development

All about cash transfers

I’ve written quite a bit about cash transfers recently, through Give Directly, or through the related concept of the citizen’s income. It’s a familiar term in development, but not well known generally. I suspect it will be, because it’s an idea that is proving itself in all sorts of ways at the moment. In a nutshell, cash transfers are direct aid – giving money to people on low incomes, rather than second guessing what they need and delivering it in the form of goods and services.

To sceptics, it sounds like money for nothing, or a recipe for wasting your aid funding. In reality, people generally know what they need better than aid agencies do. Because it runs against the natural bureaucratic tendencies of the aid world, it’s been scrutinised more than most aid programmes and the research shows that it works. That shouldn’t actually surprise us – people with very little money have to spend what they have far more carefully than people with lots of money.

So here’s a short introduction to cash transfers from the Overseas Development Institute.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s