Economic Development

At The Life You Can Save, we strive to promote giving and interventions that support alleviation of poverty-caused disease and death as well as establishment and growth of solutions that allow people to sustainably improve their lives in the long run. Read about some of the issues and successes around the crucial topic of economic development, including empowerment, opportunity and security.


Climbing Toward Hope: How Graduation Programs Help People Rise from Extreme Poverty
Graduation programs such as those run by Village Enterprise help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty by providing a small up-front infusion of cash to address immediate needs followed by training to build long-term skills and business capabilities. The evidence of their effectiveness is strong.
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Building a Path from Extreme Poverty in Eastern Uganda: How I Moved from Starvation into a Changemaker
I was born to a violent, polygamous Dad who did not pay my tuition since childhood. My mum, who herself never went to school, resorted to distilling alcohol to pay my school fees. She supported me only up to secondary school in 1998. After that, she was not able to take me any further. I went to Uganda’s capital Kampala in 1999, and pursued several hard labor jobs as a street child for 2 years.
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How Can We Empower Women to End Poverty?
“We’re the first generation of people who do really know what the cure for poverty is. It eluded people for a long, long time. The cure for poverty has a name, in fact. It’s called the empowerment of women.” - Christopher Hitchens
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Free Money Is The Future: Confessions of a (Former) Skeptic of Basic Income
Initially skeptical of basic income, I describe in this article how the growing evidence showed me the error of my early perspective and convinced me to update my beliefs toward supporting basic income. GiveDirectly is an excellent charity experimenting with basic income. Sure, there are plenty of unresolved questions about basic income, such as how to fund a transition to it and away from using a massive system of inefficient programs. Yet that is a question of “how,” not “if.” I hope that sharing my story as a former skeptic of basic income will encourage a conversation about the next steps on this question of “how.”
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Why We Should Celebrate International Day of the Girl Everyday
Yesterday was International Day of the Girl, a holiday created five years by the United Nations to spread awareness and spur conversions about gender inequality and challenges that affect the 1.1 billion girls around the world.
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The Panama Papers Reveal the Solution to Global Suffering
No one should experience avoidable suffering. Cost-effective interventions could relieve a great deal of suffering around the world. The revelations of the Panama Papers in early April show where the money that could pay for effective interventions resides - stashed away by wealthy tax evaders in offshore tax shelters. Redirecting even a small fraction of that money could end global poverty.
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GiveDirectly interviewed cash recipients and their neighbors. Here's what we found out.
The result is a set of portraits that are as complex as human life, with a range of emotions and experiences from the happy to the sad, the humbling to the inspiring. In the end, we think the overall collage speaks to the power of cash transfers and the good they can do for families and communities. But we encourage you to spend time looking through these and drawing your own conclusions.

This holiday season, we've had supporters ask friends and family to give a gift to GiveDirectly recipients rather than to them. If you're so inclined, we hope sharing the words of our recipients and non-recipients helps you convey to friends and family why.
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