The Graduation Approach
Meeting Basic Needs
We ensure that program participants are protected by a safety net and have their basic needs met. We provide resources such as cash transfers, basic food supplies, and access to health services.
We enable participants to earn a sustainable income by providing them with a productive asset, such as livestock, equipment, or seed capital, and support to start a microbusiness.
Financial Support & Savings
Participants are trained on managing income and expenditures, and are taught how savings can buffer against difficult times and open further income-generating opportunities through community savings groups and coaching. Once they successfully complete the program they are connected to more formal financial services for long-term support and growth.
Through Graduation, participants grow their confidence, integrate more into their communities, and develop new life skills through ongoing coaching, mentorship, and peer-to-peer learning.
Since BRAC pioneered the Graduation approach in 2002, it has proven effective in providing the “big push” people need to escape the poverty trap long term. More than 100 organizations have adapted the approach in 50 different countries, reaching nearly 14 million people.Learn More About the Impact & Reach of the Graduation Approach
Poverty is multidimensional, so empowering people to escape the poverty trap requires a multidimensional approach.
Graduation is flexible enough to meet the unique challenges facing people in the most extreme states of poverty.
The approach is increasingly adopted and adapted by governments worldwide to reach larger populations of people living in poverty.
Amina was able to jumpstart a sewing business to support her children and husband through participation in the Programme for Rural Outreach of Financial Innovations and Technologies (PROFIT) Financial Graduation program, funded by the Government of Kenya and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). She now receives multiple visits from clients a day and generates enough income to help her husband’s business and care for their extended family.
Corazón has always been dedicated to her children’s education and futures, working three jobs at a time to put food on the table and cover school fees. After “graduating” from a program implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment of the Government of the Philippines (DOLE) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Corazón was able to diversify her income sources and see her children through school while also developing her own sustainable livelihoods and improving her economic and food security.
Once an outcast in her own community in Bangladesh, Nurunnahar gained both life skills and confidence through Graduation and used these to speak out against the marriages of 20 underage girls in her community. Now, Nurunnahar has been elected as the commissioner of her municipality and continues to fight for women’s and girls’ equality and rights.
Lengbeh Flomo knows firsthand how quickly a shock can force a household into extreme poverty. After losing her husband to Ebola in 2014, the mother of five was forced to beg for food from friends and strangers in her home of Holton Farm in the Margibi County of Liberia. In 2019, Lengbeh joined BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) program. At first, the program helped Lengbeh by providing food and money for immediate consumption support.
We have a plan to break the poverty trap long term by scaling the Graduation approach worldwide. Partnering with governments, multilaterals, NGOs, and civil society, we are driving systems change through programs and policies that empower households to escape extreme poverty.Learn More About Our Vision
Learning & Innovation
At BRAC, we are committed to continuous learning and innovation. With two decades of experience generating evidence and iterating our approach, we are working with partners to build the global body of evidence on how to overcome extreme poverty.View Key Findings
Graduation paves the way for greater self-sufficiency, autonomy, and opportunities through a multifaceted methodology that places households on an upward trajectory from poverty.View the One Pager