Q&A: Why the Gates Foundation is working with governments to digitize payments

By Catherine Cheney 13 March 2017

Daniel Radcliffe, deputy director of innovation and research on the Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor team. Photo by: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

India’s most recent economic survey devotes a 40-page chapter to universal basic income. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation appears in the footnotes for their work with the Indian government to analyze the impact that UBI would have on financial inclusion.  

“Our role at the Gates Foundation is certainly not to evaluate the merits of UBI overall, but rather to help the government estimate how much that would expand the payments grid,” said Daniel Radcliffe, deputy director of innovation and research on the Gates Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor team, which is responsible for expanding access to digital payment systems.

He spoke to us about his work at the foundation, how digital financial services can boost government accountability — a subject he recently wrote about for Devex — and what role the global development community can play. These are takeaways from the conversation, edited for length and clarity.

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About the author

Catherine cheney devex
Catherine Cheneycatherinecheney

Catherine Cheney covers the West Coast global development community for Devex. Since graduating from Yale University, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in political science, Catherine has worked as a reporter and editor for a range of publications including World Politics Review, POLITICO, and NationSwell, a media company and membership network she helped to build. She is also an ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network and the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute.


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