What is the Graduation & Refugees Initiative?
The Graduation & Refugees Initiative is an effort to ensure that refugees living in extreme poverty graduate into self-reliance. Trickle Up launched the initiative to equip governments, UN agencies, and international organizations to utilize the Graduation Approach to bring about sustainable, positive change.
As part of this initiative, Trickle Up has been providing technical assistance to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 2013 to adapt and integrate the Graduation Approach into its livelihoods programming. Graduation is a household-level intervention developed to help people living in extreme poverty and vulnerability achieve sustained income, social engagement, and resiliency by engaging in sustainable livelihoods.
Trickle Up works with UNHCR’s global livelihood team to test and implement Graduation worldwide, adapting the approach for each of the contexts in which refugees live: camp, rural, and urban.
There is no one solution that meets the distinct needs of the diverse refugee contexts where UNHCR works, and each country context requires a tailoring of the Graduation Approach to both utilize best practice gleaned from implementation in many countries and meets the specific needs of the local conditions. With Graduation programs underway in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Egypt, and planning and preparation in Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, UNHCR and Trickle Up, with support from US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, plan to scale the approach to 22 countries, reaching up to 200,000 refugees and other persons of concern in the next three years.
We are eager to engage other organizations and institutions in this learning process and actively seek Graduation practitioners interested to learn how to modify the approach for displaced populations and organizations working with refugees interested in Graduation’s solid evidence base with vulnerable populations.