At least 10.5% of Bangladesh's population lives below the global poverty line of USD 1.90 per day. This number is estimated to have risen by 14% as a result of COVID-19.
People living in extreme deprivation face a multitude of interconnected challenges. They have little or no productive assets and are often excluded from social services. Conventional development programmes are not able to meet their complex needs.
BRAC is the pioneer of Graduation, a proven approach to support people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Using a holistic, time-bound and sequenced set of interventions, the approach enables the households that earn the least and are in the most vulnerable situations to progress along a pathway to sustainable livelihoods and socioeconomic resilience.
What idea is better than the idea that the poorest of the poor have enough talent to be self-sufficient? That if you give them a push, they’ll stay up.
The question of how to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 has now risen to the top of the development policy agenda, and there is a growing realisation that the poorest may be being bypassed both by economic growth and by current anti-poverty programmes. Our evidence demonstrates that [the occupational change enabled by the Graduation approach]….may have a central role to play in eliminating extreme poverty
There is strong evidence that [BRAC’s Graduation programme in Bangladesh] has enabled a large majority of beneficiaries to achieve substantial improvements in their socioeconomic status. The chances of these mixed interventions achieving results that continue after households have exited the programme are much stronger than for pure cash transfers.
Governments, aid organisations, and donors have been looking for something backed by real evidence showing they can help the poorest of the world, and the Graduation approach does exactly that.
I am fixated on the impact of the monitoring/coaching aspects of the Graduation programme as the key ingredient in building the social capital necessary to connect people living in poverty to service and their community as a way out of poverty.
WHAT WE DO
HOW WE DO IT
WHY IT WORKS
Focus on skills and capacity
Engagement with the governments
BRAC International: We implemented Graduation outside Bangladesh for the first time in 2009. We are now directly implementing the approach in Liberia and Uganda.
Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI): We founded this in 2016 to provide advisory services and technical support to governments and NGO partners for Graduation programmes. Today, BRAC UPGI is scaling the Graduation approach through governments, integrating it into existing programmes, and working with partners around the world to drive policy change to better reach and meet the multidimensional needs of people living in extreme poverty.