I have been brought on to head up ACE’s new experimental research division, which will operate with the support of our existing (and recently expanded) research team. This division is aligned with our goal of finding and advocating for highly effective opportunities to improve the lives of animals on a wide scale, which we do by providing research about advocacy interventions and charity recommendations. This research initiative is also poised to add capacity to the larger animal advocacy movement’s efforts to be as evidence-based as possible.

Our goal is for this division to produce highly impactful applied research that will significantly contribute to answering important practical questions facing animal advocates. We aim for our research to consistently demonstrate the potential for on-the-ground applicability through the generation of usable recommendations.

To this end, we will ask ourselves:

  • Does this research address an important problem facing animal advocacy groups?
  • How likely is this research to contribute to solving that problem, and to what extent?

In prioritizing impactful research, we expect to give serious thought to whether we can concretely and in a step-by-step fashion say for any proposed study how it might improve the lives of animals. We will work towards this in two ways: (i) considering which research will have the highest expected value for ACE’s charity evaluations; and (ii) taking into account the likelihood that individuals, organizations, and companies will be able to increase their impact by incorporating the findings into their own work.

As our program of experimental research begins to take shape, we look forward to learning from and sharing our work with others conducting research and engaging in advocacy in this field. We will be particularly eager to see how the findings can be used on the ground and will be vigilant about continually reassessing our approach (including the suitability of the parameters included herein) in an effort to maximize this likelihood.

Read the full research article about advocacy research by Kathryn Asher at Animal Charity Evaluators