KIGALI, RWANDA – BRAC International recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Rwanda under the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) to support efforts to empower people in extreme poverty to develop sustainable livelihoods and break the poverty trap long term. This is part of the Government’s broader efforts to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.
The MoU positions BRAC International as a key partner in advancing the Government of Rwanda’s new National Strategy for Sustainable Graduation (NSSG), which was approved by Cabinet in November 2022 to accelerate the reduction of poverty and extreme poverty in Rwanda and contribute to the achievement of the targets set out in the National Strategy for Transformation (2017 – 2024).
Similar to BRAC’s Graduation approach, which was established in Bangladesh in 2002, the NSSG defines Graduation as a two year program for households to benefit from inclusive livelihood development programs, multifaceted interventions, access to shock responsive social protection services, and market access that creates an enabling environment for households to “graduate” out of extreme poverty.
To date, BRAC’s Graduation program has reached more than 2.1 million households in Bangladesh alone and supported the expansion of Graduation in 16 additional countries through direct implementation, technical assistance, and advisory services for implementing partners and governments. BRAC is committed to further advancing the expansion of Graduation by scaling it through governments across Africa and Asia in effort to enable millions more people to escape the poverty trap.
Drawing on vast experience in supporting the design, delivery, and evaluation of Graduation programs around the world, BRAC International will support MINALOC in the following areas:
- Provide technical capacity and expertise in the implementation of the Graduation strategy
- Make available necessary communication, advocacy, and technical resources to ensure smooth implementation of the Graduation strategy
- Collaborate with MINALOC to ensure scale up of inclusive, holistic Graduation strategy that includes all Graduation essentials
There are four essential components identified as fundamental to implementing Graduation successfully, which include meeting participants’ day-to-day needs, providing training and assets for income generation, financial literacy and savings support, and social empowerment through community engagement and life skills training – all facilitated through coaching that calls for regular interactions with participants.
Jean Claude Muhire, Rwanda Program Director of BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI), a flagship program at BRAC International, and Samuel Dusengiyumva, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government signed the MoU.
“Delighted to see the Government of Rwanda take a leadership role on addressing extreme poverty,” said Greg Chen, Managing Director of BRAC UPGI.
BRAC International will support MINALOC, along with the Government of Rwanda and development partners more broadly, leveraging 20 years of experience implementing, testing, and iterating the Graduation approach to fulfill the vision within the National Strategy for Sustainable Graduation and eradicate extreme poverty.
Courtney Calardo, Head of Communications
BRAC International, Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative
About BRAC International
BRAC International is a leading nonprofit organization with a mission to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and social injustice. Our approach is grounded in the conviction that people living in vulnerable situations can be agents of change if they are empowered with the tools, skills, and hope they need to change their lives. BRAC was founded in Bangladesh 50 years ago and has since expanded internationally to apply our expertise, evidence, and learning from approaches like Graduation in 16 additional countries, touching the lives of over 100 million people. To date, BRAC International has supported the expansion of Graduation through direct implementation, technical assistance, and advisory services in 16 countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Guinea, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia.