Helene_K

242 karmaJoined May 2022Working (0-5 years)Seeking work

Bio

I'm a research & data analyst and recently participated in the Research Training Program at Charity Entrepreneurship, conducting intervention research and charity evaluations. I currently support Impactful Animal Advocacy as their M&E and Ops Lead. On the side, I do pro-bono data analysis work for non-profits and organize Effective Altruism Graz. 

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Answer by Helene_KFeb 01, 202416
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TLDR: Generalist with a focus on research and with a background in data science, looking for full-time or part-time work

Skills & background

  • My recent work has centered around research. I’m currently the M&E Lead at Impactful Animal Advocacy. I completed Charity Entrepreneurship’s Research Training Program, where I conducted prioritization and intervention research (focusing on theories of change, evidence reviews, and cost-effectiveness analyses) as well as charity evaluations. I also did a research internship at Healthy Futures (a CE-incubated charity) last summer and completed the MITx course Evaluating Social Programs. You can find some of my research here on the Forum
  • Before that, I spent 2.5 years as a data scientist in two tech start-ups. I also did some pro-bono data analysis work for a few EA charities on the side.
  • I have some operations experience from my work at Healthy Futures and Impactful Animal Advocacy as well as from serving as one of the organizers of EA Austria for the past five years.

Location/remote: I live in Austria (UTC+1) and would prefer to work remotely (I’m willing to travel!). I’m open to relocating within Europe for the right role.

Availability & type of work: I’m primarily interested in full-time roles, but open to part-time and project-based work. I’ll be available from March onwards. I’m most excited about (generalist) research, M&E, and data analyst roles, but also interested in operations and program management. Open to roles that don’t fall into any of these categories if you think I may be a good fit! 

Resume/CV/LinkedIn: See here.

Email/contact: Happy to send you my email or Calendy; just DM me on the Forum.

Other notes: I’m primarily looking for work in global health/development and animal advocacy, although I’m also excited about roles in mental health, climate change, pandemic preparedness, and meta EA.

I agree that the animal welfare impacts of this intervention are really important to consider! I touched on them in section 2 but I unfortunately didn't have the capacity to look into the human health and animal welfare aspect of this intervention. 

I also raise the issue of using egg-/meat-based baits but I honestly have no idea how their use weighs against potentially saving lots of dog lives due to vaccinating them against rabies. Interesting to hear about peanut butter potentially working well! I haven't come across this in any of the papers I've read and I'd be really curious to see how peanut butter baits would work in comparison to egg or intenstine baits in terms of acceptance and vaccine release. 

Thanks for the link, Moritz! Our World In Data has looked into fertilizers quite a lot, so I'm excited to listen to the episode! 

Oh, interesting to hear that there's a program in Uganda. Just googled, are you talking about The Big Fix Uganda?

Good point! I found that my CEA model was very sensitive to dog rabies incidence. If the incidence were high enough, doing a vaccination campaign could probably become cost-effective. However, the issue is that the effect of a vaccination campaign in a specific region alone would be fleeting if surrounding areas aren't also included in the campaign (since rabid dogs and other animals likely migrate from un-vaccinated regions to vaccinated regions). I discussed this issue in more details in section 5 in my report. Ultimately, this is what kills this idea in my opinion (when considering whether to start a new charity for it): you'd have to implement this intervention on a very large scale in order to have a lasting effect. 

Thanks for your comment and the paper! I've come across this paper before but didn't read it in detail. I have skimmed the paper again just now, so here are a couple of my ad-hoc thoughts:

The cost-effectiveness of the Goa campaigns seems to be a lot better than my modeled program in India. My CEA is very speculative, so it's nice to see that a retrospective CEA of this intervention yields a relatively good $-per-averted-DALY result. However, I'm not swayed by the number, since it's still far from GiveWell's cost-effectiveness bar of 100$ per averted DALYs. It would also be interesting to have a closer look at the assumptions they make in the CEA. From a brief look at the spreadsheet, they seem to equate one rabies death with ~26 YLL. This is a lot lower than my assumed ~45 DALYs per rabies death in my model (I used Founders Pledge's moral weights and roughly adapted them to the age distribution of rabies victims; also, virtually all of the DALY burden from rabies comes from YLL). This change alone would probably increase (potentially double?) the cost-effectiveness in the paper you linked but I guess it would still not pass GiveWell's bar.

Regarding the logistical issues you mention, this aligns with what I discovered in my research. As far as I know, free-roaming dogs have a higher rabies incidence than homestead dogs. But free-roaming dogs are hard to vaccinate with traditional (injectable) vaccines, since these dogs can be very shy and hard to catch. That's where oral vaccines would come in since you can simply throw a vaccination baits in front of a dog without having to come the dog. Which means that oral vaccine could be a good method to close the vaccination gap beween homestead and free-roaming dogs.

Hope this addresses some of the points you made! 

Thanks for your detailed comment, Sam! 

Interesting to hear that you've been working on fertilizer management for such a long time. The points you're adding seem very useful for a better understanding of the topic – they certainly provided more nuance to my own thinking about fertilizers. I agree that "increasing returns from fertilizer" might indeed be a better framing and that working on the issue from multiple angles could be more productive. 

Regarding your point about fertilizers subsidy spending taking away money from other causes, I think this is not per se an argument against fertilizer subsidies – it would be if the causes from which spending is subtracted would be more cost-effective (but I have no idea if this is the case). I do wonder though why fertilizer subsidies are politicized in South Asian countries. Because of fertilizers' role in environmental pollution?

Lastly, just to make things clear, while I spent 12 hours on the research itself, I spent an equal amount of time writing up my findings.

Thanks for the book recommendation and your inputs on the concrete industry, interesting to see the parallels! 

Yeah, I also wonder about neglectedness. Just did a quick Google search and saw that both Oxfam and the Gates Foundation include agricultural development in their focus areas. I assume that if two prominent charities in the global development field are working on agricultural interventions, other organizations are likely to work on them as well. I don't know how effective their efforts are though. I could imagine that – as it's the case with global health interventions – some agricultural development interventions might be one or more orders of magnitude more effective than others. But I'm not aware of any resources or research comparing possible/existing interventions in this field.

Yes, I've actually read part of your energy descent series and it gave me useful input for my post, so thanks a lot for that! 

Thank you so much for this post, Luke! 

For the past few years or so, I've become increasingly surprised by how few people mention effective giving when I asked them about their current efforts or future plans to do good. I don't know if that is because it's actually the case that few people donate – or because almost all people do so it's not worth mentioning it. I'm sad that effective giving is appearing to have such a minor role in EA, particularly since I think effective giving is an excellent way to keep this community grounded.

Anyways, I really appreciate you lending your voice to effective giving and your great work at GWWC - keep it up! 

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