Development economists think that such so-called “unconditional cash transfers” might be a powerful and in some cases underutilized tool to help reduce poverty. That is partly because they trust the recipients of the money to use it in the way they deem best. Another aid group might give them specific goods or services — shoes, medical care or education, for instance. But maybe what they really need are sewing machine to help their small-scale businesses get off the ground. Or maybe a recipient would really like to attend a family member’s funeral or pay for a wedding. Unconditional cash transfers let her do that and trust that she is doing what is best for her.