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Transferring cash to individuals in extreme poverty is an increasingly popular strategy for alleviating economic poverty. Evidence suggests that cash transfers can increase consumption patterns among recipient households, with notable results in terms of improved food consumption. Transfers can also increase investment, enabling long term improvement in earnings (GiveWell 2015).

There are two types of cash transfers: conditional and unconditional. Conditional cash transfers (CCT) are programs which make cash disbursements to households only if they satisfy certain requirements, generally concerning the health and education of children resident in the household. Unconditional cash transfers (UCT) do not make the transfer dependent on any such conditions.

Cash transfers are one of GiveWell’s priority programs (GiveWell 2016a). GiveDirectly, one of GiveWell’s top-rated charities, provides unconditional cash transfers (GiveWell 2016b).

Further Reading:

GiveWell. 2015. Cash transfers in the developing world.
Description and evaluation of CCT and UCT programs.

GiveWell. 2016a. Priority programs.
List of GiveWell’s priority programs.

GiveWell. 2016b. GiveDirectly.
Description and evaluation of GiveDirectly.