FXB welcomes the increasing attention being paid to the “graduation approach"

Posted on 25 July 2019

FXB welcomes the increasing attention being paid to the “graduation approach” and its implications for sustainable development.

The “graduation approach” is an innovative method to fight against extreme poverty implemented by FXB for the past 30 years.

FXB, pioneer of the graduation approach over the past thirty years

This innovation in development thinking turns traditional models on their heads, providing a lasting ladder out of poverty for everyone it touches. We know this because we have witnessed the efficacy of the graduation approach in action for nearly three decades. FXB pioneered this method in 1991 through a three-year, time-bound program built on the fundamentals of the graduation approach.

Since that time, we have successfully enabled more than 100,000 individuals to graduate and permanently break the wheel of poverty.

Across 11 countries in 200 FXB Villages, we see individuals and their families able to embrace their capacities in leading dignified lives. To be out in front of changing accepted models of development can be a challenging and lonely prospect, and that is why we are proud to see this approach to poverty alleviation and development be so widely adopted and embraced today. We applaud the brilliant work of ​UNHCR explaining their implementation of this method and also the successes of the Trickle Up Paraguay program​ ​highlighted by Nicholas Kristof of the ​New York Times.

Based on the public health paradigm of the legendary expert Dr. Jonathan Mann, former director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, the comprehensive FXBVillage Model addresses the interconnected drivers of poverty by providing support in health, sanitation, nutrition, education, psycho-social support and housing. Beyond tackling these essential needs to bring stability and well-being to individuals’ lives, FXB works alongside participants to build their income generation abilities, enabling them to become economically self-sufficient.

The economic and social empowerment of the participants

Instead of lending funds, FXB provides startup capital and financial literacy training, meaning that participants graduating three years later are able to secure micro-credit loans. The cost efficient structure of FXB programs is based on three staff as mentors and coaches, as well as one vehicle to serve 80 to 100 families.

This means approximately 500 individuals can be supported through a three-year program at an average cost of only $150 per person per year. More importantly, 98% of those staff working in FXB programs are country nationals, meaning that our impact reaches in all directions – from the participants to their families, and from our staff to the broader community.

Driving FXB is our focus on building the social and entrepreneurial capacities of families and communities living in poverty, and enabling them to build their own capacities to access services and claim their rights as human beings – because we know that each person, given the tools and encouragement to do so, has the potential to thrive.

FXB’s founder and staff are very proud of these achievements and look forward to many more organizations joining us in supporting disadvantaged families as they lift themselves out of poverty to lead productive and fulfilling lives.