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One of the most significant problems that the effective altruist community has focused on has been global poverty. However, there are many different types of intervention that address global poverty directly or indirectly.

These interventions appear to vary significantly in their cost effectiveness given in $ per DALY averted (data from the Disease Control Priorities Project, 2016). However, these estimates should not be taken literally, due to the possibility of errors and variations in methodology (Givewell 2014; Bayoumi et al 2006).

Intervention effectiveness

According to these and other analyses, some of the most promising interventions are malaria prevention, deworming, cash transfers and micronutrient fortification.

These analyses are for relatively small-scale interventions, generally focused on health. Others have suggested that larger-scale interventions like improving governance may have more significant impacts on global poverty.

Further reading

Centre for Effective Altruism. Cause profile: Global Health and Development

Bayoumi, Ahmed et al. 2006. Bias in published cost effectiveness studies: systematic review.

Dhaliwal, Iqbal, Rachel Glennerster & Caitlin Tulloch. 2014. Comparative cost-effectiveness analysis to inform policy in developing countries.
edited by Paul Glewwe, 285-388. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Education Policy in Developing Countries

GiveWell. 2014. Errors in DCP2 cost-effectiveness estimate for deworming.

GiveWell. 2015. Development Media International.
Description and evaluation.

GiveWell. 2016. Priority programs.
A list of the interventions thought to be priorities.

Horton, Sue & Carol Levin. 2016. Cost-effectiveness of interventions for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health.
Disease Control Priorities, 319-344.
Summary of cost-effectiveness literature in those areas.