This In Practice paper shares insights and learning from four non-governmental organizations on the potential to scale up government-led Graduation programs for people living in extreme poverty. The paper is devised as a contribution to the growing policy space around economic inclusion via the World Bank’s Partnership for Economic Inclusion (PEI) of which BOMA is a member.

Economic inclusion programs are a bundle of coordinated, multidimensional interventions that support individuals, households, and communities in their efforts to increase their incomes and assets. Economic inclusion programs cover a diverse and often overlapping landscape, including, among other efforts, cash-plus, safety net, productive inclusion, and community-driven development programs (Andrews et al. 2021). Graduation programs deliver a holistic package of interventions across four key pillars, facilitated by in-person coaching. Graduation programs focus on the distinct challenges of people in extreme poverty, addressing context-specific barriers that constitute poverty traps and emphasizing social and economic empowerment.

This note identifies key considerations for designing and implementing governmentled Graduation programs. It offers recommendations on how to identify, reach, and deliver programming to individuals and households facing socioeconomic exclusion and marginalization. The note is authored by staff from four non-governmental organizations (and Partnership for Economic Inclusion technical partners) based on lessons on designing and implementing government-led Graduation programs learned by BRAC, Fundación Capital, Village Enterprise, and the BOMA Project (Fundación Capital 2018; Gardner et al. 2021; Fundación Capital 2022). It also draws on case studies of government-led Graduation programs, sharing insights and evidence generated by the Satat Jeevikoparjan Yojana (SJY) program in the Bihar state of India; the Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project; and the Brazilian economic inclusion program Prospera Família, among others.