How would you explain what a PIN is?

M-Pesa is famously ubiquitous in Kenya, with more than half the adult population using it or some other form of mobile money. M-Pesa agents, who take users’ deposits and provide cash-outs, operate in most towns and even small villages. The breadth of the network has certainly made our work delivering cash transfers, even in rural, […]

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Cash, goods, or services? The poor say cash

Earlier this month, while leaving a recipient’s home after a chat about his purchases and experience with GiveDirectly, I noticed a new structure beside his house that I hadn’t seen on my way in. “What’s that? Did you buy that with the transfer as well?” I asked, and my colleague Erick, Senior Field Officer, translated.The […]

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Rolling model

Here in Kenya, our team is focused on transferring money to as many poor households as possible. So, in March of this year, we made a significant change to our field model that allows us to reach more households than ever before.Our process of identifying recipients and transferring funds involves several distinct stages, each of […]

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GiveDirectly and Segovia

Recently, three members of our board – Michael Faye, Chris Hughes, and Paul Niehaus — announced plans to start a separate, fee-for-service for-profit venture called Segovia to develop technology for managing field logistics, with a focus on programs that transfer cash to the poor.This is potentially an exciting effort to reduce poverty: developing countries spend […]

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There’s no charity for power saws

One of the main benefits of giving cash is that people can use the cash to buy whatever they want or need. When people first hear about cash transfers, this freedom is sometimes one of the things they worry about – “and… they can just spend it on anything?” But it turns out that, on […]

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Becoming known in Siaya town

For the past year, I served as the Field Director in Kenya and led our team to deliver more than $3 million to poor households. Since transitioning to a New York-based role recently, I’ve been reflecting on how far we’ve come in a year. When I arrived in Kenya, our office was aptly described as […]

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What does direct giving mean to you?

When I first started interning at GiveDirectly earlier this year, I was new to the whole idea of cash transfers. As I’ve explored the topic more on social media, I’ve come to realize there is a growing and very eclectic community of people who are passionate about direct giving for different reasons. Here are some […]

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Heartbleed Update

We treat the privacy of our donors and recipients seriously and do not believe it was affected by the Heartbleed Bug.We confirmed that our hosting provider, Amazon, had patched the bug and then we updated all our certificates and keys. We verified that Stripe, our payments processor, did the same. We do not believe that […]

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First Impressions from the Field

“We target the poorest people in the region and try to get the cash to them as efficiently as possible.” “Okay…” I responded. There was a five-second pause before Joy clarified: “And that, in it its simplest form, is it.” “Oh, ok…. You don’t give them advice on how to spend it?” “No. We believe […]

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