GiveDirectly gives poor people a year’s income, no strings attached

From the Huffington Post: This Startup Gives Poor People A Year’s Income, No Strings Attached.

A person whom Teresa had never met showed up at her home one day with a remarkable offer. Teresa and her family would receive what amounted to a year’s income, in cash. Nothing was owed in return. She did not have to repay the money, and her family could spend it however they wished.

Teresa was at a loss. “We did not believe someone would give us that kind of money without having worked for it.” But then the money came.

This scenario has played out thousands of times. The organization behind the money, GiveDirectly, is not broadly known. (…)

Yet, dollar-for-dollar, analysts say GiveDirectly is among the most effective organizations in the world trying to eliminate extreme poverty. (…) And in the spirit of Silicon Valley, GiveDirectly’s work is data-driven and transparent in ways that are virtually unheard of in the aid world. For donors who want their giving based on evidence-backed results, few organizations compare. [continue]

Wow. I like the assumption that must be behind this model: poor people aren’t stupid, they’re just poor. So maybe they need money more than they need to be babysat by a social services agency. Just maybe.