It has begun! As I write, field officers in Bomet County, Kenya are beginning to enroll the first (post-pilot) households into the largest basic income initiative in history.
The past 19 months since we announced our plans to test UBI have been remarkable. The debate over basic income continues to rage, from skeptics who call it “a senseless act of preemptive self-sabotage” to optimists calling it “to the 21st century what civil and political rights were to the 20th.” And a coalition of folks – donors, researchers, and policy thinkers – have come together around the idea that anything this big and this debated needs rigorous testing. Our thanks to all of you.
Now it’s time for us to do our jobs, and wait to learn. We expect to get the first round of results in within the next year or two, and then more than a decade of learning to follow as we track these communities. Will they languish in their new-found economic security? Or will they be transformed?