Lydia Orre, setting up stall in Illaut Market. Northern Kenya. Photo: David duChemin

Do poverty graduation programs increase resilience for ultra-poor populations better than other types of interventions? Findings from a 3-year randomized control trial confirm that long-term positive effects of graduation outpace those of cash or asset transfer only. Innovations for Poverty Action released the study this January: “A multi-faceted program comprising a grant of productive assets, training, coaching, and savings has been found to build sustainable income for those in extreme poverty. We focus on two important questions: whether a mere grant of productive assets would generate similar impacts (it does not), and whether access to a savings account and a deposit collection service would generate similar impacts (it does not).”

The study confirms what we already know is working in our program. A holistic series of specific, timed interventions, ongoing training, a defined exit strategy, and rigorous criteria for success are the ways to build resilience in vulnerable populations. After two years, BOMA participants report important increases in income, savings, and education spending.

We are driven by a sense of extreme urgency to help families who are facing crises of survival. By implementing a solution that is driven by data and results, we are working towards large-scale change in the humanitarian aid landscape. Building resilience and helping families forge their own paths out of extreme poverty is not only more cost-effective than traditional aid delivery; it helps people live with dignity and self-determination.

Read the complete study here, and join us in working towards ending extreme poverty in our lifetimes.