BRAC, the world’s largest NGO, currently supports social programs serving over 130 million people in 10 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Established in 2012, the BRAC-CEGA Learning Collaborative (BCLC) is a research partnership between CEGA and BRAC, the largest non-governmental development organization in the world. With support and funding from the BCLC, Munshi Sulaiman and Ethan Ligon assessed the impact of their flagship “Targeting the Ultra-Poor” (TUP) pilot program compared to unconditional cash transfer approaches to alleviating capital constraints. Results from this study showed that TUP beneficiaries were better able to cope with the short-term economic effects of a violent outbreak than their counterparts who received the cash transfer. The project also garnered additional funding to utilize mobile devices for remote survey collection to improve the quality and statistical power of the TUP program’s randomized evaluation.
The TUP program has shaped BRAC’s strategy for implementing graduation programs in new contexts, as it prioritizes comprehensive, time-bound, integrated and sequenced sets of interventions designed to create pathways out of extreme poverty. In particular, results from the study informed the design of a disability-inclusive poverty alleviation project in Uganda, in which the graduation approach was applied to a combination of livelihoods, social protection, financial inclusion, and social empowerment interventions, among which 15% of the participants were people with disabilities.
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