Co-founder Michael Faye appeared this weekend on CCTV America. When asked if GiveDirectly considered putting constraints on our transfers he replied, “For a long time we’ve thought that we needed to put constraints on the poor for what they could use the money for. And the reality is that poverty itself puts constraints on the recipient.” In CNN, David Miliband made the case for using cash in situations with refugees, and in Tech Crunch, Scott Santens argues for increased use of cash in US welfare policy, through basic income.


1. Michael Faye: Giving directly
CCTV America, May Lee, September 9, 2016
The organization advocates for direct giving to people with the most need. Its research-based model essentially eliminates the middleman by quickly and efficiently transferring funds from donors right into the hands of those who need it most.

2. Weekly links September 9
The World Bank blog, David McKenzie, September 9, 2016
Interesting GiveDirectly blogpost about people refusing to accept their cash transfers in one part of Kenya: typically 95% of people have accepted the transfers, but in one new county 45% of households were declining.

3.  Incentives Shouldn’t Shape Public-Assistance Policy
New America, Kalena Thomhave, Aug. 25, 2016
Similarly, a 2011 study evaluated the effects of a GiveDirectly program that transferred unconditional cash benefits to impoverished households in Kenya. The transfersallowed families to build assets, increase their investments, reduce their hunger, and increase their consumption, particularly on food, medical, and family expenses.


4. South Africa does child support grants well, but not other welfare services
TimesLive, Tessa Hochfeld, September 10, 2016
These are just two examples that illustrate the lack of service integration and the paucity of welfare services that make Jabulile’s task of caring for her family much harder. A small monthly cash transfer can’t solve all their challenges. It is the start and not the end of the delivery of social justice to Jabulile and others like her.

5. Fixing social security will be complicated—there’s no escaping that
Prospect Magazine, Andrew Harrop, September 8, 2016
Every human problem has a solution that is “neat, plausible and wrong” an American journalist said exactly 100 years ago. But sometimes when a problem grows knottier, it seems that the number of neat solutions multiplies. It certainly feels that way when it comes to the question of how to improve Britain’s creaking system of social security, a byzantine scheme of cash transfers which pays out over £200 billion each year.

6. ​15 years on, we must not let Afghanistan slide backwards
CNN, David Miliband, September 8, 2016
One example is the use of cash. Just a few days ago, the IRC launched a cash transfer program for internally-displaced and vulnerable host communities in some of Afghanistan’s most inaccessible provinces, recognizing that cash is uniquely positioned to deliver flexible, cost-efficient and dignified relief.

7. World Bank Grant to Cushion 15, 000 Needy Households in Chad
Footprint to Africa, Milly W. Maina, September 7, 2016
The national system is aimed at fighting poverty by providing direct assistance to 15, 000 poor and vulnerable households in the country’s rural northern region of Logone Occidental, the Sahelian region of Bahr-EL-Gazel; and the urban and periurban neighbourhoods of N’Djamena and through cash transfers and job creation in public works programs.


8. Want to make a big difference? Consider effective altruism
Martlet, Heike Lettrari and Wray McQuat, September 8, 2016
Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Cari Tuna answer these questions using high quality evidence, careful reasoning, and in-depth research, rather than simply following gut feelings or what makes them feel good. They are proponents of effective altruism (EA), which, as describes, is “a growing social movement that combines both the heart and the head: compassion guided by data and reason.” EA asks you to use your time and money as effectively as possible to change the world for the better.


9. The progressive case for replacing the welfare state with basic income
Tech Crunch, Scott Santens, September 9, 2016
It appears some establishment voices have picked up on a way of opposing the idea of the monthly citizen dividend of about $1,000 per month, known as universal basic income (UBI), in a way that successfully leaves some progressively minded people afraid.

10. Iceland Could Be the Next Site for a Basic Income Experiment
CATO blog, Charles Hughes, September 9, 2016
In a narrow sense, their elevation could lead to the development of a basic income experiment due to the shortcomings they perceive in Iceland’s current welfare system. Another pilot program for a basic income could help find more answers to the many questions that still surround the idea.

Back to List