Ask the Experts:  Charity, Disrupted

(for the better!)

A conversation on the positive and surprising impact of upturning charitable giving to developing communities by giving money directly to people living in extreme poverty, with Paul Niehaus, S.B.’04, Ph.D.’09,  Associate Professor of Economics at UCSD.

Paul Niehaus and his colleagues at Give-Directly are testing a fascinating idea. What would happen if to help the neediest people you gave money to them directly, as a cash transfer, with no strings-attached?  Would they manage and spend it wisely? Would it improve their lives?  Give-Directly has data-backed evidence by testing this model in developing communities in Kenya and Uganda, with very surprising results.  Direct Cash Transfers are a new model in philanthropic work and break away from conventional models of aid-giving.  For many, this is the platform that will have the most significant impact on poverty today, but it is not without controversy.  Give-Directly’s research is also informing the question whether a basic universal income model can work favorably in developing nations. Their work has been covered in many outlets, including NPR, The Economist, The Atlantic, Forbes, and many more.

Please join us for a fascinating look at how giving directly to the neediest is upturning conventional methods and expectations of philanthropy and economic development  in developing communities.  To learn more about Give-Directly, please visit

Paul Niehaus is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego, where he works with governments in emerging markets to improve the implementation of social programs. He is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a Junior Affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), an Affiliate of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA).   He is also co-founder and president of GiveDirectly, currently the top-rated nonprofit by GiveWell and ranked among the 25 most audacious companies (Inc) and 10 most innovative companies in finance (Fast Company), and co-founder of Segovia Technology Co.  He holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University. In 2013 Foreign Policy named him one of its 100 leading "Global Thinkers."

Date:  March 29, 2018

Reception:  5:30 p.m.

Lecture and Q&A:  6:00 p.m.

Location: 2355 Northside Drive, Suite 250, San Diego, 92108.

 Parking is available in the adjacent structure, and our host venue will validate parking

Ticket Prices:  $5                

 No cost to High School students (but please "purchase" a complimentary ticket from our website).


Light appetizers and beverages will be served

Questions? Please reach out to Pablo Hollstein at



5:30PM - 7:00PM Thu 29 Mar 2018 ( Timezone: Pacific )


2355 Northside Drive Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92108