Videos, Books and Essays

Peter Singer: The why and
how of effective altruism

what's the most effective way to give charitably? Peter Singer talks through some surprising thought experiments to help you balance emotion and practicality - and make the biggest impact with whatever you can share.

Dan Palotta: The way we think
about charity is dead wrong.

Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend -- not for what they get done.

Hans Rosling:
New insights on poverty

Researcher Hans Rosling uses his cool data tools to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He demos Dollar Street, comparing households of varying income levels worldwide. Then he does something really amazing.

Esther Duflo:
Social experiments to fight poverty

Alleviating poverty is more guesswork than science, and lack of data on aid's impact raises questions about how to provide it. But Clark Medal-winner Esther Duflo says it's possible to know which development efforts help and which hurt.

The facts about poverty

There is often ambiguity and confusion in regards to where the money is going and indeed how much good is even doing. This video gives you the facts about how much you can do to help alleviate poverty.

Giving What We Can members

Giving What We Can is a diverse community of people. What they have in common is their dedication to ending extreme poverty and the commitment they have made to donating ten per cent of their incomes to the most effective charities.

Against Malaria Foundation:
7 jumbo jets

The equivalent of 7 Jumbo Jets full of children die every day from malaria (3,000 children per day, every day). Join us in the fight Against Malaria.

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative:
Neglected tropical diseases

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) afflict over one billion individuals, and can be treated for just $0.50.


Books and essays

Famine, affluence and morality by Peter Singer

This highly influential essay set in motion a public discussion about our obligations regarding global poverty. Prior to its publication, the issue of global poverty was not much discussed within the field of ethics. Singer changed this by forcefully arguing that donating to stop poverty was not merely a nice thing to do, but was morally urgent and that we all have an obligation to donate a large part of our income. Moreover, he did so without invoking a particular moral theory: he derives the obligation directly from our most basic shared moral beliefs.

It ain't what you give, it's the way that you give it, by Caroline Fiennes

This book looks at the idea that some charities help more than others, and that some donors are more helpful to charities than others, whilst providing information about how you as a donor can be more effective. This important information is presented in a fun way, with examples from Oprah Winfrey to Albert Einstein. Advice is available for large and small scale donors, and if someone is just beginning to think about effectiveness, this is a great place to start.

Poor Economics, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Through their work, Banerjee and Duflo look at some of the most surprising facets of poverty: why the poor need to borrow in order to save, why they miss out on free life-saving immunizations but pay for drugs that they do not need, why they start many businesses but do not grow any of them, and many other puzzling facts about living with less than 99 cents per day. Poor Economics argues that so much of anti-poverty policy has failed over the years because of an inadequate understanding of poverty. The battle against poverty can be won, but it will take patience, careful thinking and a willingness to learn from evidence.

The Elusive Quest for Growth, by Bill Easterly

Since the end of World War II, economists have tried to figure out how poor countries in the tropics could attain standards of living approaching those of countries in Europe and North America. Attempted remedies have included providing foreign aid, investing in machines, fostering education, controlling population growth, and making aid loans as well as forgiving those loans on condition of reforms. None of these solutions has delivered as promised. The problem is not the failure of economics, William Easterly argues, but the failure to apply economic principles to practical policy work.

Living high and letting die, by Peter Unger

Living high and letting die is an exploration of how far the argument in ‘Famine, affluence and morality’ can be taken. Through a series of contrasting thought experiments, Unger develops a version of the argument that goes further than Singer's in a number of ways, while being even harder to reject.

World poverty and human rights, by Thomas Pogge

World poverty and human rights examines the global injustices behind extreme poverty. Pogge shows how rich countries are not only failing to help the world's poorest people, but are actively contributing to the problem with an unjust set of global institutions. He explains how we none-the-less manage to maintain the illusion that we are doing no wrong, and offers realistic proposals towards fulfilling the demands of global justice.

The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer

For the first time in history, eradicating world poverty is within our reach. Yet around the world, a billion people struggle to live each day on less than many of us pay for bottled water. In The Life You Can Save, Peter Singer uses ethical arguments, illuminating examples, and case studies of charitable giving to show that our current response to world poverty is not only insufficient but morally indefensible.

The moral imperative towards cost-effectiveness, by Toby Ord

Conversations about the ethics of global health usually focus on traditional moral issues such as justice, equality, and freedom. While these issues are important, they are often overshadowed by cost-effectiveness. In this essay, Toby explains how this happens and what it means for global health.

Givign without sacrifice? The relationship between income, happiness and giving, by Andreas Mogensen

A perfectly natural response to the idea that one ought to donate a percentage of one’s income to fight poverty in the developing world is: how will this affect me? Won’t it make my life much worse? Luckily, there is a body of psychological research that can help us to answer this question. This page summarises this psychological research, in relation to how giving 10% will affect your happiness.