Emergency Basic Income Proposals

Listed below are the components of proposal for an Emergency Basic Income for your country. Each proposal will obviously be tailored heavily to the local context, but this guide aims to give you the core components as well as illustrations of EBI campaigns from other countries. Click on each point for a brief description.

1: Highlight need and support

The first section of the proposal must highlight clearly and persuasively the need not just for protection/relief, but particularly for a basic income during the pandemic. This can be done by highlighting the sort of real and projected impact, particularly on the less visible, informal and mobile sections of the labour force and those outside it. This section can look to draw evidence both nationally and globally.

2: Show evidence and expert support

This section must provide evidence – real, anecdotal and expert – in support of the positive impacts of a basic income/cash transfer based support from the government. This can draw on instances of cash transfers being used by other countries (South Korea, India, Thailand etc. Click here for examples) as well as basic income pilots around the world (click here for list). Additionally, referring to support from experts and academics for a policy like this can be useful (click here for some resources).

3: Identify beneficiaries and identification mechanisms.

While some countries might not feel able to introduce a substantial basic income for all, they should be encouraged to move policy in that direction. If there is the need to identify some particular groups as beneficiaries, then it is important to do so in the proposal. Additionally, the proposal must also suggest how the government can identify and reach these beneficiaries, without spillages and corruption.

4: Calculate the amount needed for basic income in your country

It is important to have an estimate of the money value of the income you are proposing, per person/household. This can be done by using national or global estimates of expenditure, poverty line, wages or welfare payments. An example can be found here. There are some softwares and calculators that can be referred to for inspiration here.

5: Calculate the duration for which the payment must be made.

The proposal must chart out the duration for which the payments need to be made. The government should continue to pay the Emergency Basic Income until the pandemic is declared over, and when the economy has returned to something like its pre-pandemic level.

6: Galvanise support.

This involves an ideological and pragmatic assessment of how best to position the campaign and gain collaborators. How best to articulate the need, the ideological tonality and language used are therefore critical. Equally important is who to choose as ideological and lobbying partners (individuals and organisations) and how to get them on board.

7: Suggest delivery mechanisms.

The proposal must suggest channels of delivering the cash to the beneficiaries. These mechanisms should ideally be existing systems, that have minimum scope for leakages or corruption. Examples of this could include mobile wallets, bank transfers or vouchers, depending on context. Some examples of these can be found here.

8: Identify channels of communication/lobbying with the government.

It is crucial to choose the most effective way to get the proposal across to the government keeping in mind that it is efficient, it is to the relevant authority and it is taken seriously. This could involve mobilising current/former elected representatives and senior bureaucrats. The other option is to use community/mass mobilisation to get governments to acknowledge or engage with the proposals.

If you would like support in designing/reviewing your proposal from one of the Basic Income community experts, write to us at [email protected]