Videos, Books and Essays

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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 Palotta 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 data visualisation to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty.

Esther Duflo:

Social experiments to fight poverty

Alleviating poverty can be more guesswork than science, thanks to a lack of data on the impact of aid spending. But Esther Duflo, winner of the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, says it's possible to know which development efforts help and which hurt.

Giving What We Can members

Giving What We Can is a community of people from many different backgrounds. What they have in common is their dedication to ending extreme poverty and the commitment they have made to donating ten percent of their incomes to the most effective charities.

Against Malaria Foundation:

Seven Jumbo Jets

The equivalent of seven jumbo jets full of children die every day from malaria. AMF and its supporters are fighting back.


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

Peter Singer giving a lecture at MIT

This highly influential essay started a public discussion about our obligations regarding global poverty. Prior to its publication, the issue of global poverty rarely arose within the academic 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 had an obligation to donate a large part of our income. Moreover, he did so without invoking a particular moral theory: instead, he derived the obligation directly from our most basic shared moral beliefs.

Poor Economics, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Poor Economics

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

Living High and Letting Die is an exploration Peter Singer's argument in "Famine, Affluence and Morality", and how far it 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, and is more difficult to reject.

The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer

The Life You Can Save (Large Image)

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.

Giving 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.