This week, we announced new details on our basic income pilot, including the size of the pilot, the study design, and the timeline: that we are preparing to begin payments to an initial pilot village in late October. The announcement was subsequently covered by Business Insider and Basic Income News. This weekend NPR separately reported on basic income more broadly, with a story on the growing interest in this policy from those in Silicon Valley.
FROM THE BLOG
1. New details on our basic income pilot
The GiveDirectly blog, September 22, 2016
With these milestones reached, we are now preparing to begin payments to an initial pilot village in late October. This pilot will test the operational details of the model and also generate qualitative insights which we will then feed back into the ultimate quantitative evaluation.
GIVEDIRECTLY IN THE NEWS AND BLOGS
2. The world’s largest experiment in giving people free money launches in October — here’s how it’ll work
Business Insider, Chris Weller, September 26, 2016
A groundbreaking social experiment will begin in Kenya in roughly one month. The charity GiveDirectly will begin giving people in 200 villages free sums of money, no strings attached.
3. US / KENYA: Charity GiveDirectly announces initial basic income pilot study
Basic Income news, Kate McFarland, September 25, 2016
According to GiveDirectly’s announcement, the pilot will “test the operational details of the model and also generate qualitative insights which we will then feed back into the ultimate quantitative evaluation.” In the same post, the research team laid out some further details concerning its full study (the start date of which remains unspecified). In the full study, experiments will be conducted in two counties in rural Kenya — one in which GiveDirectly has acted previously (with few issues and near 100% participation rates), and one new county.
4. Small Cash Donations Can Pay Dividends for the Rural Poor
Business Insider, Gina-Marie Cheeseman, September 23, 2016
Imagine an organization that gives money to people in poor countries, unconditionally. As in, they can do with it as they wish. And imagine that money actually makes a difference in the lives of the recipients. One organization making this dream a reality is GiveDirectly.
CASH TRANSFER NEWS
5. Monitoring poverty from space
Brookings, Laura Ralston, September 22, 2016
How often do policymakers have to decide where to concentrate poverty-alleviation programs based on limited data? For example, where to roll out cash transfer programs aiming to reach the most vulnerable or chronically poor. New methods are emerging on how to measure poverty, consumption expenditure, and asset wealth from high-resolution satellite imagery that may be able to provide systematic and objective-based measures on where these households are more likely to be found when other data is not available.
6. Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: Reaching the Poor with No Addresses
Mastercard Center blog, Nina Da Nobrega Garcia and Joseph Wong, September 21, 2016
Since 2003, 36 million Brazilians have been lifted out of extreme poverty. A significant part of this achievement is credited to the Bolsa Familia program, a conditional cash transfer scheme that provides a monthly cash benefit to poor families who meet required health and education conditionalities. The aim of the Bolsa Familia program is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty in Brazil. The program currently covers 13.8 million households, or about 48 million people, roughly one-quarter of the Brazilian population.
7. Cellphones, Not Banks, May Be Key to Finance in the Developing World
New York Times Dealbook, Nathaniel Popper, September 21, 2016
The increasing digitization of finance, and the move away from cash, could add 6 percent to the annual economic output of the world’s developing nations over the next 10 years, according to a new report from the McKinsey consulting firm’s research arm. The report, released on Wednesday, says that developing nations — and to a lesser extent developed economies like the United States — lose enormous amounts of economic potential from the continuing reliance on cash and the difficulty many businesses and individuals encounter when trying to gain access to the financial system.
8. Labour Could Introduce A Universal Basic Income For Every Citizen
Buzzfeed News, Emily Ashton, September 26, 2016
A Labour government could introduce a universal basic income as part of a massive overhaul of the benefits system, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said. The senior Labour figure confirmed on Monday that the party was looking at the radical move and how it was working in other European countries. A universal basic income would see all citizens, whether they are in or out of work, paid a flat-rate, unconditional income rather than means-tested benefits.
9. As Our Jobs Are Automated, Some Say We’ll Need A Guaranteed Basic Income
NPR Weekend Edition, Queena Kim, September 24, 2016
In Silicon Valley, a growing number of those in the tech sector believe that one solution may be the universal basic income. Simply put, the idea is that Uncle Sam will cut citizens a regular paycheck whether they work or not. Misha Chellam is a tech entrepreneur in San Francisco and is part of the burgeoning basic income movement here. He took me to Eatsa, a healthy fast-food joint, to show me why many in tech are coming to this conclusion.
10. Basic Income Might Be The Answer To Society’s Productivity Crisis
Forbes, Kavi Guppta, September 22, 2016
I spoke with Scott Santens, a New Orleans based writer who is studying and championing the adoption of basic income policies and processes. Santens’ ideas and opinions have been published in the Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and the Boston Globe. He also claims to earn a basic income for his work via the Patreon creative crowdsourcing platform.