in the interest of aid effectiveness and as a starting point, donors could agree not to fund projects unless they can be demonstrated to be at least as good as a cash transfer. Is that too much to ask of aid?
In concept, we think it’s a great idea (and we proposed something similar for evaluations of U.S. charities). However, one major issue for individual donors is simply that we know of no charity that focuses on delivering cash directly to low-income people.
If you have no practical vehicle for making cash gifts, it may unfortunately make sense to give to a charity that can’t demonstrate that it’s “beating cash” in terms of impact. This is another case where an individual donor is constrained by the choice of vehicles, not just the choice of programs.