Experimental evaluations

Rigorous, experimental evaluation of impacts is rare among nonprofits. GiveDirectly collaborates with third-party researchers to measure the impacts of cash transfers and answer complex design questions. Researchers are fully independent and independently-funded. We report the results of our evaluations and also announce studies in progress before the data are in, so that we can be held accountable for the results.

How do our transfers affect recipient households?

This study documented large, positive, and sustainable impacts across a wide range of outcomes including assets, earnings (from sources other than our transfers), food security, mental health, and domestic violence, after on average four months. The study found no evidence of impacts on alcohol or tobacco use, crime, or inflation. It also examined a number of design questions such as how to size transfers and whether to give them to men or women.

The study was led by Johannes Haushofer (Princeton) and Jeremy Shapiro (Princeton), with measurement conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action and funding from the National Institutes of Health. It was conducted in Rarieda, Kenya between 2011 and 2013.

See the paper

What are the macroeconomic and long-term impacts (in progress)?

This study is measuring impacts of cash transfers on macroeconomic activity: inflation, business activity and job creation, and public finance. It will also measure household-level impacts over a multi-year horizon. The study is led by Johannes Haushofer (Princeton), Ted Miguel (UC Berkeley), Paul Niehaus (UCSD), and Michael Walker (UC Berkeley), with measurement by Innovations for Poverty Action.

See the study design

What transfer timing and information are most effective for recipients (in progress)?

This study is measuring the impact of different cash transfer designs, including giving recipients control over timing and giving them information on the performance of investments made by past recipients. The study is led by Anandi Mani (Warwick), Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard), Paul Niehaus (UCSD), and Anuj Shah (Chicago), with measurement by GiveDirectly.

See the study design