The discussion around Universal Basic Income has gained plenty of steam over the 2010s. Strictly defined as an unconditional sum of money paid to all residents of a country, UBI (as it is commonly known) has taken on a number of different faces and meanings as several nations around the world begin to experiment with it. Unsurprisingly, Brazil, with its vast population and harsh levels of social inequality, has not been far from the conversation, as seen by an independent study being held in São Paulo state.
In the impoverished rural village of Quatinga Velho, NGO Instituto ReCivitas has been carrying out its own basic income pilot since 2008. The researchers paid a monthly sum of BRL 30 (approximately USD 12 at the time) to each resident who volunteered for the program, all the while following up on their progress in weekly visits and monthly assemblies.
After suspending the program for a year due to lack of funding, ReCivitas continued its experiment in 2016, this time paying BRL 40 per person per month.