What should I try to find out in Otjivero?

by Ingrid Robeyns on March 29, 2011

Back in June 2009, I wrote a post on the basic income experiment in Otjivero, Namibia. Recall that this was a two year experiment in which the (about) 1,000 residents of a very poor community were unconditionally given N$100 (about 10 Euro) on a monthly basis for two years (from January 2008 till December 2009). The mid-term effects (on income generating activities, health, school enrollment, reduction of the number of underweight children, …) were very positive.

On Sunday, I’m flying to Cape Town to teach a course on the capability approach, and afterwards I will head to Otjivero to try to better understand the effects and desirability of the basic income grant (BIG), and to gain a better grasp of the overall nature of the project. My South-African colleague Ina Conradie, who is a senior development scholar with many years of experience in development work in South Africa, is joining me; in part we are also interested in finding out to what extent this could be a desirable poverty-reducing policy for South-Africa.
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