Guide / Toolkit

From Extreme Poverty to Sustainable Livelihoods: A Technical Guide to the Graduation Approach

Providing guidelines to develop poverty alleviation programs
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This technical guide serves as a 'how-to' roadmap for practitioners wishing to implement programs based on the graduation approach, an integrated, five-step methodology, aimed at transitioning extremely poor populations into sustainable livelihoods. The guide draws on the lessons learned over the eight-year (2006-2014) course of a global pilot program involving ten programs in eight countries. It also describes the rationale for serving the extremely poor and the reasons why economic development interventions often overlook this vulnerable segment. It also provides a background of the CGAP-Ford Foundation Graduation Program, and provides an overview of how the program worked. The guide covers the following topics in detail:
  • Identification of the target population, difficulties in reaching the extreme poor, and the need for focusing on this segment;
  • Origin of the Graduation Approach, Theory of Change, and the experience till date;
  • Step-by-step guidance on launching a program with a focus on planning, implementation, monitoring, and reaching graduation;
  • Impact of similar graduation programs on income, consumption, food security, happiness, and other benefits of the extremely poor.

About this Publication

By de Montesquiou, A., Sheldon, T.