GiveDirectly aims to reshape international giving - and millions of lives - by enabling donors to provide capital grants directly to some of the world’s poorest people. GiveDirectly’s cash transfers stand on the shoulders of giants, backed by hundreds of high quality research studies that have documented the myriad positive impacts of cash on peoples’ lives.
GiveDirectly has been at the forefront of this evidence generation effort since we launched a decade ago. Fifteen randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of GiveDirectly’s programs are either ongoing or completed. These have covered diverse, cutting edge research questions including: the macro impact of transfers on local economies, the impact of a universal basic income, and establishing cash as a benchmark that traditional, ‘in kind’ aid interventions should beat in order to be considered cost-effective. We are increasingly seeking to integrate qualitative and quantitative approaches within individual studies to better understand how and why change happens.
These studies do not just sit on dusty shelves -- since 2018, GiveDirectly RCTs have been covered in top media outlets including: Washington Post (twice), New York Times, The Economist, Vox (several times over), Quartz, NPR (twice), DevEx, Fast Company, Axios and Wired. Delivering and disseminating research studies have become a core part of GiveDirectly’s value proposition to donors, and central to our ability to raise the revenue that enables people living in poverty to transform their own lives.
Cash transfers are at a potential inflection point: COVID-19 has amplified the challenges of bulkier in-kind aid models, and governments are deploying cash as their most common tool of assistance to vulnerable populations. This brings new research challenges and opportunities. How do we combine existing research knowledge with recent data to design high-impact programs in a new humanitarian context? How do we evaluate the impact of those programs when in-person data collection is not possible?
GiveDirectly currently operates in multiple African countries: DRC, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Rwanda, Togo and Uganda. We have also delivered disaster response programs in the United States and the Bahamas.