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Frameworks for selecting focus areas are guides that people in the effective altruism community can use to narrow their focus before deciding on interventions to pursue.

In contrast to formal frameworks, informal frameworks provide general guidance without attempting to provide a dispositive answer. Informal frameworks are also generally qualitative rather than quantitative.

Informal frameworks can be preferable to formal frameworks because of (i) ease of use, and (ii) they can permit more-nuanced approaches. On the other hand, they tend to be more vague than formal frameworks.

Some common informal frameworks are: