Learn How Mobile Money Cash Grants are the Future of Development
October 1, 2013 Editor 0
A huge aspect of international development is capacity building – training and supporting people to change their behaviour and improve their skills in ways perceived to be better. But don’t people already know what they need to do to better themselves? And aren’t they capable of making those decisions? So why not just give them the cash to do it.
That’s the deceptively simple idea behind unconditional cash transfers – just giving people money, no strings attached. On October 10th, we’ll hear from two experts who are leading the discussion – and taking action – in distributing cash grants to people in need, during a special Technology Salon brown bag, hosted by FHI 360.
We’ll hear from Chris Blattman of Columbia University who recently caused a stir when he released a study that showed that unconditional direct cash grants to poor Ugandans increased their employment hours by 17% and their earnings by nearly 50%, especially women. Rather than “wasting” the grants on consumption items, Ugandans invested in new skilled trades like metalworking or tailoring. Other studies show that existing farmers or businesspeople have seen returns of 40 to 80% a year on cash grants.
With studies like this as a basis, Paul Niehaus of UC San Diego co-founded GiveDirectly to collect donations in the USA and give out $1,000 unconditional cash grants to Kenyans living in homes made out of mud, wood, and grass. His innovation: using M-Pesa mobile money to reach poor households, reducing transaction costs to just 8%.
Please RSVP now to join Chris Blattman, Paul Niehaus, and your professional peers to learn how mobile money cash grants are the future of development.
- Mobile Money Cash Grants
Technology Salon Brown Bag Lunch
12 pm – 1:30 pm
October 10th, 2013
FHI 360 Greely Hall
2058 T Street NW (map)
Washington, DC 20009
RSVP required and we will start promptly at noon
Please bring your lunch, and a good appetite for debate, as we will explore how development could be radically different as mobile money and self-agency permeates more of our work.
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