Project information

BRAC: Enabling the poorest

Pioneering programme helps households climb out of extreme poverty.

BRAC’s ‘Targeting the Ultra-Poor’ programme in Bangladesh has benefitted 1.6 million women shift out of low paid and insecure work, such as casual agricultural work or domestic service, into running their own small businesses.

18-24 months

Charity information: BRAC

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  • Need


    Today, 702 million people live in on $1.90 a day or less. People living in extreme poverty are forced to make impossible choices daily between food, medicine, housing, or education.

    But extreme poverty is more than just a number, or the lack of income and consumption – it is the denial of basic freedoms and human dignity. While much progress has been made, ending extreme poverty will be a much more difficult task than halving it has been in the last 30 years.


    The graduation approach is a tested intervention with seven components provided over 24 months. Participants are chosen through a mapping exercise in which community members identify the poorest people. Once chosen, participants are visited weekly by a coach and are taught savings, financial management and life skills. These women receive a food stipend, health care, and an asset transfer like a goat or a cow. Participants are also integrated into the community to ensure on-going support.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To faciitate women to get out of extreme poverty


    » BRAC’s social innovation ‘targeting the ultra-poor’ develops basic entrepreneurship for those living on less than 70p per day.

    What success will look like

    To 'graduate' out of the programme clients need to meet 8 criteria based on social and economic indicators that vary given the social and geographic context of the programme.

  • Impact


    BRAC piloted this approach in Bangladesh and it has evolved over the last 25 years to ensure it works to reach the ultra-poor and create sustainable livelihoods. Research in Bangladesh shows that 95 per cent of participants who have gone through the programme get out of ultra-poverty and stay out three years after the programme is complete.

    BRAC has created a suite of technical assistance and advisory services to facilitate replication of the programme across the world to meet SDG 1


    - saturating of the local market
    - that some participants don't slip back into extreme poverty


    We will report to donors through annual or biannual reports from our programme in Bangladesh, across BRAC International and through our advocacy operations in the USA and the UK.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £0

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  • Background



  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Read more about the Charity running this project.