Around 700 million people still live in poverty, mostly in low-income countries. Efforts to help them - by policy reform, cash transfers, or provision of health services - can be incredibly effective.

Alongside investigating this issue, we also discuss how much more effective some interventions are than others, and we introduce a simple tool for estimating important figures.

Key concepts from this session include:

  • Differences in impact: It appears that some of our options to help do many times more good than others. People generally don’t appreciate this, and so miss out on significant opportunities to help.
  • The importance, neglectedness, tractability framework: The most important problems generally affect a lot of people (importance or scale), are relatively under-invested in (neglectedness), and can be meaningfully improved with a reasonable amount of work (tractability).
  • Thinking on the margin: If you're donating $1, you should give that extra $1 to the intervention that can most cost-effectively improve the world. There are many great initiatives with a very high average impact per dollar that will have a low marginal impact because they can't get the same efficiency at scale (they display "diminishing marginal returns").
  • Fermi estimates: When you’re trying to make a decision, it can be useful to make a rough calculation for which option is best. Even if there’s a lot of uncertainty, this can give you a rough answer, and can tell you which things are most important to estimate next.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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The importance of charities cannot be overemphasized,as this also needs to be channeled on basis were priority,so that , maximum impact and value could be attained,as against engaging on options,which might not aid the attainment of a higher level of utility

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