How We Research
We think it’s important to be confident in what we’re doing and what we fund. Rather than follow intuition or be swayed by one off conversations, we seek to be more scientific about how we choose our preferred cause areas and interventions in order to maximise our chances of helping make a real difference. This is based on a five stage research and decision-making process as follows:
Stage 1: Defining Problems
Everybody has a unique perspective on the world’s problems which drives any moral weighting of problems and leads to a preference for certain cause areas over others. As an indication, we’re interested in addressing the problems of today (rather than taking a long termist or existential perspective), we consider animals as sentient beings deserving of advocacy and we have a bias towards helping younger people.
Stage 2: Prioritising Problems
It’s helpful to rank problems according to their scale (Importance), the potential for there to be effective solutions to address them (Tractability) and the extent to which any problem is being addressed or ignored today, meaning more could be done (Neglectedness). Such an exercise helps to narrow down the possible cause areas which we then explore further within the spheres of Global Development, Animal Welfare and Climate Change.
Stage 3: Understanding the Problem
Researching the causes of a problem is an essential first step to being able to critically evaluate the effectiveness of different ways to address it (the interventions). We conduct a medium-depth analysis of why the problem exists, what the possible solutions are and who is working on the issue. Afterwards we then rank interventions in that cause-area by evidence base and cost-effectiveness.
Stage 4: Understanding the Solution
During this step we carry out deep research on a small number of interventions to decide which of these interventions have the best chance of success in addressing the particular problem and we try to identify which organisations are already doing such effective work.
Stage 5: Identifying great Implementers of the Solution
During this last step we assess organisations implementing the intervention with a view to offering them funding. If we don’t find any impactful organisations implementing the intervention, we are open to providing seed capital for a new start-up charity working on the issue.
Our process is an iterative one and we are typically researching at least six interventions within three cause areas at any moment in time. Since Summer 2021 we have already researched Education, Cash Transfers and Social Movements addressing Climate Change and consider these as promising areas for funding. Furthermore, we continue to research other cause areas and interventions.