About the Graduation Approach

The Graduation approach is a multifaceted set of interventions designed to address the complex nature of extreme poverty. As we have continued to refine our approach, we’ve identified four key elements that are fundamental to implementing Graduation successfully and breaking the poverty trap for the long term in any geographic and community context.

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.

Income Generation

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.

Social Empowerment

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.

Nurunnahar walking on a forested path
Nurunnahar walking on a forested path


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
A Graduation Community Facilitator (GCF) in Negros Occidental province, Philippines works with a program participant and her husband on life-skills and business training.
A Graduation Community Facilitator (GCF) in Negros Occidental province, Philippines works with a program participant and her husband on life-skills and business training.

Graduation Overview

Graduation paves the way for greater self-sufficiency, autonomy, and opportunities through a multifaceted methodology that places households on an upward trajectory from poverty.

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