GiveDirectly provides unconditional cash transfers using cell phone technology to some of the poorest people in Kenya and Uganda. These direct cash transfers allow families to buy much-needed food and shelter, educate their children, and start small businesses.
GiveDirectly uses national data and door-to-door surveys to seek out the poorest households to receive transfers. Households are selected using criteria that vary by region — including a range of factors like housing materials, assets, vulnerable recipient status, and other criteria. Selected households are provided with SIM cards if they do not have one. GiveDirectly then transfers $1,000 to the family in installments over several months using a mobile payment system, and the recipients are free to use the money however they need to. In 2015, GiveDirectly committed $13.7 million to recipient families.
Give Directly is also currently launching a historic pilot study on the efficacy of Universal Basic Income, scientifically testing a program of providing regular cash payments to thousands of extremely poor households in East Africa for more than ten years.