In a groundbreaking experiment in alleviating global poverty, for the past six years the U.S.- based charity GiveDirectly has been providing thousands of villagers in Kenya with a "universal basic income", delivered every month, with the commitment to keep the payments coming for 12 years. The charity has expanded the program and is currently running basic income programs in some of the poorest parts of Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and Liberia. Every eligible adult in a target region receives a monthly cash transfer specifically sized to lift them above the local extreme poverty line, usually between $30 and $60. This money is not a loan, but cash with no strings attached. Giving money so that people can choose how to use it recognizes that, within a community, every person has different needs. It enables families to buy what they need and have a consistent source of income, allowing them to invest in themselves and their children. To hear directly from those benefiting from the program, watch this 3-minute video and learn how seven families in a village in Malawi spend their basic income transfers.
A team of independent researchers has been studying the impacts of the Kenya project. This past week they released their preliminary results. Click here to learn more about the project, considered the world's largest and longest study on Universal Basic Income, and click here to read a summary of the early findings.