Research findings and discussion points from graduation programs in Burundi and Rwands
Concern Worldwide has been implementing graduation programs in a number of countries since 2008 with the goal of addressing extreme poverty at the household level in a sustainable manner. In an effort to find out whether these have worked, and whether certain elements are more important than others, Concern collaborated with the Centre for Social Protection (CSP) at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex to carry out rigorous research on its programs in Rwanda and Burundi.
For the research in Burundi, a quasi-experimental randomized control design was utilized which included three rounds of quantitative household surveys (at baseline, midline and endline), administered to both an intervention and control (or comparison) group to allow for difference-in-difference analysis, as well as a substantial qualitative research component. Implemented in cohorts, the Rwanda program has the advantage of a fourth round of data collected for the first cohort, allowing an assessment of the sustainability of the benefits a full two years after the program ended.
The results from the research were launched at an event in Brighton, UK on 25 October 2016. Three presentations from Alice Simington, former Country Director for Concern in Rwanda and Burundi, and Keetie Roelen and Stephen Devereux from the CSP focused on the experiences implementing the program and some of the key results from the research in the two countries. The document presents a brief overview of research findings and a summary of the lively discussions these prompted during the event.