EA research methods, a hands-on workshop distilled

EA research methods, a hands-on workshop distilled

Last updated: 4th October, 2023

1. Key Information

Length: The workshop spans multiple sessions, each lasting approximately one to two hours. The overall duration may vary based on the depth of discussions and engagement.

Cost: The cost of the workshop primarily includes materials for reading and practical exercises. If external speakers or facilitators are involved, there might be additional costs.

Target Audience: individuals interested in effective altruism, research methods, and prioritisation in altruistic actions. Participants should have a basic understanding of the principles of EA.

2. Important considerations


  • Develops critical skills: Participants learn how to analyze, prioritize, and evaluate interventions effectively, enhancing their decision-making abilities.
  • Promotes engagement: Engages participants in practical exercises, making the learning experience interactive and memorable.
  • Supports EA community: Fosters a community of individuals interested in evidence-based altruistic actions, potentially leading to collaborative efforts.
  • Empowers attendees: Equips participants with tools and frameworks to contribute meaningfully to the field of effective altruism.

Things to consider:

  • Multiple sessions may require a significant time commitment from participants, potentially limiting attendance.
  • The workshop involves technical concepts and materials, which might be challenging for newcomers to the field.
  • Organizing speakers or acquiring reading materials may require additional resources.

3. Preparation

  • Identify relevant reading materials and resources for each session.
  • Determine the availability of facilitators or speakers if needed.
  • Create a schedule outlining the structure and content of each session.

4. Event Structure

Session 1: Evidence-based Intervention Prioritization

  • Introduction to effective altruism and intervention prioritization.
  • Review of health-related intervention research.
  • Deep dive into deworming interventions and GiveWell's analysis.
  • Practical exercise: Participants explore GiveWell's cost-effectiveness analysis spreadsheet.

Session 2: Theory of Change and Crucial Considerations

  • Introduction to Theory of Change and Crucial Considerations.
  • Discussion on animal advocacy movements and interventions.
  • Workshop activities: Recreate ToC diagrams and identify crucial considerations.

Session 3: Cause Prioritization

  • Introduction to the ITN framework and cause prioritization.
  • Analysis of climate change as a cause area.
  • Practical exercise: Participants evaluate climate change's importance, tractability, and neglectedness.

Session 4: Weighted Factor Analysis

  • Introduction to Weighted Factor Models and decision-making criteria.
  • Ranking interventions based on different criteria.
  • Workshop activity: Participants rank interventions using a spreadsheet.

5. Further resources

Key People to Reach Out for Help:

  • Expert facilitators in effective altruism, intervention research, and prioritization.
  • Members of the EA community with experience in organizing workshops or events.
  • Relevant organizations or researchers involved in effective altruism research.

How to Run This Workshop:

  • Identify the key topics and learning objectives for each session.
  • Gather or create reading materials, resources, and practical exercises.
  • Set a schedule and allocate time for each session's activities.
  • Secure facilitators or speakers if necessary.
  • Promote the workshop within the EA community and relevant networks.
  • Conduct each session, ensuring active engagement and participation.
  • Provide opportunities for discussion, questions, and collaborative learning.
  • Gather feedback from participants to improve future iterations of the workshop.
  • Running the EA Research Methods Workshop can provide participants with valuable skills and insights into effective altruism, research methods, and intervention prioritization, contributing to the growth of the EA community and its impact on altruistic actions.