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It is easier to find the best charities or the best interventions if we can first focus our research efforts on particularly promising focus areas.

Several organizations and individuals have provided recommendations for focus areas. These recommendations are useful as practical guides, and also as examples of how to consider these problems.

Normally, the people who produce these recommendations do so by applying some form of framework for selecting focus areas, under certain moral or empirical assumptions. In some cases the recommendations are unconditional, in that they provide recommendations based on one particular set of assumptions. In other case, the recommendations are conditional: they show the implications of several different sets of assumptions, without making definitive judgements about which are most plausible.