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  • Isabelle Whitman

    I love this. Thanks for such a simple plan, clean explanation, and even admitting that there is potential for abuse, but that the overall results work and are important.

  • Banna Girmay

    Great article, & kudos to New Incentives!

  • buchheit

    Well done. I often struggle with how best to explain this model. Your article does a great job of explaining why New Incentives' approach is so GOOD!

  • katy.petershack

    What an awesome idea. I think it's smart to give people the money and let them best decide how to use it. They know best how to support their families!

  • aflany

    I got involved with New Incentives because I was inspired by the opportunity conditional cash transfers presented for philanthropy. This article does a great job explaining the need, and how CCTs are a revolutionary way to give. Thanks for the article!

  • swershow

    Why even focus on what beneficiaries will spend money on, anyway? The point is to incentivize transformative behavior. What I find most interesting about this model is that it gives the beneficiary the autonomy to make economic decisions. So many of these initiatives fail because they distort markets by trying to control economic behavior. Sounds great!

  • Ete

    Wow, what a fascinating idea!

  • Marcela Torres

    But then again if certain models like microcredit can be abused so can this be. As a mexican and being familiar with the Oportunidades program I wouldn´t assume so easily that this models work and they can´t be corrupted and easily manipulated for political purposes as it happens in Mexico. I loved the concept just as much as personalised microcredits, but the problem is not always ¨the models¨ and or the ¨solutions¨ because ultimately they are all seeking to find solutions to alleviate poverty. The problem is that we must learn that they are not cooking recipes and they can´t be simply applied everywhere. Good incentives!

    • svetha

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Marcela! I had this very issue in mind when forming New Incentives. CCTs have been proven effective, but at the same time they are sometimes used for vote buying. We hope that our approach to CCTs which is premised on community participation will get at what development really needs: continuous measurement of failure and assessment of what works depending on local needs and contexts. There is no magic recipe to development, which is the greatest thing we can all keep in mind, but I do strongly believe that we do need to figure out how to best leverage philanthropic contributions which the CCT model lends itself well to.

      • frrrias

        Very interesting! I also live in Mexico and I think some of us see Oportunidades as one bad example of CCT's when refering to empowerment and capacity building, because the dependancy is perpetuated by money and objectives, such as school attendancy (not only corruption). But I would really like to say its an awesome debate, (charity vs social investment) and how tools can be used for creating ownership: of projects, of capaciity building, of self-development, of a different vision to have a better life. I really look forward to see how CCT's can advance in that field.

  • bigeater

    Heavens to Betsy! I had no idea that microfinance had been co-opted by unscrupulous moneylenders, but I suppose it was only a matter of time. This sounds like a great alternative.

  • Sri

    Love the concept, thank you Svetha for all your efforts!

  • pratyushagarwal

    This is awesome! While working as a student-teacher in a public school in India, correctly incentivizing students to attend school daily was a hard thing to do. Free lunch went a long way, but still fell short of getting an average of 50% attendance from the students because their parents often chose to engage them on their busy days as helping hands (not really sure how much help they were as an 8-yr old!). Rewarding school education with direct transfer after attendance is a great way of going about this.

    I've made my first donation :). Good luck!!

  • Marta Bornstein

    This is a great solution! I too am extremely critical of micro finance. CCTs are a great way to redistribute wealth and the New Incentives platform is a fantastic tool for connecting and engaging donors. This is GOOD!

  • Rolo0321

    Great article!