Evidence Action's No Lean Season provides no-interest loans to poor rural households during the time of seasonal income and food insecurity ("lean season") between planting and the major rice harvest in rural northern Bangladesh. Loans are conditional on a household member temporarily migrating to urban or other rural locations to seek short-term employment.

We believe there is strong evidence for the positive impact of seasonal migration subsidies on household income and consumption. The program has been evaluated in several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in Bangladesh, and an additional RCT is ongoing.

We estimate that the program will cost No Lean Season, on net, about $18 per participating household in 2018-2020. This estimate relies on a number of uncertain assumptions. Our cost-effectiveness analysis estimates the impact per dollar of the program on household income.

No Lean Season is recommended because of its:

  1. Focus on a program with a strong evidence base and strong cost-effectiveness.
  2. Standout transparency – it has shared significant, detailed information with us.
  3. Room for more funding – we believe No Lean Season will be able to use additional funds to scale and implement its program in northern Bangladesh and to explore whether its model would be effective in other contexts.

Read the full article on No Lean Season at GiveWell