Are we doing more good than the poor could do with the same amount of money?
This is the newest and most important question in the aid and development industry for those who care about transparency, effectiveness, and stewardship. Cash transfers are the new ‘index funds’ to be used as a benchmark for development projects and programs.
The Center for Global Development recently organized a conference on cash transfers. They have recorded some of the proceedings for the less fortunate among us. If you made decisions for any aid or development organization these videos are an absolute must watch!
Cash transfers are relatively simple and work relatively well. Some projects, programs, and products are better than cash transfers, some are not. The imperative is to figure out what is what and when and where.