12.9% of the population in Bangladesh live below the global poverty line of USD 1.90 per day.
20 million people in Bangladesh still live in extreme poverty. People living in ultra poverty are the most vulnerable subgroup within them. Food insecurity, irregular income, lack of skills and assets distress the lives of the ultra poor every day. 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.
A carefully sequenced combination of life skills coaching and technical skills training, asset transfers, consumption stipend, savings matching and healthcare linkages. Interventions are individually customised to promote the economic and psychosocial well-being of families who are living in ultra poverty, detached from essential services and mainstream development interventions.
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 59 programmes in 37 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
Livelihood and income generation
Enterprise-related training on livestock, agriculture or non-farm activities as preferred by participants
Life-skills and social awareness
Enhancing decision-making skills and raising awareness on relevant health and social issues
Introduce participants to responsible financial practices and access to credit
Consumption support to enhance food security and livelihoods
Provide a stipend that supplements participants’ food budget, allowing them to focus on their enterprises
Access to healthcare
Basic healthcare and referral services through linkages with government health institutions
Social mobility and integration
Connect participants to public services, and social and community institutions
HOW WE DO IT
Identify participants through community-based social mapping and wealth ranking
‘Big push’ capital injection
Initiate income generation activities through asset transfer as grants or soft loans
Dedicated coaching and supervision
Provide regular coaching to ensure growth of enterprise, as well as familiarise with social and health issues, and instill confidence
Promote multiple income sources to reduce the risk of single asset loss
Participants regularly save a minimum amount to facilitate access to financial services
Forming village poverty and social security committees
Monthly meeting of village elders and influentials to support and connect participants to development interventions
WHY IT WORKS
Spatial poverty maps and community wealth ranking identify households with the greatest needs
Focus on soft skills
Enterprise-specific training, financial literacy and awareness building on critical issues
Support participants with nutritional provisions for a period of 28-32 weeks
Engage the community as a positive influence on participants’ lives, creating easier access to mainstream services
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)