The Business Case for Investing in Graduation

Arguments for scaling graduation programs to help end extreme poverty by 2030

Graduation programs target people who are well below the USD 1.90 per day threshold for extreme poverty – a cohort described as the "ultra poor," "poorest of the poor," "chronic poor," "invisible poor," and "destitute". Their lives are characterized by food insecurity, poor health, minimal education, unreliable incomes, low social capital, and a lack of assets and land ownership. The number of people living in these unacceptable conditions of poverty is estimated to be in the range of 400-500 million (80-100 million families).

This paper presents the case for scaling Graduation such that it can make a significant, measurable contribution to achieving the global goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. It addresses (i) why Graduation is effective, (ii) the potential for scale, (iii) the nexus between Graduation and social protection programs worldwide, (iv) the costs and cost-benefit of Graduation, and (v) how governments, funders, and others in the development community can mobilize to bring the benefits of Graduation to millions of families.

About this Publication

By Abrams W., Goldstein J., Reed L., Roenen C., & Tardif, J. F.