There is no golden rule for this to start with. In literature (Hauser and Shapiro, 2013; Standing, 2015) we find different methods to determine the proper amount for a basic income. A first one is the poverty line method. This means that the height of the official poverty line of the country at hand is used as the amount for an additional income. Sounds simple? Well, we dare you to find the consensus on the poverty line in terms of x dollar per person per day. It’s not there. We’ve asked specialists and they come up with different data ranging from 0,6 $ a day for an average household (of 5,4 household members) to poverty gap indicators that range from 1,9$ a day to 3,1 $ a day per person. NGO’s often use 1$ a day, or 1,25$ a day per person for every least developed country, which isn’t wrong, just pragmatic. Official statistics use the 0,6$ a day for a household in rural areas which isn’t wrong as well, they look at the differences between regions within the country. In cities, people earn more than in rural areas. Researchers and policy advisors use different poverty lines (1,9$; 3,1$) to do their research with and again, it’s not wrong, it fits the research and policy purpose.
We’re not researchers, nor government officials, nor a classic NGO. We are activists with a clear empowerment agenda, putting the effectivity of our interventions to lower inequality and improve living conditions first. And we have to keep the amount in line with the money we can raise in the Western World in short and long term. So we move from a principle discussion to a pragmatic balancing exercise. We found another method in the book Basic Income by Guy Standing. He and his team used a rule of thumb to provide 30% of the income of lower income families, calculating an amount for the adults and half of that amount for children. Their reasoning is that “[it is]…enough to make a difference to living standards but not enough to improve them considerably.” Since Standing and his team show good transformative results with this approach, we investigated what this meant for the rural areas near Fort Portal.
According to the data of the World Bank the average purchasing power of lower income families is 1,4$ a day. 30% of this amount is 0,42$. We use the same rule of thumb for a family of 5 with 2 adults and 3 children. We calculate for an adult 0,6$ a day and a child (under 18) 0,3$ a day.
For monthly payments this means (0,6$ * 365 /12) 18,25 $ for adults and 9,13 $ for children.
We are Eight, not aid!
We offer you the opportunity to support and really empower people in least developed countries like Uganda. If you donate 8 euros a week for a year you support 1 adult and 2 children for that year including transfer costs. It is the most direct support you can give to the people who need it the most.
We are Eight and not aid. We stress the importance of giving 8 euros without conditions instead of aid with conditions. Poverty starts with a money problem, with an unequal distribution of money. It doesn’t start with a lack of education, lack of health, lack of enterprises, it starts with a lack of money. Giving money directly to the poor, will get them empowered to send the children to school, to get access to health care, to start local enterprises, to connect with others and express opinions and interests in collective action.