Why start a family planning charity? (Founders needed) 2021-04-02T10:29:43.195Z


Comment by Ula on Launching a new resource: 'Effective Altruism: An Introduction' · 2021-04-16T12:24:40.712Z · EA · GW

Since I come from the EAA side of effective altruism I feel like Lewis Bollard's podcast is really missing here. I would dearly appreciate it,  if when you use the term "Effective Altruism: An Introduction" there was EAA representation included in the introductory materials, especially that in the countries like Poland (where I am from) EA-mind folks are mostly coming from the animal movement and are drawn to EA because of effective animal advocacy. 
Or maybe just worth re-naming to: 80,000 Hours Introduction to Effective Altruism?

Comment by Ula on Why start a family planning charity? (Founders needed) · 2021-04-07T12:19:05.369Z · EA · GW

Hi Rafael,

Thanks for your thoughtful response – it’s great to hear your impressions on our research!

"Do you know of other organizations that follow this approach, given your point that this is one of the few times a woman will come in contact with the health system?"

The expert view section of our report (p. 16) has the most information about other actors in the space. Key points:

  • Several groups (e.g. FP2020, FHI360, USAID, IntraHealth) are working on PPFP due to the strong evidence of its effectiveness, but only a few specialize in it – most work on PPFP alongside other family planning interventions. 
  • Jhpiego came up in conversation with experts as a key actor working on PPFP. 
  • Overall it seems that, while some work is taking place to promote PPFP, there’s still a lot that remains to be done – particularly in neglected geographies.

"Your estimate for the cost of one tonne of CO2 averted (3 tonnes per USD spent or 0.33 USD per tonne of CO2 averted) would place your intervention among some of the most cost-effective for climate change. Is this generalizable to family planning in general and, if so, how?… That leads me to think that family planning and fulfilling unmet contraceptive needs would generally be a very effective intervention to support for multiple outcomes. What is your view on that? Is this generalizable to other countries or not?"

In the specific case of family planning, CE is uncertain but optimistic that family planning and fulfilling unmet contraceptive needs can be impactful on a range of outcomes. However, we don’t think that CEAs should be taken at face value and are very uncertain of the true effect on climate change. More in-depth work is needed to estimate the effect.  You can read more about our thoughts in our blog post on why we chose to research family planning. Project Drawdown also has a nice summary. The organization Having Kids is also doing some work that might interest you. 

Founders Pledge has previously analyzed the effect of lifestyle changes that could affect the climate and looked into “having one fewer child”. The results change dramatically depending on whether or not you account for policy changes leading to reductions in future generations’ emissions. 

All that to say, we would be cautious about generalizing more broadly, and would not expect the same numbers to apply. This is also why for example we discount studies that take place in different contexts when examining the evidence for a particular intervention: generalizations get messy.

As a quick example for how generalizations about family planning and climate change can get tricky: per capita emissions are much higher in first world countries than in developing contexts, but fertility rates (i.e. the average number of children born to each woman) are much lower. If we want to compare the two, we need to account for these and many other such differences. CE hasn’t looked into this question in depth, although our implementation report (which we share with co-founders) lists a couple more countries in addition to Ghana and Nigeria as potentially promising. 

We hope that helps answer your questions! Thanks again for engaging with our research. :)

Comment by Ula on How we averted 130,000 animal deaths (in expectation) with a volunteer campaign. · 2021-04-06T10:12:51.794Z · EA · GW

Can't find a link to MM CEAs? 

Comment by Ula on How we averted 130,000 animal deaths (in expectation) with a volunteer campaign. · 2021-04-06T10:05:01.710Z · EA · GW

Hey James, 
I don't know how it is now, but I worked at ProVeg Poland (so a country chapter like ProVeg UK) like 3 years ago and we worked on everything extremely slowly so i.e. a person that will be working on a campaign would have to ask the graphic people to design the graphics, then they would have to consult with the country manager, the manager would have a meeting with other country managers, these country managers were managed by a person from the leadership and the leadership would have their own meetings. On top of that, there was one international HR department that will do evaluations with employees, and there will be accountants that would deal with the salary, you would also spend time on being trained, conferences, team meetings, yearly reports, consulting PR department, country office, office costs etc. So like in each single thing you wanted to do in a country there was a huge team involved. I would definitely talk to them to get REAL numbers. I think this will impact your cost-effectiveness. 

Comment by Ula on How we averted 130,000 animal deaths (in expectation) with a volunteer campaign. · 2021-04-05T21:43:05.966Z · EA · GW

Hi James, 

I can't spend too much time on this right now but at a first glance I can potentially see two major problems: 

1) Problem with collecting the data  that should show the effect

2) Problem with calculating the costs

With the 1) to count the animals spared by 1 plant-based day you would have to check stuff like:

  • what kind of meal was replaced (beef/ chicken/ fish, so e.g. beef will mean fewer animals spared, because people eat a smaller portion of the animal, fish will mean more animals spared);
  • was the supply chain affected (so e.g. maybe it only means that instead of 2 chicken wings there are 3 served on Thursday because Friday is plant-based day)
  • are the kids eating the plant-based meals in the long run, or they bring meat sandwiches from home for that day, because they don't like the plant-based alternative; or they eat extra meat at home in the evening to compensate for the lack of meat at school that day;

So these are just very few examples of many factors that should be accounted for in the calculations.

With the 2) to measure the cost you need not only focus on direct hours spent by a volunteer and PV employee but stuff like: 

  • who is managing volunteers and how much time they put into: recruiting the volunteer, train the volunteer, and manage the volunteer weekly; and how much time the volunteer put into direct work but also in travel, etc.
  • when you count the time of ProVeg: the cost would be not only how much a person earns per hour that works directly on the campaign but also multiple costs like the cost of producing a leaflet/ PDF/ printed materials, the cost of the time manager spend on managing the person and training the person that is working on this campaign etc. (so e.g. in case of a more corporate-structured organization like ProVeg it will be: time of a person working directly on the campaign, graphic designer time, web developer time, research person time, manager and manager of a manager time and their boss too, HR person time, accountant time, office costs, utilities costs like coffee, juice, tea, printing materials etc.); and you only factored earnings per hour so it seems?

So yeah this is just a quick remark and a top of an iceberg if you want to really measure the impact of this intervention. I hope this will give you a sense of how you can go about it, because there is only one study on this type of intervention and if I remember correctly it was either not effective at all or barely effective. Hopefully, someone will find a link, so you can check how they went about the calculations. 

Comment by Ula on Open and Welcome Thread: March 2021 · 2021-04-03T20:24:27.711Z · EA · GW

Hey  Rwoehrle, 
Thanks for sharing! I think it's always good to take a very pragmatic approach towards donating. As long as you have a debt to pay, it seems like it's worth putting money into that, and building a safety net for yourself first (a bit like putting an oxygen mask on yourself before you gonna get one on your child). When it comes to volunteering for animal groups, I'd recommend ACE top charities, or charities that are founded by Open Philanthropy or Animal Welfare Found, they should be kind of safe bets. Personally, I like The Humane League, and orgs around Open Wing Alliance (because this is an intervention that seems to be proven to be net positive for chickens). You can look for online volunteer opportunities with them. E.g. I work for an EA organization full time, but recently decided to donate some hours of graphic work to Fish Welfare Initiative. Maybe you can think of things you like to do, and the skills you have and go from that. I think that volunteering is a great thing, and you can start with as little as 1-2 hours a week. 
Also, try to join this group with EA Online Events: to connect with the community online until you will find (or maybe start) a group near you. All the best!

Comment by Ula on Why Hasn't Effective Altruism Grown Since 2015? · 2021-03-11T15:08:20.740Z · EA · GW

Great share!

Comment by Ula on AMA: Tom Chivers, science writer, science editor at UnHerd · 2021-03-11T14:57:50.483Z · EA · GW

How one should go about learning how to write high-quality material? And what is the way to get it published?

Comment by Ula on AMA: Tom Chivers, science writer, science editor at UnHerd · 2021-03-11T14:52:23.730Z · EA · GW

Approaching journalists:

  1. How can we reach them?
  2. What is the best way to pitch an idea to a journalist?
  3. Do press releases still work? (Is it worth sending them to the contact emails, since it's hard often to get direct contact)
  4. Maybe Twitter is a good idea?
Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-26T18:48:25.263Z · EA · GW

Would love to see an answer to this. The report is pessimistic, but it's unclear if it's never or 50 years. I hope Lewis will get back to this question!

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-26T18:45:44.789Z · EA · GW

Dear Lewis, thank you very much for your answer. If I may add one small thing: I think we should not only focus on diversity and sexual harassment, because mobbing can lead to PTSD, anxiety, depression, or struggling with self-worth. These can further affect people's lives on many levels (from work to relationships). I think that unfortunately, we don't put enough attention to the work environment and high rotations in the charities. There is room for improvement there for sure. I dearly appreciate Open Phils attitude towards this though! You are giving a great example by treating employees seriously and investigating! Thank you!

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T19:27:55.396Z · EA · GW

Hey Charles, I don't think this is a good place to turn this into a larger discussion. Unless the AMA author would like this to be the case.

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T17:22:21.630Z · EA · GW

This is such a sad thing to learn :(

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T17:13:07.274Z · EA · GW

Hey Daniela, I've been an animal activist for 20 years now and I had seen so many people suffer mobbing or hostile work environment. People suffering severe burnout, mostly due to poor leadership. The sad thing is, they are too afraid to say anything because some of the leaders and organizations are big and well respected. I don't really know how to help them, but I believe they don't deserve the anxiety, self-doubt, low self-esteem, depression, and all the other repercussions. Just don't really know what to do about it, but what worries me is that there is no follow-up. Like ACE is pointing out things and you can see no official response from the orgs. So is anything changing, or is it swept under the rug? What can we do?

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T13:21:01.541Z · EA · GW

If we focus on cost-effectiveness, what would be the most effective top 3 interventions for animals at the moment?

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T13:05:28.005Z · EA · GW

What is the most effective intervention for fish? Is anyone working on it? How many organizations are working on change for fish right now? What do we expect to achieve for fish in the next 2-3 years?

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T13:01:46.721Z · EA · GW

What are the key challenges in alternative proteins production that we need to overcome to meet the meat :) price point?

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T12:58:06.296Z · EA · GW

What criteria do you use while deciding which charities are gonna be given funding from EA AWF?

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T12:24:43.166Z · EA · GW

Question: In the past 2-3 years, we have heard troubling news about how employees in the animal movement are treated. Are there any plans of creating a safe, global space for employees, where they could:

  1. Safely complain about their situation.
  2. Seek psychological and legal support.
  3. Could safely share their stories.

Problem: I have two examples in mind:

  1. On 17th April 2020 Anima International shared a post on Facebook where they explain their reasoning for firing their CEO: "However, no matter how much we value her merits, there are issues in regards to everyday behaviour towards employees that we as an organization cannot accept." Do we know what happened to the employees? Did they get support, help, where they apologized to, compensated?
  2. In 2018/2019 ProVeg International was taken out of ACE standout charities list because of (among others) "concerns about their workplace culture". What was mentioned is that ACE "received multiple testimonials from former employees with detailed reports of culture and HR problems". The question is - what kind of support have these employees received? Has the organization apologized to them, compensated them? There was maybe no public reaction from ProVeg, as far as I can recall. Where ACE is mentioning "Much of ProVeg’s staff seems concerned about internal discrimination and the unequal treatment of employees, particularly along gender lines." Source:

These are only two examples. I have no knowledge if these kinds of problems are wide and common. My question is: How can the global animal movement protect employees from this kind of hostile work conditions? How can we support them?

Comment by Ula on AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy · 2021-02-25T10:09:28.470Z · EA · GW

This is a super important question, I'd love this to be addressed since it also seems to me this is very pessimistic and extremely important. This is not only a huge part of GFI's or ProVeg Incubator's work that probably absorbs a lot of money but it also was this kind of "hope" for animal activists like myself. Would it be reasonable to shift more resources towards alt proteins?

Comment by Ula on Introducing Animal Advocacy Africa · 2020-12-07T17:41:45.025Z · EA · GW

Congratulations! This is a very much needed research project. I've seen orgs scaling up to i.e. SA without any research, which resulted in not very successful programs. I also know very little about animal movement in African countries, so really looking forward to your reports.

Comment by Ula on Introducing Animal Ask · 2020-11-18T11:16:10.757Z · EA · GW

Huge congratulations and thank you for creating this org! I think it's very much needed, mostly because I am an animal activist for 20 years now and I think we could do even better when choosing which campaigns do we implement as a movement. I really hope that thanks to Animal Ask's help we will progress even faster for animals. The time is crucial, the amount of suffering and deaths unbearable. Thanks, Amy and George for taking this important challenge, and I really hope many organizations will use your talent and experience.

Comment by Ula on Introducing LEEP: Lead Exposure Elimination Project · 2020-10-06T10:55:01.646Z · EA · GW

Congratulation on your launch! Very impressed so far on how much progress you're making in a short amount of time. Good luck in Malawi!

Comment by Ula on Call for Early Career Speakers · 2020-09-04T11:47:08.465Z · EA · GW

Just send you a message!

Comment by Ula on 2020 Top Charity Ideas - Charity Entrepreneurship · 2020-08-19T11:22:22.169Z · EA · GW

If you're interested in who will be starting some of these charities, we have now posted a video with our 2020 Incubation Program participants: We're very grateful because we received over 3,000 applications this year. In the video we ask participants why they decided to join the program.

Comment by Ula on Responding to COVID-19 in India · 2020-04-27T06:23:52.463Z · EA · GW

I am beyond impressed how fast this was put together. Great work!!!

Comment by Ula on Update On Six New Charities Incubated By Charity Entrepreneurship · 2020-02-27T12:36:01.077Z · EA · GW

I know I am biased because I work at CE, but I am extremely grateful for all the entrepreneurs and their work so far. I worked in a startup environment, so I know it's not easy to take this enormous responsibility that includes: providing high-quality research, managing contacts with business owners/governments/charities, responsible hiring, communications, operations, tons of traveling, and many many more. I am particularly excited about Fish Welfare Initiative since my biggest wish for fish is that they have their own "Open Wing Alliance". I hope many of you here on the EA forum will support these new charities and share your experience with them.

Comment by Ula on AMA: We are Jon and Kathryn. We work with The Life You Can Save. Ask us anything! · 2020-01-27T14:12:37.839Z · EA · GW

Wow, this is a really helpful reply! Thank you very much!

Comment by Ula on AMA: Rob Mather, founder and CEO of the Against Malaria Foundation · 2020-01-24T11:45:58.806Z · EA · GW

Do you think it will be possible to create high-impact, EA (complied to GiveWell standards) charities for animals? If yes - what would be the first step to achieve this? (Like what is missing in current animal advocacy that could brought it to this kind of cost-effective rigor?).

Comment by Ula on AMA: We are Jon and Kathryn. We work with The Life You Can Save. Ask us anything! · 2020-01-24T11:42:04.466Z · EA · GW

I have heard that TYLCS prepared a great event promoting the book in London (the guest list was small but amazing, the venue as well - so I heard). So I was wondering how much time was spent on preparing the event? How much money did you spend on it (stuff hours + venue/catering costs)? And what are the tips on putting a great guest list (like i.e. you want to funders, influencers, experienced EAs in the same room in the same time - that is super tough). Basically, I would like to know more on promoting via this kind of events. Do you think money wise it's worth it? How do you judge if it was a success or not? And how you did it?

Comment by Ula on Notes on hiring a copyeditor for CEA · 2020-01-17T14:41:15.504Z · EA · GW

Probably Joey has already send it but if not:

Comment by Ula on Notes on hiring a copyeditor for CEA · 2020-01-14T20:12:45.911Z · EA · GW

This is super useful, we're just about to go through similar process (hiring full-time editor). Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Ula on Introducing Animal Advocacy Careers · 2020-01-13T20:33:53.484Z · EA · GW

This is such a nice welcoming! Great that 80K is supporting this project, it is very much needed in the animal space.

Comment by Ula on Effective Animal Advocacy Resources · 2019-10-25T12:56:28.231Z · EA · GW

Thanks Saulius, this is very helpful!

Comment by Ula on Introducing Fish Welfare Initiative · 2019-10-08T18:41:33.751Z · EA · GW

Congratulations on your launch! I am very glad that an organization focusing on such an important and large-scale problem was created within the framework of effective altruism. Thank you guys and good luck!

Comment by Ula on Should you have your own blog? · 2018-11-28T17:56:59.898Z · EA · GW

I agree with part of the comment above. I think moving to EA forum can be very beneficial but it will definitely make us more conscious about posting - so we'll be afraid to publish anything unpolished and rigorously double-checked. Maybe this is good, because we shall publish mostly high-quality stuff but for newbies like myself I think the bar (at least from what I heard) is so high that I'd probably start my own thing on side.

Interestingly, I don't believe re-posting stuff here as link-posts will work well. I can already see the differences in traction with link-posts and standard posts. So I think what one can do is actually to publish more professional things here (things that one really needs to discuss) but leave simpler blogs for Medium/ their own blog.

Comment by Ula on 2018 ACE Recommendations · 2018-11-27T11:57:13.304Z · EA · GW

I wonder, what were the obstacles that didn't allow you to make cost-effectiveness analysis for ProVeg?: "For ProVeg in particular, we believe that our best estimate of their cost effectiveness is too speculative to feature in our review or include as a significant factor in our evaluation of their effectiveness." Is this supported by a promise that they will measure the cost-effectiveness in the future? And why it was possible to do the evaluation for other stand out charities and not for this particular one? Finally why do you think a cost-effectiveness analysis is not "a significant factor in our evaluation of their effectiveness".