You've given a lot of details specifically about Madagascar, but not actually responded to the substantive argument in the post. What global picture does this correspond to, under which the $5k per life saved figure is still true and meaningful? I don't see how the existence of somewhere for which no lives can be saved for $5k makes that claim any more plausible.

REVISED: A drowning child is hard to find

by Benquo 1 min read31st Jan 202036 comments

21


Substantial revisions to clarify the post's core claim, including but not limited to this summary at the end:

Summary

  • Effective Altruism claims that there is a large funding gap for cheap well-understood developing-world interventions.
  • Even the most aggressive plausible construal of this claim implies an annual funding gap that could be covered completely by existing major institutional donors.
  • If this is true, it implies opportunities for comparatively cheap experiments (relative to the endowments of major donors in the space) with extremely high information value.
  • Such experiments have not happened either because they are impossible, or because the relevant institutional donors think they have better things to do with their money.
  • Neither scenario suggests that small donors should try to fill this funding gap. If they trust big donors, they should just give to the big donors. If they don't, why should they believe a story clearly meant to extract money from them?

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