Lessons Learned: How to Integrate Graduation into Existing Government Programming

By Lauren Whitehead, Director of Technical Assistance and Cait O’Donnell, Technical Officer for BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative

Villagers in northern Bangladesh sit in on a participatory rural appraisal (PRA)

By building on existing cash transfers and public works schemes, Graduation costs can be kept to a minimum while still generating sustainable impact on the extreme poor. BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) has been providing advisory services and technical support to governments on integrating Graduation with existing social protection systems in a cost-effective manner. We have worked with government partners in the Philippines, Kenya, Rwanda, Lesotho, Guinea, and Pakistan, among others, adapting our approach in each country to fit the local context and effectively integrate into existing programming.

Through its work, BRAC has identified some core lessons on how to integrate Graduation into existing programming and enhance cost-effectiveness:

  1. A robust and contextualized Graduation design is critical in addressing the root causes of extreme poverty and generating sustainable outcomes for participating households that makes the best use of scarce resources. This requires thorough assessments of the local context that identifies vulnerabilities of extreme poor populations along multiple dimensions including socio-economic conditions, access to social protection and basic services, gender inequality, disability, among others.
BRAC and CARE staff during a monitoring visit in Kitui county, Kenya

BRAC UPGI is committed to collaborating with governments toward effective solutions that leverage available resources to achieve the long-term benefits demonstrated by using Graduation programming. By applying these practices, BRAC UPGI has helped partnering governments keep the integration of Graduation cost-effective and maximize impact for existing programming.

For more information on the impact of Graduation and understanding the long-term benefits for participating households, read our blog Understanding the Costs of Graduation, Investing in Long-Term Gains.

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Breaking the cycle of extreme poverty by providing a pathway out of persistent uncertainty and destitution through our Graduation programs.