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TL;DR: Charity Entrepreneurship would like your help in our research process. We are running a prediction market on the top 10 ideas across two cause areas. A total of $2000 in prizes is available for prediction accuracy and comment quality. Check it out at: https://manifold.markets/group/ce-2023-top-ideas

The CE prediction market

For our upcoming (winter 2024) Incubation Program, we are researching two cause  areas. Within global development we are looking into mass media interventions –social and behavior change communication campaigns delivered through mass media (e.g., radio advertising, TV shows, text messages, etc.) aiming to improve human well-being. Within animal welfare we are looking into preventive (or long-run) interventions for farmed animals – the new charities will not just positively affect farmed animals in the short term, but will have a long-run effect on preventing animal suffering in farms 35 years from now.

We have narrowed down to the most promising top 10 ideas for each of these cause areas. The Charity Entrepreneurship research team will be doing ~80-hour research projects on as many of these ideas as we can between now and July, carefully examining the evidence and crucial considerations that could either make or break the idea. At the end of this we will aim to recommend two-three ideas for each cause area.

This is where you come in. We want to get your views and predictions on our top ideas within each cause area. We have put our top idea list onto the Manifold Markets prediction market platform, and you are invited to join a collective exercise to assess these ideas and input into our decision making.

You can do this by reading the list of top ideas (below) for one or both of the cause areas, and then going to the Manifold Market platform and:

  1. Make a prediction about how likely you think it is that a specific idea will be recommended by us at the end of our research.
  2. Leave comments on each idea with your thoughts or views on why it might or might not be recommended, or why it might or might not be a good idea.

As well as having the great benefit of helping our research, we have $2000 in prizes to give away (generously donated by Manifold Markets).

  1. $1,000 for comment prizes. We will give $100 to each person who gives one of the top 10 arguments or pieces of information that changes our minds the most regarding our selection decisions.
  2. $1,000 for forecasting prizes. We will grant prizes to the individuals who do the best at predicting which of the ideas we end up selecting.

More details on these prizes are available on the page at Manifold.

The market is open until June 5, 2023 for predictions and comments. This gives the CE research team time to read and integrate comments and insights into our research before our early July deadline.

To participate, read the list below and go to: https://manifold.markets/group/ce-2023-top-ideas to make predictions and leave comments.

Summary of ideas under consideration

Mass Media

By ‘mass media’ interventions we refer to social and behavior change communication campaigns delivered through mass media, aiming to improve human well-being. 

1. Using mobile technologies (mHealth) to encourage women to attend antenatal clinics and/or give birth at a healthcare facility

Across much of sub-Saharan Africa, only about 55% of women make the recommended four+ antenatal care visits, and only 60% give birth at a healthcare facility.  This organization would encourage greater healthcare utilization and achieve lower maternal and neonatal mortality by scaling up evidence-based mHealth interventions, such as one-way text messages or two-way SMS/WhatsApp communications. These messages would aim to address common concerns about professional healthcare, as well as reminding women not to miss their appointments.

2. Using mass media to tackle violence against women

Violence against women – especially intimate partner violence (IPV) – is highly prevalent across the world. Recent studies have shown promising results in using radio or TV edutainment shows that aim to shift viewers’ attitudes, perceived norms, and behaviors related to IPV. This organization would focus on producing and streaming such shows in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).

 3. Encouraging internal (rural-urban) migration

Workers in cities across LMICs have much higher incomes than people living in rural areas. In many cities, people are also healthier, report higher life satisfaction, and their children have better educational opportunities. Despite this, rates of internal migration are relatively low in many countries. This organization would produce edutainment shows that realistically portray the pros and cons of moving to cities, with the aim of overcoming people’s informational and motivational barriers to migration.

4. Discouraging female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is still highly prevalent in LMICs, especially in Saharan and northern sub-Saharan Africa. It involves partially or fully cutting a girl's external genitalia, which can cause (among other issues) serious bleeding, infection, infertility, and even death. This organization would produce edutainment shows aimed to stimulate reflection and debate around this topic, with the aim of changing people’s attitudes, perceived norms, and ultimately their decision on whether or not to practise FGM.

5. Informing audiences about their eligibility for welfare programs

It appears that in many LMICs, only a minority of the poorest households  are actually receiving social assistance (such as social safety nets or widow pensions), even in countries that have relevant programs that these households could be accessing. Lack of awareness and limited knowledge about the availability of  these programs and how to overcome hurdles to access them, have been identified as some of the key barriers. The idea is to provide information about the existence of relevant welfare programs, as well as how to access them.

 6. An organization focused on early childhood stimulation

By the age of four, it is estimated that over 40% of children in sub-Saharan Africa fail to meet the cognitive or socio-emotional milestones expected for their age. Many are likely to do poorly in school, and subsequently have low incomes as adults. Intervening in the first three years of life is a highly effective way to help children develop their cognitive skills. This organization would focus either on encouraging and supporting parents to spend more time doing stimulating activities with their children, or produce stimulating (audio or audiovisual) content that children could engage with.

7. Encouraging higher vaccination rates through mobile interventions

Vaccinations are among the most cost-effective ways to prevent mortality and morbidity from transmissible diseases. Yet, many children don’t receive all the vaccines they should, which results in over a million children dying from vaccine-preventable diseases every year. This organization would focus on scaling evidence-based strategies for increasing childhood vaccination rates in sub-Saharan Africa.

8. Informing voters about political candidates’ criminal pasts

Many LMICs suffer from having a high proportion of politicians with corrupt and/or criminal histories. These candidates often get elected because voters may not be fully informed, or because they don’t put enough weight on criminality when casting their vote. However, evidence suggests that electing such candidates leads to detrimental impacts down the line, including more corruption, less investment, and lower GDP growth. This organization would aim to reduce the vote shares for criminal politicians by sending text messages to voters in priority districts, informing them about which politicians are “criminal” vs “clean” (based on public records).

9. Promoting brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste

Oral health has been largely neglected by global health interventions in recent decades, yet there is growing evidence linking poor oral health with high levels of pain and suffering, as well as poor health outcomes such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Yet there is a simple and highly effective way of preventing oral diseases: daily tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste. This organization would use mass-media communications to encourage the audience to consistently adopt behaviors that promote oral health, including more frequent tooth brushing, and using toothpaste with sufficient fluoride content.

10. Preventing deaths and disability from snakebites

Snakebites are estimated to cause over 100,000 deaths every year, and many more cases of disability, such as paralysis or amputations. While effective antivenoms are available in many hospitals in LMICs, medical care is often sought too late for them to be effective. This organization would use mass media to help people in rural areas understand the risk of snakebites and how to prevent them, as well as the importance of seeking professional help if they do get bitten by a snake.

Preventive Animal Welfare

This year our focus is on interventions and policies that prevent future harms done to animals, as opposed to solving current problems. We will be looking for interventions that, as well as having some short run evidence of impact, will prevent future problems, i.e., have the biggest impact on farmed animals in the future, say 35 years from now. 

1. Limiting the intensification of factory farms in LMICs

This charity idea focuses on curbing the expansion of factory farming and intensification in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Potential strategies include advocating for more robust animal welfare laws, protecting small-scale farmers, targeting corporate campaigns at multinational companies planning to intensify farming, and raising awareness about the consequences of farm intensification. The charity could build its case on various grounds, such as environmental concerns, animal rights, and human health implications. The exact approach is to be determined through further research.

2. Animal advocacy organization at the EU-wide level

This charity idea aims to promote stricter animal welfare policies throughout the European Union. With indications that the EU is considering significant updates to its animal welfare legislation, the charity could work to counteract the influence of the meat lobby, and ensure that proposed laws remain strong. The charity may advocate for specific high-priority policy changes, such as banning all mutilations, or implementing stricter stocking density regulations. The precise policy ask is to be determined. Alternatively, the charity could conduct investigations to hold policymakers accountable for their previous commitments, ensuring promises made are followed through.

3. Ballot initiatives/policy advocacy to end factory farming or de-escalate stocking densities by 2050

This charity idea focuses on utilizing direct democracy channels, such as ballot initiatives and referendums. The aim would be to phase out factory farming and the import of factory-farmed products in regions where such channels exist, drawing inspiration from the Swiss Factory Farm ballot initiative. In areas without direct democracy options, the organization will advocate for government policies to scale down factory farms and reduce stocking densities. The charity is likely to operate in high-income countries with a strong emphasis on animal welfare, aiming for a complete phase out of factory farms by 2050.

4. Preventing the takeoff of insect farming

The primary objective of this charity is to thwart the rapid rise of insect farming, which is anticipated to become a major source of animal feed in agriculture. To achieve this, the charity may advocate for policies or launch corporate campaigns targeting animal farmers, discouraging them from using insects as feed. Additionally, the organization could run negative campaigns against insect usage, raising awareness about the potential consequences and promoting alternative solutions.

5. Banning octopus (or general cephalopod) farming

This policy advocacy charity aims to introduce a ban on farming octopuses and/or other cephalopods. Although not targeting the consumption of these creatures, the charity addresses the heightened suffering experienced by farmed octopuses compared to their wild counterparts. By targeting the conditions in which they are kept, and their high consumption of other animals as feed, the charity would seek to mitigate the overall suffering caused by the system of farming these complex creatures.

6. Vegan outreach or Veganuary campaigns in LMICs

This charity idea focuses on promoting veganism and Veganuary campaigns in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). By raising awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet, the charity would seek to encourage more people to adopt veganism. This would reduce the demand for animal products and mitigate the associated environmental, health, and animal welfare issues. Through tailored outreach and localized Veganuary initiatives, the charity’s aim would be to create a lasting impact on dietary habits and drive positive change in LMICs.

7. Corporate campaigns to stop the use and sale of silk

This charity idea targets the silk industry by launching corporate campaigns aimed at stopping the sale and use of silk in clothing and bedding. Focusing on the ethical concerns surrounding silk production, which involves the boiling of silkworms, the charity would advocate for more humane alternatives. By engaging with companies and consumers, the organization would seek to raise awareness about the ethical implications of silk production. Its goal would be to  drive the adoption of cruelty-free, sustainable alternatives within the fashion and home goods industries.

8. Fish welfare policy advocacy

The goal of this charity idea is to establish a fish welfare policy advocacy organization dedicated to improving the living conditions and treatment of (mostly farmed) fish. A lot of countries still lack, or have very basic, animal protection laws for fish. By promoting evidence-based policies and regulations, the charity would address the often-overlooked suffering experienced by fish, which massive numbers are subjected to in intensive farming systems.

9. Innovation prizes to spur breakthroughs in bottleneck technologies for farmed animal welfare

This charity idea revolves around offering innovation prizes to encourage breakthroughs in bottleneck technologies aimed at improving farmed animal welfare. The charity would seek to address critical gaps in the industry and promote more compassionate farming practices. It would achieve this by incentivizing the development of high-welfare farming technologies, such as egg-sexing, or more humane slaughter equipment.

10. Meta-fundraising organization for animals

This charity idea focuses on creating a meta-fundraising organization that conducts targeted outreach to high-net-worth individuals, encouraging them to support effective animal charities. By leveraging the financial resources of affluent donors, the charity would seek to amplify the impact of animal welfare organizations that demonstrate evidence-based effectiveness and high potential for positive change. Through personalized engagement and education, the meta-fundraising organization would aim to foster long-term partnerships between philanthropists and animal charities, maximizing the resources available to tackle pressing animal welfare issues.

About our research process

Our goal is to identify the most high-impact intervention opportunities for new charities. When we look at ideas, we consider cost-effectiveness, potential scale, quality of evidence, tractability and limiting factors. We begin by collecting hundreds of the most promising ideas worldwide per cause area, then through multiple rounds of research we delve deeper into the ideas. We gradually whittle down the list until we are left with the top two-three ideas to be recommended.

In the final research stage we list the top 10 ideas and (working through from the most to least promising) we do an in-depth research report on as many of these ideas as we can. These reports tend to take about 80 hours of research time, although this can vary from 40 hours to 120, depending on the topic. These final reports include cost-effectiveness analyses, expert interviews, geographical assessments, reviews of the evidence from literature, assessments of past case studies, other forms of evidence, crucial considerations analyses and limiting factors analyses.

At the end of this process, the research team and senior management compare all the reports and decide on which two-three ideas to recommend to the entrepreneurs who enter the incubation program- the ideas with extremely high expected impact 

You can find full details of our research process on our website here. You can also find examples of our past research here. You can get a sense of how we have made decisions in the past by looking at these decision-making spreadsheets on animal welfare policy and large-scale global health research rounds. 

This year we are running an experiment to see if 1. prediction markets can accurately predict which ideas we recommend, and 2. if forecasters can provide insights to the ideas that we would’ve otherwise missed.

About Charity Entrepreneurship

Our mission is to enable more effective charities to exist in the world. We strive to achieve this goal through our extensive research process and Incubation Program. Each year, Charity Entrepreneurship dedicates hundreds of research hours to identifying the most effective charity ideas. Then we recruit aspiring entrepreneurs and, through our two-month Incubation Program, provide them with the training and funding to turn these ideas into high-impact organizations. Our research has identified highly effective charity ideas in five cause areas so far: Animal Welfare, Health and Development Policy, Mental Health and Happiness, Family Planning, and Capacity Building (EA Meta). In four years, we’ve helped launch 23 new charities, reaching 5 million animals and over 8 million people (as of Dec. 2022).



Huge thanks to Austin and the Manifold Markets team for making this collaboration possible. It has been a pleasure to work with them and their support has been invaluable.

(Note: This prediction market prize format was developed by Manifold Markets and ClearerThinking.org for the Clearer Thinking regrants program)







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Disappointed I missed the competition - but have a couple of comments anyway ;)

On snake bites I can comment from a Ugandan public health perspective, with high likelihood of generalisability to other sub-saharan African countries at least.

This intervention makes little sense to me, because the major barriers to reaching antivenom are not knowledge and complacency, but financial and practical. Those barriers need to be overcome before a campaign like this could have potential to be useful.

 People are terrified of snakes and would generally love to get antivenom if they had any chance. We have had 3 people die in our OneDay Health centers of snake bites. They flat refused to go to hospital even after all our advice and pushing because they didn't have the money and didn't believe they would make it. Their decisions may not have been entirely irrational.

Financial - Antivenom is EXTREMELY expensive, we're talking upwards of $100 a vial and VERY RARELY freely available within life-saving distance of a snake bite. Gathering this amount of money straight away in a rural setting within an hour of the bite is far more often impossible for rural subsistence farmers. Raising the money to potentially save a life could well be possible, but not that quickly

Practical - Often antivenom just isn't available at all within lifesaving distance, even if the finances are there. At a guess In Uganda there might be 10-15 towns/cities with antivenom, with perhaps 70-80% of people living over an hour practical travel distance away from said antivenom. Even if somehow someone bitten managed to... (within an hour or so)

a) Raise the money
b) Find transport means quickly enough

More often than not it will be futile because the antivenom is simply too far away.

Cheaper  antivenom and Closer antivenom is needed before raising awareness will make cost-effective sense. I'm surprised this scored so highly on the prediction market.

That is really upsetting to hear. Do you have any idea how a BOTEC for an antivenom availability / accessibility program in your service areas might look? Based on three deaths in a few years, the # of clusters of ODH centers, and Wikipedia suggesting a five-year shelf life for antivenom, it doesn't seem implausible.

Obviously, this would have to be an inject now, ask for partial payment later kind of operation (and you might well not get payment).

Hey Jason

Thanks so much I always love your ideas and bent towards action its amazing. Now that  think about it and after your comment, snakebite might be a bigger problem than we give it credit for. We do have 36 ODH health centers and average maybe 1 snakebite death a year, so its still very spread out.

Unfortnately I don't think it makes financial sense to have antivenom in remote places yet, this is for a few reasons

  1. It needs a fridge! That's not cost-effective at the last mile. Cost of fridge and powering fridge >>>>> even expensive cost of antivenom
  2. The next step which makes sense I think would be to get antivenom into every Ugandan town, rather than  at the last mile. That massively reduces travel time and cost even for people coming from remote areas
  3. A lot of staff training needs to take place for any antivenom program- perhaps 4 in 5 (or less) snakebites here are from non-venomous snakes, so its actually not great medical practise to evacuate everyone who is bitten for antivenom. We get loads of snakebites that from the description seem like a non-venomous snake, which we observe as per our clinical guidelines and send home. Yes this is a big risk as we could get it wrong, but until antvenom is 10% of the cost its a risk we will continur to take

R&D for antivenom that s a)cheaper and b) doesn't need a fridge for me might be the cost-effective ticket right nw (great uncertainy). The London school of tropical medicine and others are trying at this which is great.

I was afraid of some of that. :(

I wonder if heavily subsidizing the cost of transport and antivenom for selected victims where it would be available in time might be part of the solution. That has a lot of contingencies -- you need a high enough index of suspicion, nearby-enough antivenom, early enough recognition, and a source of transporting either the victim or the antivenom (preferably both). But it seems like subsidizing access to antivenom that is available could be highly cost-effective when those criteria are met. 

(One of the things I like about ideas centered around saving rural patient populations money is that there is an implied lower bound of ~ 1.0X cash transfers as long as the patient would have been as well off if they were given the $100ish as they were having been given the antivenom.)

Yep I really agree that a well targeted fund to transport patients with dangerous conditons that urgently need higher level care (obviously not only snakebite) could be a HIGHLY cost-effective intervention, if difficult to pull off at scale.

Love a bit of Fermi napkin stuff so...

Imagine on average transport costs paidwere $50 per severe patient, and this saved conservatively an extra 1 life every 50 patients referred (entirely plausible). That's 2500 for a life, and there would be additional benefits on top of only life saved, including quicker recoveries and probably uncovering some underlying diseases as well.

Its the kind of thing we could probably manage as OneDay Health as our nurses would be great gatekeepers, but trying to do it on a larger statewide or countrywide scale would be very difficult with misuse and corruption likely to seriously reduce cost efficiency.

Love the thinking.

It's an honor to be working with the Charity Entrepreneurship team to help with their research process. Through this partnership, I got to see a bit behind the scenes on how CE makes their decisions about what ideas to pitch to their entrepreneurs, and was very impressed by their thorough and considered approach. We hope that these markets and comments are able to help their decisionmaking in at least some small way!

If you have any feedback on the structure of this forecasting tournament, I'd love to hear it! And of course, if you have thoughts about the individual charity ideas, let us know on the appropriate markets~

It is an honour to work with you too!!

Huge thanks to Austin and the Manifold Markets team for making this collaboration possible. It has been a pleasure to work with you and your support has been invaluable.

[Added a thanks to the post]

Really cool experiment! I'll probably participate more later, but for now I've bought a bit of "NO" on everything because currently it averages out to 2.8 ideas per cause, which seems a bit too much😊

The commenting prizes incentivized lots of great reasoning sharing rather than silent predictions, and I'm excited to hear which ideas are chosen

For forecasting prizes, requiring currencies benefits those who bet more over those who strictly forecast better. I borrowed hundreds of USD of Manifold's currency to bet more on the tournament:
whereas other tournaments are more strictly based on forecasting:

Also probably could get more traders if Manifold itself highlighted tournaments in a banner/sidebar/notification/email/etc. Expect the markets would not have all had less than 50 traders if more users knew thousands of additional USD were at stake:

Thank you for the views and feedback!

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