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Graduation out of Extreme Poverty

A presentation on the concept and strategy of 'graduation' for EEP/shiree upto March 2016.

Vishal Gadhavi

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of Graduation out of Extreme Poverty

"Graduation is generally understood to mean the exit of an individual/household from extreme poverty by passing above a certain extreme poverty line or threshold, where as ‘sustainable graduation’ is where this is combined with a strong probability that the individual/household will not fall below this line again in the future" (Sabates-Wheeler and Devereux, 2011)

Graduation in Shiree/EEP

Graduation Project Realities:
Graduation programme evaluations show that, while many families may have been on an upward trajectory after 18 or 24 months of support, these outcomes were not uniformally sustained in the long-term. Unsurprisingly, “graduated” participants remain vulnerable to external shocks (of course some fare better than others), but a bout of ‘goat pox,’ a flood, or a serious illness within the household is often enough to erode programmatic gains for the ‘less resilient.’ Graduation from poverty is possible, but it is a circuitous event with many setbacks, and not an “escalator arriving families at their destination” within a finite period of time (Orr, 2009).

Complexity and Diversity of Extreme Poverty in shiree’s portfolio
Graduation Models and Pathways
Graduation Measurement – CMS3
Graduation Monitoring System – GMS/CMS-2
Graduation Enhancement Strategy
Supplementary Support/Contingency

Extreme Poverty in the Shiree Context
Extreme Poverty is multidimensional:
people are not just income poor, but face deficits in food security, health, nutrition, education, physical security, housing, mobility, vulnerability to shocks, social empowerment and access to rights and justice.
Poorest of the Poorest – criteria
= bottom 10% . Shiree’s rigourous targeting has meant actually working with bottom 3-4% = harder to graduate.
CMS-1 Baseline facts (Phase 1 BHHs):
91 % of beneficiaries reported not receiving safety nets, 70 % of all adults never attended school, Average monthly household cash income was 1,281 taka, only 3% reported having any cash savings
No quick fix for Graduation!
Chronic Poverty and Structural causes
But Graduation is rarely a straight forward linear path!
Group Exercise
In groups: each group will have a CMS-5 case study that contains details of a BHH life history up until being enrolled in the project/receiving assets.
Task – given the HH context (project, location, HH demographic and life skills), note down:
1. The ways this household might succeed in graduating themselves out of extreme poverty
2. The challenges this household might face bringing it back down

Brief Presentations by teams comparing notes with actual CMS 5 case study outcomes since project enrolment

What does this tell us?

Programme Expectations
Reality of Extreme Poverty
So why Graduation?
Graduation, though a contentious idea – can still be valuable as a concept-made-strategy for several reasons:

A) Ascertain a set of graduates and non-graduates, and assume that non-graduates have fallen further behind and require extra support
B) Evaluate which interventions work best
C) Examine short-comings in interventions (e.g. gender empowerment)

AR 2012: “The difficulty is in knowing how much movement is needed because even if it seems like a lot, but it doesn’t achieve graduation, the effort has not been successful [assuming graduation as the only robust indicator of success!]; yet if the movement continues to be pushed beyond graduation because graduation can’t be identified, the extra effort required to continue that momentum would be unnecessary and could be better used elsewhere.”

How do we measure graduation at Shiree?
Based on CMS-3 sample panel survey
This gives us graduation impact figures for each Scale Fund partner
IF Round partners - separate graduation measure
Aggregated gives overall impact of shiree

Why a Graduation Enhancement Strategy?
Livelihood programmes typically report between 60% and 85% “graduation”
You can’t eradicate extreme poverty while leaving 20% behind as “write offs”
Need to know status of ALL households – census level monitoring
Two methods: GMS (not yet implemented) and CMS-2

Graduation Monitoring System
One-off assessment utilizing smart phone capacity.
To ‘bank’ the graduates
Status check - Ascertain who are the graduates and non-graduates. Graduates do not need to be monitored frequently.
Target resources to non-graduates – carry on monitoring
Census level reporting – validation against CMS-3 (sample
AR 2012: “A possible approach could simply be to find a way of asking people whether they still regard their households as extreme poor. This could be tested on Scale Fund phase 1 beneficiaries, many of whom (as witnessed in the field) are identifiably no longer extreme poor, and could then be incorporated into CMS2.”

CMS-2 - change monitoring: Identifying 'failing households'
Census level monitoring on monthly basis
Aim: CMS-2 for current households – change monitoring and identifying failing households to target extra resources
How? – income falling fast, no cash savings, missed meals, etc
Ultimately up to each NGO partner to decide best ways to identify ‘failing’ households
Let the data 'guide' NOT 'dictate'!

Supplementary Top-up Support
We have a database of the extreme poor
Funds (Supplemental Top-Up resources – for 14,666 HHs) equivalent to BDT 15,000 approx per HH

Plan: NGOs/Shiree to visit follow-ups suspected failing household to:
Ascertain validity of scenario
Diagnosis - come up with HH strategy

Final Thoughts
Last 2 years of shiree programme: What are the areas we need to focus in terms of graduation?
Acquired leading expertise on extreme poverty – how to consolidate learnings – within shiree and beyond
Ensure gains are sustained
Lenses on! (gender, disability, environmental, etc)
Specific investigation: Which IGAs work best? (e.g. short-term vs. long term IGAs - PMs to discuss)
Why people fail - need to gather evidence of programme/project strengths and weaknesses
External shocks – contingency
Health linkages
Innovation (IF Rounds) and Graduation?
GoB – safety nets and GoB targeting the extreme poor

Graduation -
the steps
out of extreme poverty

Diversity of Portfolio
Many different contexts and means of propelling a household out of extreme poverty.
Given the diversity and complexity – there is no one-size-fits-all approach, both to intervention as well as monitoring the impact.
Full transcript