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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Making our work extra readable


Maybe you seen that our most up-to-date weblog submit included a bit of caprice and even a joke footnote. Our weblog is altering barely, and you’ll count on extra of that!

When GiveWell first began running a blog, the weblog was a spot to share broad ideas on philanthropy and generate dialog. Whereas we’re not planning to revert to the tone of our early weblog posts (which we contemplate a mistake), we try to publish extra on our weblog and to make what we publish extra readable. Our weblog posts will likely be as correct as ever, however we’re hoping {that a} extra conversational tone will likely be simpler to have interaction with.

This weblog refresh stems from an organization-wide emphasis on legibility. This focus is said to our deeply held worth of transparency. For individuals exterior of GiveWell to actually consider the conclusions that drive our suggestions, our work must be not solely public but in addition comprehensible.

In GiveWell’s dictionary:

  • Transparency [ tran·spah·ruhn·see ]: actually making data out there
  • Legibility [ leh·juh·bi·luh·tee ]: making a call simple to grasp and agree or disagree with

Making our work extra legible takes many varieties. For instance, alongside our primary cost-effectiveness fashions, we now additionally publish shorter variations which might be simpler to digest (and can be utilized to determine key elements in our estimates).

In the event you’d wish to see the distinction for your self, examine the full model, the simplified model, and the abstract model of our cost-effectiveness evaluation for a 2023 grant to Malaria Consortium.

We’ve additionally made grant pages (like this one, on figuring out and treating a congenital situation known as clubfoot) simpler to comply with by together with a extra in depth abstract that lays out the case for the grant, supplies a abstract of our cost-effectiveness evaluation, and identifies our key reservations. We expect our earlier grant pages (like this one, on malnutrition remedy) have been usually much less readable, and that key data that knowledgeable our reasoning was more durable to seek out.

One of many methods we plan to keep up sturdy legibility is thru the work of our newly established “cross-cutting” analysis subteam. An specific aim of their work is making our analysis extra correct, clear, and legible. For instance, they’ve led efforts on “red-teaming,” an train wherein GiveWell researchers not in any other case concerned in a specific grant or program investigation seek for doable errors and oversights that would influence our suggestions. We’re additionally devoting extra time to answering vital questions related to analysis decision-making, similar to how we must always weight the advantages of various outcomes as we prioritize between grants.

We expect our weblog may very well be a great tool for enhancing the accessibility of our work, and we hope that our work itself will enhance consequently. Our efforts will profit from engagement from our readers, so right here’s a plug in your participation: In the event you haven’t adjusted your communications settings from GiveWell shortly, you’ll be able to join periodic emails (together with notifications of latest weblog posts) right here.1We’ll by no means promote your electronic mail or share it with out permission, nor will we signal you up for emails you didn’t ask for! In case you have a remark or query, drop us an electronic mail at data@givewell.org. Share thought-provoking weblog posts together with your group chat. Schedule a name with one in all our philanthropy advisors to speak about your individual giving. And should you discover one thing we’ve printed inaccessible, please tell us!

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