Basic income - on data and policy


This policy paper is concerned with the use of basic income as (a) an emergency response to weather the immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis, and (b) a standing policy tool to put countries on an inclusive track in the longer run. It discusses:

  • Basic income – core concept, interplays with the rest of the policy space, potential in different contexts;
  • Performance of basic income – policy trials, data that exists, and data that is missing;
  • Financing basic income – traditional, emerging, and mixed options;
  • Green basic income – connections with the climate and the equity agendas;
  • Adjacent and alternative ideas – policy instruments to consider in conjunction with basic income.


Policy debates on basic income surge around the world. The Management of Social Transformations (MOST) programme and the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab bring to the forefront analysis by leading experts, all to ground the debate in data and curb polarization on this emerging issue.


The paper is designed for the benefit of knowledge-producers and policy-makers. The analysis and the recommendations are, therefore, tailored to the two stakeholder groups.


This is a zero-paper publication. The content is mixed – text and audio – to cater to various content preferences and on-the-go consumption.                                                                                                                                                                             

ACCESS Policy Paper [PDF]