Media Outlets Discuss Research Examining Cash Payments, Traditional Aid, USAID-Supported Cash-Benchmarking Study

NPR: Which Foreign Aid Programs Work? The U.S. Runs A Test — But Won’t Talk About It
“…[O]n Thursday, the government released the results of the first study in the [cash-benchmarking] series: An evaluation of a program to improve child and maternal health in Rwanda by teaching families about nutrition and hygiene. The experiment found that the program met none of its main objectives. (Offering people the equivalent amount in cash — about $114 — also did not improve their nutrition or health. But providing a much larger cash grant of about $500 did make some difference.) … Asked why USAID would not authorize an interview with [USAID Senior Adviser on Aid Effectiveness Daniel] Handel or any other official to discuss the cash-benchmarking experiments, an agency spokesman declined to comment but provided a statement. It said, in part, ‘cash-benchmarking is not relevant to most of USAID’s programs’…” (Aizenman, 9/14).

Wired: Google-Funded Study Finds Cash Beats Typical Development Aid
“…A number of studies on unconditional cash transfers are underway, but the government agency’s involvement demonstrates a willingness to question whether the status quo is cost effective, says Michael Faye, cofounder and director of the U.S.-based nonprofit GiveDirectly, which distributed the mobile cash in 248 villages in Rwanda, where the study took place…” (Tiku, 9/14).

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