October 2019
Maytree Releases Report – "Lessons from Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot”

2019-10-18 1:44:06 PM

Maytree, a Toronto-based organization dedicated to “creating solutions to poverty”, has published a report authored by Maytree Fellow Michael Mendelson analyzing the lessons learned from the set-up of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot (OBIP).

The report examines the OBIP – announced in 2017 and wound down in 2019 -- but concentrates on the design of the pilot, not the policy goals. The report focuses on three aspects of the pilot’s experimental design:

  • lack of a “saturation” site;

  • problems of enrolment; and

  • use of the income tax system to test recipients’ income.

The report goes on to offer suggestions future policy-makers can use to better study the effects of any new pilot projects, including:

  1. Invest the time and effort needed up-front to formulate the questions you want to answer.

  2. Consult widely and thoroughly with experts on how to design an experiment that will provide good evidence towards answering these questions.

  3. Design the experiment and field test it including feedback from participants and independent experts.

  4. Based on a tested design, establish a realistic budget and timeline for the experiment from beginning to end, including analysis of the results.

  5. Award an independent external agency the job of running the experiment and endow it with the funds needed to carry out the experiment from start to finish

Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot started with a government-commissioned report authored by Hugh Segal.
While the pilot project itself was shelved after the 2018 provincial election, this report offers some lessons learned from the pilot and guidance for future policy-makers to consider when developing a similar program.

More information can be found here:

Maytree: Lessons from Ontario's Basic Income Pilot

AMCTO Blog Post: Province Releases Basic Income Paper

AMCTO Blog Post: Government Consulting on Basic Income Pilot

AMCTO Blog Post: Mowat and CSI Partner on New Report -- How to Design a Basic Income Pilot Project


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