My current (weakly-held) opinion is that the farm reforms passed in 2020 were good. Some useful sources are Shruti Rajagopalan’s op-ed on this, Sadanand Dhume’s WSJ piece on this, and this article. I also recommend Shruti Rajagopalan’s interview of Shoumitro Chatterjee.
Thanks a lot for this estimate! I will link your comment on our post.
I’ve added Swasth as a recommendation, because it seems to purchase concentrators at lower prices and seems to have more room for funding at the moment, and because our concerns on accessible payment options are likely less relevant among EAs (as opposed to the high school and college students who will likely attend our debate lecture series). Thanks for pointing it out!
I don’t think the two are related!
We actually looked at Swasth and think it’s another very promising opportunity – definitely comparable to our other two recommendations – but we didn’t recommend it because it only accepted the payment method of a bank transfer for foreign donations, which could be less accessible (particularly for the lecture series that we originally wrote this for).
In general, however, it looks quite good, both for the prices at which Swasth is getting concentrators and given their focus on concentrators, which we think are the most cost-effective option.
Thanks for sharing! Manya and I will look this up/check the actual size of the oxygen tanks and times, and see how it affects Jeff’s model.
Thanks for the comment! We are honestly quite unsure about the margin, especially because the cost-effectiveness analyses we have access to are about the cause area and not a model for the specific charitable donations.
Our guess is that donations to oxygen likely beat GiveWell top charities – here are Jeff Coleman’s calculations for the GiveIndia’s various programs for magnitudes. It’s hard to give a precise estimate partly because each oxygen concentrator or cylinder, for instance, is a fixed cost which can be used for a while (and we‘re unclear what demand will be like over the next few months) – so the best Coleman can do is an estimate of days of use it takes to beat GiveWell top charities.
Our current guess is that the direct cash transfer program in our second recommendation is competitive with GiveDirectly but most other GiveWell-recommended charities beat it on pure cost-effectiveness terms, and we are much more uncertain about our third recommendation.
My guesses at the moment are that:
Oxygen concentrators are more cost-effective than B-type cylinders, and much more cost-effective than ventilators or D-type cylinders, but there’s a lot more uncertainty around oxygen generators. This is both due to Coleman’s calculations and transport constraints. Even though concentrators are used in less severe cases, they can prevent cases from becoming severe enough to require hospitalization, given serious bed shortages.
Effective Indian charities (or ones that operate more extensively in India) are preferable to international ones, especially since the former operate on larger programs, are less vulnerable to government regulations restricting their actions – see here and here. They could also help reduce transaction costs.
So I’d say GiveIndia’s Oxygen fundraiser is a good bet for broad-based oxygen donations (especially since they’re transparent about their costs), and this fundraiser and this one both look promising for concentrator-specific donations. The latter two fundraisers procure concentrators at slightly higher cost than GiveIndia’s fundraiser does, but you can target your donations at concentrators.
Here are GiveIndia’s estimates of its costs:
Was so surprised and happy to see this when just scrolling through EA Forum today! Thanks a lot for conducting it, I really enjoyed competing. The high school pilot program looks incredible!