We are very pleased to announce that GiveDirectly is moving its operations in Kenya from Siaya County, north of Kisumu, to Homa Bay County to the south.
In Kenya, the counties of Siaya and Homa Bay are relatively close to each other and to our main office in Kisumu.
The move represents GiveDirectly’s expanding potential to empower thousands of households with direct, unconditional cash transfers. As we grow our ability to reach more families in extreme poverty, we are faced with the challenges and opportunities of moving to a new region.
The transition will take some time to complete. As GiveDirectly staff wrap up enrolment in Siaya, many households will continue to receive scheduled monthly payments and calls or visits from our follow-up team over the next several months. Two scientific studies, one evaluating cash transfer designs using behavioral economics and another on general equilibrium effects, currently underway in Siaya county, will continue to operate there. But by September our enrollment team will have moved out of Siaya.
Having spent years in Siaya County, specifically in the districts of Ukwala, Siaya, and Ugunja, it is hard to leave. GiveDirectly staff became a fixture in the community. Moving counties means we will have to introduce ourselves, both personally and as an organization, to residents. In Siaya, we also honed our process of targeting households that are most in need. In a new region, our old ways of targeting may not work. For example, in Homa Bay there is a scarcity of grass, so identifying the poorest families using thatched roofs may be less effective. Recently, we have been thinking of new ways of identifying the poorest families.
Many aspects of our operations, however, will remain the same. Our overall process of enrolling recipients will follow the same steps. Residents in Homa Bay speak Luo, the same language as recipients do in Siaya, which makes the transition much easier. And, as always, we will be committed to our values of efficiency, transparency, and respect.
GiveDirectly is tremendously excited to open this new door on our operations. Entering the region of Homa Bay presents us with the unique opportunity to lift thousands more families out of extreme poverty. But even more promising, our expansion represents GiveDirectly’s vast future potential in bringing cash transfers to thousands more households in need.