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This paper considers the question 'How should institutions enable people to meet their needs in situations where there is no guarantee that all needs can be met?' After considering and rejecting several simple principles for meeting needs, it suggests a new effectiveness principle that 1) gives greater weight to the needs of the less well off and 2) gives weight to enabling a greater number of people to meet their needs. The effectiveness principle has some advantage over the main competitorsdoi:10.1184/r1/6492242.v1 fatcat:yppax6ezqvfatdtq43fgtty3fu