12.9% of the population in Bangladesh live below the global poverty line of USD 1.90 per day.
People living in ultra-poverty are confronted by a multitude of interconnected and cyclical problems. They have little or no land or productive assets and simultaneously struggle to cope with food shortages, poor health, social stigma, and a lack of basic services like clean water and sanitation. They are mostly excluded from social services and healthcare, generally live in remote areas disconnected from markets, and are often unable to work due to prolonged illnesses or disability in the family. Conventional development programmes have not been able to cope with these complex, interrelated needs.
The UPG programme are the pioneers of the the Graduation Approach, a globally recognised model for its innovative and holistic solution to ultra-poverty.
The Graduation Approach is a comprehensive, time-bound, integrated and sequenced set of interventions that aim to enable extreme and ultra-poor households to achieve key milestones towards sustainable livelihoods and socioeconomic resilience, in order to progress along a pathway out of extreme poverty.
75-98% of participants worldwide meet graduation criteria in 18-36 months, as demonstrated by early RCT results.
Positive results ripple beyond economic measures of poverty. Preliminary results show vast improvement in socio-economic dynamics and educational opportunities of children.
Adapted by 114 programmes in 45 countries by NGOs, governments and multilateral institutions.
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 mentoring/coaching aspect of the graduation programme as the key ingredient in building the social capital necessary to connect the poor to services and their community as a way out of poverty.
WHAT WE DO
Asset transfer, grants, and soft loans to procure a market-viable asset or start a business along with technical skills training.
Support basic income security such as consumption support and crisis relief, and access to health, education, and employment opportunities through linkages with government services.
Direct access to convenient, formal or informal access to financial services, accompanied with financial literacy training.
Regular check-ins and life-skills support on health and social issues that build confidence, resilience and promote social inclusion.
HOW WE DO IT
Meticulous targeting using poverty maps and village level participatory rural appraisals to identify the most vulnerable members of that community.
‘Big push’ capital injection
Initiate income generation activities through asset transfer or capital for business through grants and interest free loans.
Enterprise-related training on livestock, agriculture or non-farm activities as preferred by participants
Coaching and mentoring
Provide regular coaching to ensure growth of enterprise, as well as familiarise with social and health issues, and instill confidence
Participants’ savings are matched by the programme to promote savings behavior, improve future financial security and livelihoods promotion.
Participants and family members receive preventative care guidance, treatment and healthcare related awareness, by linkage with local healthcare providers
Social integration of participants with their community by forming the Village Social Solidarity Committee and connect participants with development interventions
Ultra-poor households graduate from the programme after two years by achieving economic and social advancement measured by pre-determined programme criteria
WHY IT WORKS
Spatial poverty maps,community wealth ranking, and verification surveys to identify households with the greatest needs
Focus on skills development
Enterprise-specific training and awareness building on social issues
Engage the community as a positive influence on participants’ lives, creating easier access to mainstream services
Ability to adapt of programme interventions based on research and knowledge from field operations
Participant has improved house conditions considering the respective geographical context.
Household’s school-aged children are going to school.
Household has multiple sources of income
Household has increased income and better access to nutritional foods
Transforming the Economic Lives of the Ultra-poor
by Clare Balboni, Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, and Upaasna Kaul- A Growth Brief from the International Growth Centre at the London School of Economics outlining sustained impacts on BRAC TUP program participants seven years post-intervention (December 2015)