Insights and Research

Insights


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.

Mainstreaming Graduation into Social Protection in Asia

The ultra-poor 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 the extreme and ultra-poor. 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)

Graduation Pathways: Increasing Income and Resilience for the Extreme Poor

CGAP brief on the success of the Graduation approach in increasing incomes 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

A review posted by the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion International, written by Shameran Abed, Director, BRAC Microfinance Program (June 2015).

Shameran Abed, June 2015

From Extreme Poverty to Sustainable Livelihoods: A Technical Guide to the Graduation Approach

This Technical Guide distills lessons from the 10 CGAP-Ford Foundation graduation pilots implemented from 2008-2014. This Guide will be updated in 2016.

Aude de Montesquiou Tony Sheldon with Frank F. DeGiovanni and Syed M. Hashemi (September 2014)

Research


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.

Why Do People Stay Poor?

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 the poor 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…

Eliminating Extreme Poverty: Comparing the Cost-Effectiveness of Livelihood, Cash Transfer, and Graduation Approaches

Munshi Sulaiman, Nathanael Goldberg, Dean Karlan, Aude de Montesquiou (December 2016)

Targeted interventions that sustainably improve the lives of the poor 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…

Impact and Spillover Effects of an Asset Transfer Programme on Malnutrition

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…

Labor Markets and Poverty in Village Economies

Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, Narayan Das, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul, Munshi Sulaimany (March 2016)

Transforming the Economic Lives of the Ultra Poor

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…

Building Stable Livelihoods for the Ultra-Poor

Alison Fahey (September 2015)

This bulletin summarizes the results from seven randomized evaluations of the Graduation approach, a multifaceted livelihood program
for the ultra-poor. 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…

A Multifaceted Program Causes Lasting Progress for the Very Poor: Evidence from Six Countries

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Nathanael Goldberg, Dean Karlan, Robert Osei, William Parienté, Jeremy Shapiro, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry (May 2015)