Insights and Research
BRAC seeks to build awareness and demand for the Graduation Approach among a critical mass of stakeholders through strategic outreach and advocacy centered around evidence-based results.
Impact and Reach of BRAC’s Graduation Approach
In 2002, BRAC pioneered the Ultra-Poor Graduation (Graduation) approach in Bangladesh, the first holistic intervention to help people lift themselves from extreme poverty, after recognizing that existing poverty alleviation programs were not reaching the poorest people. Through the provision of livelihood assets, cash transfers, and continued mentoring and training, the Graduation approach addresses participants’ multidimensional needs within the local context and helps the world’s poorest people transit.
BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (2020)
Mainstreaming Graduation into Social Protection in Asia
People in ultra-poverty make up over half of the estimated 797 million people living in extreme poverty around the world (Reed et al. 2017, 4). This group tends to be food insecure, typically excluded from mainstream services and programs, including formal market systems and financial services, and in some contexts live in isolated and hard-to-reach areas. To address such a complex and multifaceted problem, it is necessary to implement holistic interventions that make sustainable improvements in the lives of extreme and ultra-poor people. This paper argues that the Graduation approach is one such approach that aims to equip this population with the tools, access to resources, livelihoods, and self-confidence to escape the poverty trap.
BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (2019)
Leave No One Behind: Time for Specifics on the Sustainable Development Goals (Chapter 3)
In the fall of 2019 we were honored to join with others committed to bringing the slogan “leave no one behind” to life in the new book Leave No One Behind: Time for Specifics on the Sustainable Development Goals, published this fall by the Japan International Cooperation Research Institute (JICA) and the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution. Our chapter, attached here, is about “Breaking Out of the Poverty Trap”. We hope our work is of use to policymakers, academics, activists, and leaders of international organizations and civil society groups, who work every day to promote the advancement of economic and social inclusion around the world.
The Brookings Institution (2019)
Human Development Report 2019
The 2019 Human Development Report is the latest in the series of global Human Development Reports published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 1990 as independent, analytically and empirically
grounded discussions of major development issues, trends and policies.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (2019)
2018 State of the Sector Report
The Partnership for Economic Inclusion presents their yearly report on the state of the Graduation sector around the globe. The synthesis report presents on the overall Graduation landscape, the major actors involved, how Graduation is changing development and program and design implementation topics.
Partner for Economic Inclusion (PEI) (2018)
Policy in Focus: Debating Graduation
The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth presents a multitude of articles all focused on various aspects of the Graduation approach and programming, including a piece written by BRAC’s own members of the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative team entitled “What does the future hold for graduation?”
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) (November 2017)
Graduation Pathways: Increasing Income and Resilience for the Extreme Poor
Syed M. Hashemi and Aude de Montesquiou, with Katharine McKee (December 2016)
Ultra Poor Graduation: The Strongest Case so Far for Why Financial Services Must Be a Part of the Solution to Extreme Poverty
Shameran Abed, June 2015
From Extreme Poverty to Sustainable Livelihoods: A Technical Guide to the Graduation Approach
Aude de Montesquiou Tony Sheldon with Frank F. DeGiovanni and Syed M. Hashemi (September 2014)
Reaching the Poorest: Lessons from the Graduation Model
Syed M. Hashemi and Aude de Montesquiou (March 2011)
Proof-of-concept tested, and with increasing interest from various stakeholders and countries in adapting the approach, we are at a moment of tremendous opportunity for international scale and adaptation.
Clare Balboni, Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, Maitreesh Ghatak and Anton Heil (March 2020)
There are two views as to why people stay poor. The equal opportunity view emphasizes that differences in individual traits like talent or motivation make poor people choose low productivity jobs. The poverty traps view emphasizes that access to opportunities depends on initial wealth and hence poor people have no choice but to work in low productivity jobs.
Munshi Sulaiman, Nathanael Goldberg, Dean Karlan, Aude de Montesquiou (December 2016)
Targeted interventions that sustainably improve the lives of poor people will be a critical component in eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. The poorest households tend to be physically and socially isolated and face disadvantages across multiple dimensions, which makes moving out of extreme poverty challenging and costly. This paper compares…
Wameq A Raza, Ellen Van de Poel (April 2016)
Evidence shows that ultra-poor households are typically unable to participate in mainstream poverty alleviation programmes. In response, an international NGO called BRAC in Bangladesh implemented the Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction: Targeted Ultra-Poor (CFPR: TUP) programme that explicitly targets those living below…
Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, Narayan Das, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul, Munshi Sulaimany (March 2016)
We study how women’s choices over labor activities in village economies correlate with poverty and whether enabling the poorest women to take on the activities of their richer counterparts can set them on a sustainable trajectory out of poverty…
Clare Balboni, Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, Upaasna Kaul (December 2015)
A livelihood programme providing productive assets and skills training to the poorest women in Bangladesh village economies helps them move into more stable self-employment and achieves significant reductions in poverty…
Alison Fahey (September 2015)
This bulletin summarizes the results from seven randomized evaluations of the Graduation approach, a multifaceted livelihood program
for ultra-poor people. This particular approach was designed by BRAC and has since been adapted in eight countries with support from
the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and the Ford Foundation…
Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Nathanael Goldberg, Dean Karlan, Robert Osei, William Parienté, Jeremy Shapiro, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry (May 2015)