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How this evidence convinced me – Cash in the News

This week in Salon Gleb Tsipursky discussed how the evidence on cash transfers and the story of a woman living in poverty helped change his mind on basic income. Meanwhile, Vox announced that basic income will be one of the topics at their Conversations conference and Ben Schiller in Fast Company covered Canada’s opinion on the long-term, universal cash transfer.

GIVEDIRECTLY IN THE NEWS AND BLOGS

1. Free money is not so funny anymore: Confessions of a (former) skeptic of basic income
Salon, Gleb Tsipursky, August 21, 2016
Now, I couldn’t wait for more research such as the Oakland study or another upcoming one, to be done by GiveDirectly. This nonprofit, highly rated by the best charity evaluator in the world, GiveWell, focuses on cash transfers to poor households in East Africa. GiveDirectly has decided to run one of the largest studies of basic income to date.

2. How to fight global poverty from space
The Christian Science Monitor, Lonnie Shekhtman, August 18, 2016
And GiveDirectly, a New York City-based nonprofit that gives cash to poor people in countries including Kenya and Uganda, has experimented with mining satellite images to determine who should get donations. People living in houses with thatched roofs are more likely to be poor than those living in houses with metal roofs, the organization figures.

3. More Philanthropists Should Think Like Venture Capitalists
Forbes, William Foster, The Bridgespan Group, August 17, 2016
One promising organization that emerged was GiveDirectly, a nonprofit working in Kenya and Uganda to transfer money directly to extremely poor individuals and families, with no strings attached. Impressed by GiveDirectly, Good Ventures tested the waters, making four grants to the organization between 2012 and 2014.

4. The Basic Income Podcast launched
Basic Income News, Kate McFarland, August 16, 2016
The Basic Income Podcast publishes new episodes approximately weekly, each featuring a different guest. The inaugural broadcast featured Che Wagner, one of the activists behind the basic income referendum in Switzerland. Subsequent guests have included Camila Thorndike of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, who spoke about the campaign for a carbon tax and dividend, and Joe Huston of GiveDirectly.

CASH TRANSFER NEWS

5. 20 years after welfare reform: Has it worked? If so, then how well?
The Catholic Herald, Mark Pattison, August 22, 2016
Noting that welfare’ main cash-benefit program is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — its previous name was Aid to Families With Dependent Children — Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation senior research fellow, said: “Welfare seems to have made single parents better off than the rest of the population,” adding that poverty rates have gone up in the past two decades for households without children.

6. Nigeria’s conditional cash grants aims to lift the poor
Business Day, Bala Augie, August 17, 2016
However, the Nigerian government has decided to hold the bull by the horn by adopting a policy that will help combat extreme poverty. That proactive policy is the Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme (CCTS).

EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM

7. ​The psychological reason you care more about this kid than millions of refugees
SBS, Drake Baer, August 22, 2016
This helps to understand why Daqneesh is so affecting: he’s just one victim. Regardless of how moral it is, people are apparently biased to caring more about the sorrow of a single figure than a group. If you do feel stirred to donate, effective altruism is a good place to start.

8. Opinion: Why we resist treating charities like investments
Market Watch, Jonathan Berman et al., August 22, 2016
These studies expose the challenges that the effective altruism movement faces, as providing impact information to the public will likely only have a limited effect on where people donate. Getting people to donate to more effective causes may require more than just providing information, and instead may involve changing the way in which people think about charity altogether.

BASIC INCOME

9. Announcing: speakers for the Vox Conversations conference
Vox, August 22, 2016
We’re gathering a diverse community of thinkers to participate in some real conversations about ideas that should shape our future. Things like universal basic income versus welfare, what the government could actually do to help communities get healthier, and how to zone our cities to help all residents thrive.

10. Canadians Support A Basic Income—But Not If Taxes Have To Go Up
Fast CoExist, Ben Schiller, August 16, 2016
Canada is one of a small but growing number of countries considering a basic income guarantee. In March, a key parliamentary committee said the government should be studying the idea. Several members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet support basic income (the Liberal Party manifesto endorsed it, though it wasn’t in the election platform).