Will StrongMinds be a GWWC top charity in 2025?
68
445
11k
2025
13%
chance

This market resolves "Yes" if on Jan 1st StrongMinds is a Giving What We Can "Top Charity", ie that it is listed on this page (or a page that supercedes it) https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/best-charities-to-donate-to-2022 or GWWC lists it unambiguously as a "top charity" or a charity with their highest level of recommendation should their rating system have a name change,

In uncertain cases I will reach out to GWWC for clarification.

Otherwise this market resolves "No"

Current page:

Dec 29, 12:25pm: Will StronMinds be a GWWC top charity in 2025? → Will StronMinds be a GWWC top charity in 2025?

Close date updated to 2025-01-01 12:01 am

Dec 29, 12:26pm: Will StronMinds be a GWWC top charity in 2025? → Will StrongMinds be a GWWC top charity in 2025?

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bought Ṁ100 of YES

Strongminds is already listed on the page now, and I suspect GiveWell is likely to keep adding charities to their page (the number of top charities listed now, is much longer than their four or so top charities when I last checked out their page some years ago) rather than removing them. Unless there is some insider knowledge about an ongoing study / research effort with the potential to dethrone Strongminds, I'd think the default assumption would be that it sticks around.

(Disclosure: maybe I am suffering from Fort Collins Bias, as both Joel and I live here. https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/users/joelmcguire?sortedBy=top Personally I don't know much about Strongminds though; initially I assumed it must be one of those mental-health / meditation apps, then later I learned it was basically "having people talk to each other in a group and be friends, as a service". Realizing that it was the latter made me think that the effects on wellbeing are probably mostly real -- people like talking and having friends!)

predicts YES

@JacksonWagner
'Unless there is some insider knowledge about an ongoing study / research effort with the potential to dethrone Strongminds, I'd think the default assumption would be that it sticks around.'


I vaguely remember seeing EA forum stuff about there being a more independent RTC of Strongminds in the pipeline, though I'm not a 100% sure. Also a lot of strongly worded detailed criticism of the current evidence base. (I still think this was rated too low when I started buying 'yes' though, given that the evidence was enough to convince GWWC to list Strong Minds in the first place, and that there are all sorts of reasons why the RTC might not cause de-listing by 2025: might not have been done by then, might be cancelled, might report very strong results, might not be trusted by GWWC, might not move the needle enough in a negative direction given that they probably won't just toss out earlier positive evidence etc.)

predicts NO

@DavidMathers You recall correctly! See the discussion here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/g4QWGj3JFLiKRyxZe/the-happier-lives-institute-is-funding-constrained-and-needs?commentId=nEFSAPdNBG5bjAT4B

Specifically there is a study coming up, the Ozler RCT (and see also various other debates in that comments section about the Happier Lives Insitute's evidence and stats). Quoted is EA Forum user Gregory Lewis' personal view, though the Happier Life Insitute also agrees that Strongminds' own RCT has a surprisingly high effect size (but disagrees that this is too much of a factor in their decison, compared to their other evidence):

I think we can be pretty sure (cf.) the forthcoming strongminds RCT (the one not conducted by Strongminds themselves, which allegedly found an effect size of d = 1.72 [!?]) will give dramatically worse results than HLI's evaluation would predict - i.e. somewhere between 'null' and '2x cash transfers' rather than 'several times better than cash transfers, and credibly better than GW top charities.' [I'll donate 5k USD if the Ozler RCT reports an effect size greater than d = 0.4 - 2x smaller than HLI's estimate of ~ 0.8, and below the bottom 0.1% of their monte carlo runs.]

Ozler himself, who is the insidiest of insiders because of running the actual study, is very skeptical of Strong Minds:

The Happier Lives Institute is funding constrained and needs you! — EA Forum
Comment by Gregory Lewis - [Own views] 1. I think we can be pretty sure (cf.) the forthcoming strongminds RCT (the one not conducted by Strongminds themselves, which allegedly found an effect size of d = 1.72 [!?]) will give dramatically worse results than HLI's evaluation would predict - i.e. somewhere between 'null' and '2x cash transfers' rather than 'several times better than cash transfers, and credibly better than GW top charities.' [I'll donate 5k USD if the Ozler RCT reports an effect size greater than d = 0.4 - 2x smaller than HLI's estimate of ~ 0.8, and below the bottom 0.1% of their monte carlo runs.] 2. This will not, however, surprise those who have criticised the many grave shortcomings in HLI's evaluation - mistakes HLI should not have made in the first place, and definitely should not have maintained once they were made aware of them. See e.g. Snowden on spillovers, me on statistics (1, 2, 3, etc.), and Givewell generally. 3. Among other things, this would confirm a) SimonM produced a more accurate and trustworthy assessment of Strongminds in their spare time as a non-subject matter expert than HLI managed as the centrepiece of their activity; b) the ~$250 000 HLI has moved to SM should be counted on the 'negative' rather than 'positive' side of the ledger, as I expect this will be seen as a significant and preventable misallocation of charitable donations. 4. Regrettably, it is hard to square this with an unfortunate series of honest mistakes. A better explanation is HLI's institutional agenda corrupts its ability to conduct fair-minded and even-handed assessment for an intervention where some results were much better for their agenda than others (cf.). I am sceptical this only applies to the SM evaluation, and I am pessimistic this will improve with further financial support. 
predicts YES

@Tetraspace I am skeptical of StrongMinds and indeed of mental health treatments and (relatedly) mental health as a cause area in general. But this market is about GWWC's opinion, not mine. I kind of think that if GWWC were prepared to list a mental health charity as top, they do not share my generic skepticism here. And whilst I now think that I bought this a bit too high, I think the chance that one negative study both appears in time (I assume delay is common with this type of thing) and GWWC update in time (which I assume might take a while) and is enough to destroy the case for StrongMinds as GWWC (and not me, or Gregory Lewis) assess things, was never going to be 80%, which was essentially what people were betting before I started trading.

1.) It's StrongMinds, not Stronger Minds.

2.) Does this question refer to either (1) "StrongMinds is a GWWC top charity at any point in 2025 = YES" or (2) just "StrongMinds is a GWWC charity at the end of 2025 = YES" or something else?

predicts NO

@PeterWildeford On Jan 1st, what is the current state.

Interesting and important question. I added M$100 of liquidity.

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