Who are the ultra-poor?
The ultra-poor, an estimated 395 million people - are the most economically, financially, and socially marginalized in their communities. Living without reliable shelter or income these households, the majority of which are female-headed, often lack access to food, water, sanitation, healthcare, and education. Living in the direst form of poverty, these women are often hard to identify and find. Invisible and isolated, these mothers and children are being left out of existing programs designed to end poverty.
Historically, ultra-poor households, have been so marginalized that they are not being reached by traditional government social protection, microfinance, and cash transfer programs. We are here to change that. We’ve arrived at a precise moment in time where we have the ability to rewrite history and ensure these women get the support that they need.
BRAC, an Uplift partner, pioneered a scientifically-vetted time-bound method in Bangladesh that sustainably lifts families out of ultra-poverty. Known as Graduation, the approach has been scientifically tested over the past decade and has been implemented and adapted in numerous countries. Graduation programs consistently achieved a 90% success rate, with families continuing to prosper years after they complete the program.
An Evidence Backed Holistic Approach
Identifying and targeting the poorest families in a community, approaches like Graduation provide immediate consumption support along with assets and coaching over a time-bound period that empowers families to transform their own lives. Through these holistic interventions including life-skills coaching, financial literacy, and access to productive assets (such as livestock, sewing machines, cash, or other sources of enterprise), participants gain the economic, social, and personal foundation to lift themselves and their families sustainably out of ultra-poverty.
Sustained support and livelihoods development is the key to lifting the floor on poverty forever, bringing hope to generations, and unlocking vast human potential. With reliable income and the training needed to properly manage their finances, families can afford to feed their children and send them to school. Sustained coaching and business advice ensures that families gain the skills needed to escape ultra-poverty forever. Graduation was the first poverty eradication approach providen to effectively transition the ultra-poor into sustainable livelihoods.
In the news
Today, Uplift partners are adapting and scaling BRAC’s innovative model across 23+ countries and advancing innovations that can make it even more efficient and effective. Uplift advances a systemic approach to scaling and innovating evidence-based methods like Graduation, working across sectors to build the ecosystem necessary to end ultra-poverty and transform a global system that has historically left the most vulnerable families behind.