The Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) programme in Bangladesh, formerly knowns as Targeting the Ultra-Poor (TUP) programme, is recognized worldwide as the pioneer of the Graduation approach and acclaimed for its innovative and holistic solution to ultra-poverty. Since it began in 2002 to date, the program has served more than 1.9 million ultra-poor households in Bangladesh.


Targeting: Meticulous targeting using poverty maps and village level participatory rural appraisals that includes wealth rankings to identify the most vulnerable members of the community.

Enterprise Development Training: Enterprise-related training on livestock rearing, agriculture or non-farming related activities as preferred by participants.

Asset Transfer and Interest Free Loans: A high value asset package (cattle, chickens, sewing machine, etc.) or capital to start a small business through grants and interest free loans.

Hands-on Coaching: Ensuring livelihoods growth, enhancing participants’ decision-making skills, confidence building, future planning and raising awareness on relevant health and social issues.

Savings: Participants’ savings are matched by the program to promote savings behavior, enhance financial security and resilience, and enable future investments. 

Healthcare Services: Participants receive preventative care guidance and healthcare related awareness by program staff, for herself and her family. They are provided treatment through linkages with local healthcare providers and financial assistance. 

Community Mobilization: Social integration of participants by forming a committee comprising of key members of the village, to integrate participants in the community. It creates an enabling environment for participants in the form of social protection, helps to protect their assets, facilitates access to government services, and offers support in times of need.

Graduation: Ultra-poor households graduation from the program by achieving economic and social advancement measured by pre-determined Graduation criteria over the course of 24 months of the program cycle.


  • Funding Partners: DFid, DFAT
  • Implementing Organization: BRAC
  • Evaluation Partners: IPA
  • Participants: 2,020,473
  • Duration: 2002-Present

To learn more about the program click the image to the right

Photos from the field

To explore more about the Ultra-poor Graduation programme in Bangladesh, please visit our Graduation Stories microsite

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