Kravis Prize winners are always innovating to help solve pressing problems in today’s world. For example, BRAC, founded by 2007 Kravis Prize winner Sir Fazle Abed, has reworked microfinance to create a new “graduation model.” The groundbreaking model was featured in Live Mint:

“The model targets the ultra-poor and initiates a multi-pronged intervention with them, typically comprising mandatory savings, a subsistence allowance, transfer of a productive asset (usually livestock), health and livelihood trainings, etc. The basic idea is to provide the ultra-poor a safety net and an opportunity to start thinking of savings and investment in some form of productive livelihood activities.”

Since BRAC introduced this program, the graduation pilots have been replicated in multiple sites around the world, “as an intervention to reach out to the poorest of the poor with a time-bound investment aimed at providing a social safety net and building their productive capacities.” The model has been adapted and implemented in eight countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Pakistan, Peru, Yemen and India. Through continuous evaluation, researchers are monitoring the impact of the graduation pilots. In fact, researchers studying the pilot in West Bengal found that per capita food consumption increased 15 percent; per capita income increased 20 percent, while income from livestock and agriculture also showed significant gains. According to the research, there is an impressive 27 percent rate of return on the program investments!

To learn more about the amazing work of Sir Fazle Abed and BRAC, go to our page.

The ‘graduation model’ in microfinance.” [Live Mint, August 14, 2012]