ADB’s central mission is working to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific and to ensure the benefits of economic growth and social development are equitably spread.
The graduation approach is an innovative, holistic and proven approach to addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequality, Strategy 2030's first operational priority. Combining targeted social assistance with technical and life skills training, financial inclusion, and coaching and mentoring, the comprehensive set of sequenced interventions called the graduation approach includes a productive asset transfer, temporary cash transfers, technical training, home visits for coaching and support, access to a savings account, behavior change communication, and referral to health services.
The term “graduation” is often misunderstood. It does not refer to reaching a monetary threshold such as a national or international poverty line. Rather, the graduation approach takes a multidimensional view of poverty. “Graduation” is always context-specific and implies reaching a situation where a household has an economically viable livelihood, is food secure, and is connected to essential services.
Also called cash plus programming, economic inclusion, or social protection for employment, the graduation approach promotes economic opportunities and social inclusion to give the poor and vulnerable a big push toward sustainable livelihoods and resilience.
Governments, nongovernmental organizations, and research institutes have implemented nearly 100 graduation-type programs in 43 countries, with ample evidence of their effectiveness.
ADB is financing ongoing initiatives in Pakistan and the Philippines, and will also test it in the context of a large-scale resettlement and income restoration effort.
ADB's Karin Schelzig provides a brief introduction to the Graduation Approach for poverty reduction.
Reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific, even in countries with relatively high per capita income, remains an unfinished agenda. Despite major progress, the region was home to 326 million people living in extreme poverty (or below the $1.90/day poverty line) in 2013.
Social protection is set of policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labor markets, diminishing people’s exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption/loss of income.