At Oxford, co-founder Paul Niehaus talked with Stanford Professor Jim Ferguson about the future of cash transfers in a conversation that ranged from ethnography to economics. Sorosh Tavokoli, one of GiveDirectly’s donors, wrote a thoughtful piece on Medium on why, after five months of research, he decided that giving cash directly was one of the most cost-effective ways to help people in need.


1. The Future of Social Assistance in Africa and Beyond
Oxford, Paul Niehaus, June 7, 2017
The prospect of a substantial expansion of social assistance programmes based on cash transfers is generating great enthusiasm across Africa and beyond. Much of the recent research in this area has used randomized control trials to document the short-term impacts of these interventions, or focused on the relative efficacy of different modes of delivery (for example, if transfers are conditional or unconditional, large once-off wealth transfers or small payments over the long term, given to men or women, or means-targeted). However, a broader discussion on the opportunities, challenges and priorities related to the development of social assistance through cash transfer is often missing.

2. Yari and GiveDirectly — Winners afte8r 5 of months charity research
Medium, Sorosh Tavakoli, June 7, 2017
GiveDirectly are considered one of the worlds top charities by GiveWell as they fulfill their tough criteria around evidence, transparency and scale. I also really like the fact that their successful approach is making life tough, rightly so, for many other less impactful / transparent charities. If Cash is King, GiveDirectly are the Kings of Cash.

3. Basic income could eradicate extreme poverty in 66 countries, says economist
The Independent, Ben Kentish, June 7, 2017
Mr. McArthur highlighted the work of GiveDirectly, a non-profit organization that gives money, without conditions attached, to people in some of the world’s poorest countries.


4. Kenya’s social protection plan praised as AIHD’s new strategic plan is launched officially
The Star, John Muchangi, June 7, 2017
The number of Kenyans receiving direct cash transfers from the government has risen to 830,000, up from 295,000 in 2013. Social Protection Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said this has also increased allocation for the programme from Sh7.9 billion in 2013 to Sh21.2 billion today. “The cash transfers have made a profound difference in the lives of beneficiary households by improving their welfare and increasing their resilience,” she said in Nairobi on Tuesday.


5. Effective giving: how the world’s wealthy could help millions more people for free
The Conversation, Theron Pummer, June 8, 2017
Such striking facts about the “cost-effectiveness landscape” are well-known to members of the Giving Pledge who have been keeping up with the Effective Altruism movement, like Bill and Melinda Gates or billionaire couple Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz. Effective Altruism promotes the use of reason and evidence to work out how to help others the most with limited resources – be it time, money, or effort.

6. A Billionaire Defends Modern Philanthropy
The Atlantic, Alana Semuels, June 8, 2017
An effective-altruism point of view is: If you have wealth, and at least a reasonable moral compass, to ask, “How do you create the most good for the most people?” I’m not saying this is the perfect system. But what’s the better system? If you say, “form a democratic committee where everyone votes on everything,” well, then you get Congress. It’s a question of, what system gets more of the really good outputs? It’s not at all saying that a capitalist system or an investment-oriented system has nothing to correct and nothing to improve. That’s foolishness to say that. However, it has a lot of strengths that contribute a lot of good outcomes.


7. When Silicon Valley execs suddenly make billions, they turn to this man to help them give it away
CNBC, John Shinal, June 10, 2017
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, for example, have donated roughly $1.5 billion since 2010, according to SVCF marketing materials, in part into donor-advised funds that allow them to maintain some control over who gets the money — whether it’s a zoo, museum, ballet company or an alma mater.


8. Basic Income Would Cost Canada $15 Billion Annually: Report
Huffington Post Canada, Daniel Tencer, June 6, 2017
A basic income program similar to the one Ontario is testing would cost Canada around $15 billion annually, says a new study from the Northern Policy Institute. The study estimates that if Ontario’s basic income were implemented nationwide, it would cost $30 billion per year. But because the program replaces existing welfare and disability support programs, the savings would offset about half the cost of the basic income.

Back to List