My shorter (and less strong) comment concerns this:
Implementation stage: It has been determined that it’s most likely a good idea to start a charity to work in a specific cause. Now the hard work begins of actually doing it.
I don’t believe that every cause area naturally lends itself to starting a charity. In fact, many don’t. For example, if one wants to estimate the philanthropic discount rate more accurately, one probably doesn’t need to start a charity to do so. Instead, one may want to do an Econ PhD.
So I think viewing the end goal as charity incubation may not be helpful, and in fact may be harmful if it results in EA dismissing particular cause areas that don’t perform well within this lens, but may be high-impact through other lenses.
Great point.I think my take is that evaluation and ranking often really makes sense for very specific goals. Otherwise you get the problem of evaluating an airplane using the metrics of a washing machine.
This post was rather short. I think if a funnel became more capacity, it would have to be clarified that it has a very particular goal in mind. In this case, the goal would be “identifying targets that could be entire nonprofits”.
We’ve discussed organizing cause areas that could make sense for smaller projects, but one problem with that is that the number of possible candidates in that case goes up considerably. It becomes a much messier problem to organize the space of possible options for any kind of useful work. If you have good ideas for this, please do post!
OK, I think that’s probably fine as long as you are very clear on the scope and the fact that some cause areas that you ‘funnel out’ may in fact still be very important through other lenses.
It sounds like you might be doing something quite similar to Charity Entrepreneurship so you may (or may not) want to collaborate with them in some way. At the very least they might be interested in the outcome of your research.
Speaking of CE, they are looking to incubate a non-profit that will work full-time on evaluating cause areas. I actually think it might be good if you have a somewhat narrow focus, because I’d imagine their organisation will inevitably end up taking quite a wide focus.
I agree with this.
I think one could address that simply by tweak the quoted sentences to “It has been determined that it’s most likely a good idea to start object-level work on a specific cause/intervention (e.g., starting a charity, starting a new programme in an existing org or government, doing independent research and advising key decision-makers). Now the hard work begins of actually doing that.”
(I’m also not sure the implementation stage will always or typically be harder than the other three stages. I don’t specifically believe the opposite; I just feel unsure, and imagine it varies.)
One minor quibble with your comment: I think “do an Econ PhD [and during this or afterwards try to estimate the philanthropic discount rate]” should probably not by itself be called “implementation”. It’s more object-level than doing prioritisation research to inform whether someone should do that, but by itself it doesn’t yet connect to any “directly important” decisions. So I’d want to make some mention of later communicating findings to key decision-makers.
[Btw, thanks for this post, Nuño—I found it clear and useful, and liked the diagram.]
That’s all fair. I would endorse that rewording (and potential change of approach)
Makes sense, thanks, changed.