Sally Murray from Giving What We Can writes:
We are an organisation that assesses different charitable (/fundable) interventions, to estimate which are the most cost-effective (measured in terms of the improvement of life for people in developing countries gained for every dollar invested). Our research guides and encourages greater donations to the most cost-effective charities we thus identify, and our members have so far pledged a total of $14m to these causes, with many hundreds more relying on our advice in a less formal way.
I am specifically researching the cost-effectiveness of political lobbying organisations. We are initially focusing on organisations that lobby for ‘big win’ outcomes such as increased funding of the most cost-effective NTD treatments/ vaccine research, changes to global trade rules (potentially) and more obscure lobbies such as “Keep Antibiotics Working”.
We’ve a great deal of respect for your work and the superbly rational way you go about it, and wondered if any of your own investigations had produced findings helpful to this line of research? Especially, if it might enlighten either of these questions:
1. What are the expected returns to investment (~chances of various successes) for lobbies of different forms? (Especially for these ‘high impact’ lobbies). Do you have any general models/ methods for estimating this, or more specific case studies?
2. Are there any highly effective lobbying organisations campaigning for ‘big wins’ of which you think we should be aware? (Currently we’re investigating: RESULTS, the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Keep Antibiotics Working, and The Bretton Woods Project.)
We’d be really grateful for any help you can give us in these respect, and are hopeful that your input could really improve the advice we give to donors around the world.
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but maybe some readers do. Blattman? . . . Blattman? . . . Blattman?