This lesson is written as a series of notes for facilitators.
This lesson is designed for an early high school classroom on a 100-minute block schedule with access to computers. As alternatives teachers may use the first day of class for the warm up activity and reading of the article. For homework assign the position paper to individual students and have the debate the second day of class.
Students will come to their own informed conclusion as to whether cash payments to those living in poverty is helpful or simply a hand out.
Ask students to define
After discussing the definitions, ask students to give an example of what each might look like when trying to help fight poverty.
- Example of Charity
- Example of Aid
- Example of Development
Once the class has discussed the different examples ask students to give their opinions as to which of the three concepts is best for fighting global poverty.
Introducing the Lesson:
This lesson will look at Malawi’s experiment with cash payments as a case study to debate whether this program should be expanded to serve more of the world’s poor.
First read “Malawi's Social Cash Transfer Experiment”
While students read ask them to fill out the simple chart:
|Benefits of the Cash Transfer Program
|Weaknesses of the Cash Transfer Program
After students have completed the chart, discuss both sides of the argument. Ask or assign students to choose a side that they will support in a classroom discussion.
For those who support the program, use these sources:
- “Paying the Poor: Money for Malawi's School Children” (There is also a video associated with this source.)
- "Malawi's Cash Transfer Programs Provide Much Needed Support To The Country's Poorest Citizens”
For those who question the program, use this source:
Because there is only one article for this side of the argument, instruct students to go back to the introductory article and discuss the shortcomings they found there such as possible corruption, local jealousies, problems with funding, etc.
Either as individuals or in groups have the the students write positions based on what they have read. Once those positions are prepared ask students to move to opposite sides of the room to have the discussion on whether cash payments are a productive way to help the world’s poorest groups.
After the debate, ask students for their final thoughts on the idea and whether this policy should be extended to other parts of the world.
Ask students if they believe this is charity, aid, development, or a combination of concepts. If cash payments don't work, what are better options?