July 21, 2022

What’s the best way to help extremely poor people? After 20 years, the evidence is in.

Is it really useful to “teach a person to fish” or should you just give them the damn fish already?



This article was originally published by VOX. An excerpt has been reposted below.

On a certain level, it seems intuitive that doing more for people — giving assets and training and cash — will produce better outcomes than just giving one thing, like cash. But the downside is that it takes more time, effort, and money to run a more complex intervention.

So a major question looms over the graduation program: Is it worth spending that money on the program or is it more efficient to just give all the money directly to people in need? In other words, is it really useful to teach the person to fish or should you just give them the damn fish already?

Now, 20 years later, the results are in. Here is what they teach us about how to address extreme poverty.

Read the rest of the article here.


Sigal Samuel is a senior reporter at VOX.