This week included mentions of GiveDirectly in Devex, Fast Company, Business Insider, and Futurism. Also this week, the UK’s head of FCDO, Priti Patel, reiterated her support for international aid in East Africa, and ODI put out a new report on cash transfers’ impact on women.


1. The global development lowdown at SXSW
Devex, Catherine Cheney, March 15, 2017
Devex moderated a session on universal basic income with Michael Faye — co-founder of GiveDirectly, who described his team’s UBI pilot in Kenya — and Mike Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, who has said that while UBI sounds good in theory, it breaks down in implementation — but he supports efforts like these to bring evidence to the debate.

2. How GiveWell Is Creating More Effective Altruism, By Taking Funding Risks
Fast Company, Ben Paynter, March 16, 2017
The data shows that both groups are actually more effective at improving lives (both by saving them, and boosting the welfare of those targeted) than GiveWell’s current baseline for good: a direct cash transfer to those in extreme poverty (as practiced by GiveDirectly, another top rated GiveWell group.)

3. 9 high-profile entrepreneurs who have endorsed universal basic income
Business Insider, Chris Weller, March 14, 2017
In February, the eBay founder donated$493,000 through his philanthropic organization, Omidyar Network, to an experiment in basic income taking place in Kenya later this year. The experiment is put on by GiveDirectly, a charity that delivers cash transfers to people in East Africa as a means to lift the from poverty.

4. Experts Think UBI Is the Solution to Automation. This Year, We’ll Find Out.
Futurism, Kristin Houser, March 2017
GiveDirectly is poised to launch the largest UBI program to date this spring. With the support of investors like Omidyar, the nonprofit will provide UBI to more than 26,000 Kenyans, with the total amount dispersed expected to hit around $30 million. The company is spreading the money across 200 villages, with recipients grouped into one of three potential systems. Some will receive 12 years of basic income, some will receive two years of it, and others will receive two years’ worth of income as a single lump sum.


5. Cash aid can bring enhanced benefits for women, says ODI
Public Finance International, Emma Rumney, March 17, 2017
Looking at 165 studies spanning 15 years, the think-tank’s findings suggest however that it is possible to develop cash transfer programmes that successfully target women. “Both women and men spend cash in ways that are beneficial for families,” explained Jessica Hagen-Zanker, research fellow at the ODI. “But in some cases – for example investment in livestock and seeds – the impacts of cash transfers can be shown to be enhanced when targeting women.” ”

6. EU launches education programme for 230,000 refugee children to attend school in Turkey
European Commission, March 16, 2017
The European Commission has today launched its largest ever humanitarian programme for education in emergencies to encourage some 230,000 refugee children to attend school in Turkey. The €34 million ‘Conditional Cash Transfer for Education’ (CCTE) project will provide bimonthly cash-transfers as of May 2017 to vulnerable refugee families whose children regularly attend school. The project will be implemented in partnership with UNICEF and its partner, the Turkish Red Crescent in support of the Government of Turkey.

7. Donors look for charities with the greatest future impact
Relief Web, FCDO, March 15, 2017
International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: In 2017, we face an unprecedented challenge with millions of people stalked by the scourge of famine. Britain has acted without hesitation – UK aid funded food, water and emergency healthcare is being delivered across East Africa right now, but more support is urgently needed to prevent a catastrophe. In times of crises, the British people are renowned for their incredible generosity and by matching pound for pound public donations to the DEC Appeal, the Government will double the difference Britons can make to the lives of children dying of hunger.

8. The impact of cash transfers on women and girls
ODI, Jessica Hagen-Zanker et al., March 2017
This briefing summarises the evidence on the impact of cash transfers on women and girls, drawn from the full report, Cash transfers: what does the evidence say?

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