According to the BRAC Development Institute study of a the Bandhan's Targeting the Hardcore Poor (THP) poverty graduation program, transferring non-animal petty trade assets improved the incomes of extremely poor women in India better than providing livestock (pp. 9–10). It is unclear from the report whether animal welfare is considered (or, even if considered implemented considering the economic opportunities of the participants). Thus, petty trade asset transfers should be supported as long as it can raise beneficiaries' incomes with the current cost-effectiveness while livestock transfers should not be funded, due to animal welfare concerns.
Are there any important counterarguments to this reasoning?
This program seems like a great option to resolve poverty since it seems to lift a family of 4–5 out of poverty for $379 (p. 1) or increase income from ~$200 to $1,350/year (nominal value; the real value should be more than 3× greater) (p. 27). This is competitive with GiveDirectly programming, which may offer similar or less (GD’s (total?) fiscal multiplier of 2.6) transformative results for close to $1,000. (It seems that people in GiveDirectly beneficiary areas gain a total of $2,600 for every $1,000 donated (but maybe livestock multiplication continued income is not accounted for) while THP recipients gain $1,150 every year for $379 invested; this $1,150 can still be subject to an economic multiplier that can be comparable to that in GD recipients’ areas). Targeting the Hardcore Poor is a Founders Pledge recommended women’s empowerment charity program.