Co-Director @ Effective Altruism UK
4360 karmaJoined Dec 2014Working (6-15 years)


How others can help me

I'm happy talking to anyone, don't hesitate to reach out. Specific things we may want to chat about include;

  • How fast/slow and where should EA grow as a movement?
  • What lessons can we learn from other movements?
  • How much should we focus on people in the core of EA vs on the fringe?
  • Do you have a new idea for a cause or project related to EA?

Topics I have been thinking about for a while but still enjoy chatting about:-

  • Movement building & strategy
  • Meta EA
  • Networks vs connections
  • New cause areas/interventions

How I can help others

If you're thinking about being a community organiser or are currently organising an EA related group then I'd be happy to share ideas on strategy and community building. Especially for people working on cause specific work or in neglected regions of the world.

I've been an organiser with EA UK since 2015, working part time since 2017 and full time since 2019. I've also had conversations with people setting up groups around the world and also career, cause, interest and workplace related groups.

I have also had quite a few career conversations with people and could be a good sounding board if you had career/project questions.


Topic contributions

Over time it was getting less engagement, and I felt that the content made more sense as a substack/newsletter than a forum post - it's not the kind of post that leads to discussions.

It's also not a new thing - The Elitist Philanthropy of So-Called Effective Altruism - from 2013.

I'm not sure you have to do anything with it, generally groups that suggests money/influence should be shifted from A to B will get a negative response from the people it may affect or people who disagree with that direction of change. I tend to find energy spent on ideological EA critics is less valuable than good faith critics/people who are just looking for resources to help themselves to more good.

Depending on what you are aiming to achieve with that section of the website, you don't have to have notable figures, you could include people who are most relevant (or not include individuals at all).

For example Magnify Mentoring has people who have benefited from their mentoring programs. EA Philippines have photos of their local community. EA for Christians have stories from members on their community tab and no profiles of people on their intro page.

Thanks for the shout-out akash, I appreciate it. 

With engagement, there might be less comments/likes on substack but it generally gets 1.2k-1.5k views per month compared to the forum which was around 200-400 views per month.

Could the main difference be that TBP is a simple process change with reduced costs, while EA-style giving would fundamentally alter grant evaluation requiring more overhead from the funder.

I also think EA would involve extra costs to existing grantees, they will have to provide more evidence of their effectiveness or lose out to orgs that have those systems in place.


Separately I think it will be very hard to get existing foundations to shift to use more EA frameworks unless their main donors become interested in it. There is probably more to be gained by finding and helping the UHNW people/orgs that are inclined towards EA already.

There is a post about this (although it was written in 2015).

There are some good reasons for why large donors would want to not give too much money to a charity at once:

  1. Avoiding excessive reserves: Because of the opportunity costs (other charities could use money productively sooner), it is undesirable to have a charity having excessive reserves. Ideally, they would be promised a steady stream of funding if they meet specific targets over many years in order for them to be able to plan ahead.
  2. Risk diversification: Funds should be distributed to several high impact organisations in order to diversify the risk of one of them not performing well.
  3. Incentivizing others to join the cause area:
    1. Countries: By restricting funding to a particular country, one incentivizes the country to invest in very effective health interventions themselves and use their (often very limited) domestic resources to close the funding gap between donations and the full cost of delivering effective health interventions. Poorer, low-income countries (such as Ethiopia) are less able to do this than low-to-middle income countries (such as India).
    2. Charities: By restricting funding to charities, they’re being kept on their toes, so that they do not rely on a particular foundation or big grant giver exclusively and apply for other grants. For instance, in the past, the Gates foundation has heavily funded the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. However, Gates later discontinued SCI’s funding not because of too little effectiveness, but because, since their effectiveness had been established, other funders would more readily fund them.
    3. Other donors: By restricting funding to particular charities, other donors are incentivized to also invest in the effective charities. For instance, the Against Malaria foundation has a broader appeal to small private donors than more high-expected-value interventions. Thus, even though theoretically, the Gates foundation, which is the largest private foundation in the world with an endowment of US$42.9 billion[4], could buy every person in Africa a bednet every two years (population of Africa (1 Billion) * Cost of Bednet (5 Dollars) = 5 Billion dollars) that would rapidly deplete their limited resources and then they could not spend their money on other very effective causes. They might reason that (small) more risk-averse donors (who want to be certain that their money will have an impact) will close the funding gap of very effective and established interventions and that they can instead spend more money on riskier, high expected value areas.
  4. Technological Innovation: New technological innovations—such as a very effective malaria vaccine—might be discovered, and these might be more cost-effective.
  5. High risk, high reward project:

CGD has a different take on this type of migration.

"Between the start of 2021 and 2022, the number of Nigerian-born nurses joining the UK nursing register more than quadrupled, an increase of 2,325. Becker’s human capital theory would suggest that this increase in the potential wages earned by Nigerian-trained nurses should lead to an increase in Nigerians choosing to train as nurses. So what happened? Between late 2021 and 2022, the number of successful national nursing exam candidates increased by 2,982—that is, more than enough to replace those who had left for the UK."

"To fully realise these benefits, Nigeria would need to embrace emigration, realising that nurses are likely going to leave anyway and doing everything they can to reap the benefits. Yet, they appear to be doing the opposite. New guidelines announced on 7 February 2024 state that nurses must work for two and half years before being allowed to work overseas, a move nurses contest. This policy is far from optimal; restrictions on emigration are inefficient, inequitable, and unethical. Indeed, Ghana had a similar scheme, but ended up scrapping it because they were unable to employ all of their nurse trainees at home."

I remember the 'subforums' being more like chat rooms in their user design than actual sub forums which you can navigate through from a front page.

It doesn't seem that great an opportunity as they've randomly selected 10,000 people out of 7.5 million adults. It then looks like you have to come to a consensus with the 50 participants otherwise the money goes back to her.

I found the Global Skills Partnerships from CGD interesting but I don't know how active it still is/if you can fund it specifically.

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