1. Target

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.


2. Audit

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.


3. Transfer

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.


4. Monitor

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.