We manage transfers end-to-end using electronic monitoring and payment technology.
We first locate extremely poor communities using publicly available data. We then send field staff door-to-door to digitally collect data on poverty and enroll recipients. We target households using criteria that vary by region—including aggregating a range of factors or looking at housing materials.
We use a set of independent checks to verify that recipients are eligible and did not pay bribes, such as physical back-checks, image verification, and data consistency checks. For example, we use GPS coordinates and crowdsourced labor to detect irregularities. We have experimented with using satellite imagery.
We transfer recipient households roughly $1,000, or around one year’s budget for a typical household. We use electronic payment systems; typically, recipients receive an SMS alert and then collect cash from a mobile money agent in their village or nearest town.
We call each recipient to verify receipt of funds, flag issues, and assess our own customer service. We also staff a hotline for inbound calls and in some cases staff follow up in person. You can learn more in this blog post about our Malawi call center.