3rd September: A “growing debate around universality” in the design of social protection programmes has been acknowledged by a senior economist at the World Bank. His comments come after the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights called for “a sense of outrage” in order to secure programmes with universal coverage.
The UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston was speaking at the BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network) Congress 2018 at which the Development Pathways Senior Associate Rasmus Schjoedt and Economist Heiner Salomon presented evidence on simulated costs and impacts of gradually introducing a universal basic income in low- and middle-income countries. This paper, with preliminary findings for Nigeria, India and Ethiopia, suggested that substantial reductions in extreme poverty could be achieved.
The World Bank Senior Economist Ugo Gentilini, referencing the discussion of UBI and universal programmes, writing afterwards said that there was evidence on simulating the effects of a UBI in Indonesia and Peru suggesting “existing targeted schemes appear to deliver substantial improvements in welfare compared to universal programmes”.
The claim that transfer values will be higher is called into question by a previous paper by Development Pathways.
Learn more about the evidence, sign-up to our email newsletter by emailing us. Pictured: Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, one of the nations the impacts were simulated for, image courtesy Leander Wattig.