JFI presents at the North American basic income guarantee congress

On Sunday, JFI’s Sidhya Balakrishnan (Director of Research), Lauren Burns-Coady (Director of Guaranteed Income Strategy) and Sara Constantino (Senior Fellow) presented at the 18th Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress with Dr. Soomi Lee and Dr. Almaz Zelleke.

Sidhya and Sara presented on their forthcoming paper, which proposes a renewed emphasis on pilot design, and encourages the study of underrepresented outcomes and the use of non-traditional research methods.

Next, the presenters discussed preliminary findings from JFI’s Cash Transfer Research Platform survey. Respondents highlighted the importance of striking a balance between standardization and heterogeneity, and integrating site specific info into a broader research framework. What followed was a brief debate over the value of pilots.

Almaz Zelleke expressed the need to “focus on political empowerment and policy making, rather than endorsing the status quo.” She pointed to SS as one successful policy which was implemented without prior pilots. Lauren responded by noting that “effective policy making depends on meaningful evaluation metrics, and pilots allow us to develop these tools.” Sidhya added that “phased-rollout structures may reveal parallels with incremental policy implementation, like that of SS.”

Overall, it was a fantastic event that we were grateful to participate in.