Kate McKee, head of the CGAP Graduation Initiative, shares the following letter highlighting a major shift in their work:
Friends and members of the global Graduation Community of Practice (CoP) – We are really, really happy to share the news that we are building a new global partnership to accelerate innovation and scaling of graduation-style programming! Think of this as a “CGAP for graduation” -- the mission of the Platform for Economic Inclusion (PEI, provisional name) will be to promote “Graduation 2.0,” the work that we all do together to advance the well-being, opportunities and resilience of tens of millions of the poorest and most vulnerable households around the world. PEI will serve the CoP, which is growing fast and gaining momentum as more and more governments, international agencies like UNHCR, development partners and INGOs embrace this approach. In addition to scale-up of programs serving the traditional graduation target group -- extreme poor rural people, with a focus on women -- we see exciting work underway to adapt graduation approaches to new segments such as refugees, the urban extreme poor, and people in conflict- and climate change-affected contexts.
PEI will benefit from being hosted by the World Bank’s Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice (SPJ), which is led by Senior Director Michal Rutkowski. SPJ hosting was selected as the best option following a careful year-long process and a CGAP-commissioned review of strategic options, which included more than 50 interviews with key graduation stakeholders and was conducted by an organization that specializes in creating and strengthening multi-sectoral stakeholder initiatives in different development sectors. PEI will have independent governance, a dedicated Multi-Donor Trust Fund and a small secretariat to carry out the work program on behalf of the global CoP. We have formed an Interim Executive Committee to guide the start-up: Carolina Trivelli (Institute of Peruvian Studies, CGAP ExCom Chair), David Robalino (SPJ, Jobs Group Manager), Yves Moury (CEO, Fundacion Capital), Joanne Carter (CEO, RESULTS) and Shaifali Puri (CEO, Uplift).
The CGAP graduation team – Aude de Montesquiou, Syed Hashemi and I – have now moved to SPJ to work full-time on starting up PEI, and we have received a warm welcome from our new colleagues, led by SPJ Senior Director Michal Rutkowski. Aude will remain in Paris, Hashemi mostly in Dhaka, and I will be in DC. Our e-mail and phone contact information will not change.
We are grateful to the support of key CoP members in this process as well as the leadership of CGAP CEO Greta Bull. CGAP feels tremendous pride in having embarked on this work over a decade ago, in response to frank acknowledgement that microfinance was not serving the extreme poor. CGAP worked over the years with many of you and key supporters like the Ford Foundation to build evidence, practical tools, a vibrant community, and strong momentum to carry the field forward into its next phase, “Graduation 2.0.”
We are invigorated and humbled by the opportunity to create a bigger-and- better platform to serve all of you. Please reach out to learn more about our plans and share your ideas!