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Sustainable escapes from poverty through productive inclusion

Working papers

Written by Chiara Mariotti, Martina Ulrichs, Luke Harman

What are the key features of existing programmes that allow poor people to sustainably escape from poverty in a cost-effective and scalable way? This research looks at evidence from social protection programmes with innovative designs that combine different interventions, either following a graduation approach or by building integrated social protection systems. This comparative approach is new and offers insights for policy-makers seeking to design integrated social protection systems that fulfill protective and preventive functions.

Key messages

  • Social protection can be a powerful driver of sustained poverty escapes through productive inclusion by linking cash or in-kind transfers with interventions that aim to increase a household’s productivity and its access to markets.
  • Embedding graduation programmes into integrated social protection systems is a promising strategy to achieve this at scale. 
  • Reaching the poorest and most vulnerable groups may require a tailored approach, for example with a two-tier graduation programme that envisions interventions of different lengths for different people.
  • Designing integrated social protection programmes that reach down to and serve the needs of the poorest people requires a more holistic approach to monitoring and evaluation
Chiara Mariotti, Martina Ulrichs and Luke Harman