GiveDirectly provides unconditional cash transfers using cell phone technology to some of the poorest people in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. 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 such as 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.
GiveDirectly is also currently launching a historic initiative on the efficacy of universal basic income, by scientifically testing a program that provides regular cash payments to thousands of extremely poor households in East African countries for more than ten years.