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April 25, 2016

GiveDirectly Co-Founder Touts Plan for Cash Aid to Poor

In an interview with NPR Sunday, Michael Faye, co-founder of Give Directly, discusses the charity's philosophy favoring cash gifts to poor people over traditional aid programs and its ambitious plan to test the concept by providing a basic income to thousands of East Africans over a decade.

Contrary to assumptions that underpinned past approaches to poverty, Mr. Faye said, the poor in developing nations are capable of making sound decisions about how to use money provided directly and unconditionally to them by aid groups. Later this year GiveDirectly will launch a long-experiment to test the theory, giving 6,000 Kenyans sustained cash to meet their basic needs over 10 years.

He said evidence has shown that direct cash aid is “more impactful and more cost-effective than a lot of the other means of doing development or social programming,” spurring entrepreneurship, better eating, and other changes in behavior in the countries where GiveDirectly is active.