According to an article based on evidence from India, basic income works. I guess the problem lays with the definition of basic income applied so far in developing countries. Guy Standing, the article’s author and a leading expert on these issues, says that “a basic income is a modest cash payment (in this case, a third of subsistence), paid individually, unconditionally, universally and monthly, guaranteed as a right.”
Discussions of basic income in Europe set the bar much higher, even when taking into account purchasing power parity – another worrying sign of double think when it comes to the Southern ‘poor’. But I think it is important to start somewhere, even just to show skeptical politicians and development technocrats that it does actually work, and that, yes, it is a basic need and should be a fundamental human right.