our impact


families graduated out of extreme poverty in Bangladesh


countries where BRAC has run or advised on Graduation programs


increase in earnings among participants in Bangladesh years after the program ends


years economic benefits are sustained after the program

BRAC’s innovative Graduation approach has enabled millions to lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

With more than 50 years of experience working hand-in-hand with communities around the globe, BRAC understands the unique, multifaceted needs of people living in extreme poverty—and their inherent potential. Our pioneering, proven Graduation approach unlocks that potential and enables people to break the cycle of poverty.

Invest in human potential

Our Approach

A holistic approach

BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation approach is a multifaceted set of interventions designed to address the complex nature of extreme poverty. Participants receive a stipend to support their basic needs; a productive asset such as livestock, equipment, or seed capital; training in life skills, finance, and business skills; and regular coaching and mentoring. Participants unlock their intrinsic potential and develop sustainable livelihoods that set them on a path of upward economic mobility. They also become better integrated into society, develop social connections, improve their self-esteem, and establish active roles in their communities.

A holistic approach

UPGI Kenya

Proven results

The Graduation approach is proven to break the cycle of poverty and yield lasting results. In Bangladesh, BRAC has reached more than two million families. Research shows that 95 percent of BRAC’s participants lift themselves out of extreme poverty by the end of the program, and that seven years later, the benefits were sustained for 93 percent of the participants, including a 37 percent increase in earnings, a nine percent increase in consumption, a ninefold increase in savings, and a twofold increase in assets and land.

Proven results

Agnes at the market

Scaling success

Since BRAC pioneered the Graduation approach in Bangladesh in 2002, the approach has been adapted and used by partners in nearly 50 countries around the world, gaining traction as a scalable solution with proven success in breaking the poverty trap. Building on our success in Bangladesh and the effectiveness of pilots in other countries, BRAC launched the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI), which aims to influence and assist governments and other partners to adapt and scale up the approach by providing technical assistance and conducting complementary advocacy. Now, UPGI is expanding to reach 21 million more people by scaling Graduation through government partners.

Scaling success

Loise a local farmer

Our work in action

Understanding Multidimensional Poverty

Extreme poverty goes far beyond a lack of income. This is because poverty is multidimensional. Health, education, clean water and sanitation, electricity, housing, and social inclusion are all crucial indicators that determine standards of living and future prospects of an individual and their household.

I never could have imagined that as a single mother, I would be able to improve my standard of living with sustainable income sources.”
Joria, Ultra-Poor Graduation participant
For more details on our Graduation approach, visit the UPGI website.

Program Highlights

BRAC receives $60 million for Audacious plans to lift 21 million people from extreme poverty

As a selected Audacious Project for 2020, BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative will work alongside governments to scale the Graduation approach and help 21 million more people to lift themselves from extreme poverty.

Our work in action

A proven solution to eradicate extreme poverty

For those stuck in the poverty trap, a ‘big push’ can enable them to lift themselves out of poverty and build resilience to avoid sliding back into the same trap. Learn how the Graduation approach does just that.

Our most critical programs for vulnerable families around the world depend on the generosity of people like you.