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Monday, October 10, 2016 3:58
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Scientifically-based charities are best because:

  1. Science consistently beats intuitionTest it out yourself with this game where you guess which charities work, which don’t, and which actually cause harm. 
  2. Science allows you to help more people. If you know how effective various charities are, you can prioritize the ones that help the most people. For example, say you want to help fight AIDS. You can either give people AIDS treatment or air an AIDS prevention program over the radio. How big of a difference in the number of people helped is there between these two activities? 
    The difference is so large that you would have to give $100 a month for 40 years to AIDS treatment to help as you would giving $100 once to the prevention charity.
  3. It’s fulfilling to know that you’ve helped dozens more people than you would have otherwise.


How to assess a charity

Just as with medicine and science, the way to prove a charity is through running studies and gaining objective evidence. 
Of course, not just any study will do. Ideally studies should be:
      ✔ Peer reviewed
      ✔ Done by researchers who are not paid by the charity
     ✔ Statistically significant
     ✔ Conducted with a control group
     ✔ Having a large enough effect size
     ✔ Measuring the right things (e.g. measuring increased long term income, not website traffic)
     ✔ Including a randomly chosen sample
     ✔ Using objective measures (e.g. medical records rather than self-reported health assessments)
    ✔ Focused on the specific intervention in the particular country it was run
    ✔ Compiled from numerous sources, with several independent studies. 

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