The contexts where interventions are introduced are relevant for anticipating how interventions may work across settings and are also important for determining what types of programs are considered as unconditional and universal.
“Examining the variability in interventions that are claimed to approximate a UBI is important. In countries with minimal or fragmented welfare states, the injection of cash through payments or categorical transfers may play a very different role than when interventions are introduced into and evaluated against a more robust social safety net. Simply put, effects that are observed under some social and economic conditions may not transfer elsewhere. Evidence is also limited for how cash transfers may interact with the existing fabric of social supports in countries with well established social safety nets, or how cash transfers compare to spending on other public goods in settings with less collective infrastructure. This is highly relevant to decisions about universality in settings where individuals are guaranteed benefits in an existing system of supports. Experiments which are underway in many countries across the globe will allow for comparison between individuals receiving benefits under the current system and those who receive additional unconditional cash and clarify the relative effectiveness of unconditional cash under different welfare schemes.”