Season 2, Episode 10

Giving Cash to Those in Need

In the season finale of Giving Done Right season two, CEP’s Phil and Grace talk with Paul Niehaus, co-founder and chairman of GiveDirectly. Paul discusses the power of direct cash transfers – how they work, why trusting those in need with cash can be extremely effective, and when certain issue areas might warrant a different philanthropic approach. 

Guest Info:
Paul Niehaus is co-founder and chairman of GiveDirectly, currently the top-rated nonprofit by GiveWell and ranked among the 25 most audacious companies (Inc) and 10 most innovative companies in finance (Fast Company). GiveDirectly is a recognized leader in the use of modern technology to transfer funds directly to the extreme poor, and in the use of rigorous scientific methods to document its impact. Paul is also a co-founder of Segovia, which builds enterprise technology for the management of social programming in the emerging markets.

He holds an academic appointment in the Department of Economics at UC San Diego, where he works with governments in India to improve the implementation of social programming. He is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a Junior Affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), an Affiliate of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA). He holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University and is a National Science Foundation Fellow and a Sloan Fellow. In 2013, Foreign Policy named him one of its 100 leading “Global Thinkers.”

Executive Producer: Sarah Martin
Audio engineer: Kevin O’Connell
Additional editing: Isabel Hibbard
Music: “FasterFasterBrighter” and “Kid Kodi” by Blue Dot Sessions
Artwork: Jay Kustka

Cash transfer research via GiveDirectly
The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically by Peter Singer
Universal Basic Income project in Kenya