)
- Should we discount future health benefits when considering cost-effectiveness? by Toby Ord and Robert Wiblin (2013) - (PDF)
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