avacyn comments on Would it be a good idea to create a 'GiveWell' for U.S. charities? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: avacyn 05 February 2018 11:00:50PM 2 points [-]

Nice! I think it could be really valuable to create “GiveWell-style” charity evaluators for other areas. ACE started this off with animal charities, but I think some of the areas you listed could be good fits, as well as others e.g. biorisk/AI charities.

You mention this in the 5th benefit, but a major upside in my mind is incentivizing the space to place greater value in effectiveness and transparency. These effects could be far reaching and hard to quantify. You might see if ACE thinks this happened with animal advocacy because of their work.

There are potentially major benefits even if you fail: - You could gain valuable insights around starting such a venture, and around the focus area. This could be valuable both to you, and to the broader movement if you can distill it into a postmortem. - Starting an ambitious venture and failing can still be valuable career capital if you can show you hit certain milestones or can take away major lessons.

In general, I think you are overweighing the possible effects on EA / GiveWell. As the project grows you can decide how much explicit association you have with EA and GiveWell.

The biggest cost seems in my mind is the opportunity cost. Differences in cause areas can be pretty huge, so if you are working on a suboptimal cause, you might have a much lower impact.