Is it fair to say that most (70-90%) social programmes don’t work?

Is it fair to say that most social programmes don’t work? – 80,000 Hours

“In 2015, the Arnold Foundation published a survey of the literature on programmes that had been tested with randomised controlled trials(RCTs) as part of a request for funding proposals. It found the following:

Education: Of the 90 interventions evaluated in RCTs commissioned by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) since 2002, approximately 90% were found to have weak or no positive effects.

Employment/training: In Department of Labor-commissioned RCTs that have reported results since 1992, about 75% of tested interventions were found to have found weak or no positive effects.

Medicine: Reviews have found that 50-80% of positive results in initial (“phase II”) clinical studies are overturned in subsequent, more definitive RCTs (“phase III”).”

It looks like the programs are beneficial to the staff, not the clients. 

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