Asian Development Bank, ADB

Session 3B: Social Protection for Economic Inclusion: Stories from Piloting and Scaling Up the Graduation Approach

Social protection for economic inclusion (the graduation approach) reduces poverty and builds resilience. Robust empirical evidence confirms that holistic support for very poor and vulnerable people—through a combination of social assistance, psycho-social support, and economic empowerment interventions—helps them move out of extreme poverty. Benefiting from a combination of cash transfers, livelihood support, financial inclusion and connection to social services, each participant is mentored and supported with careful coaching for the duration of the program. Economic inclusion programs are designed to address both immediate needs and underlying causes of multidimensional poverty, and often build on existing social assistance programs. ADB is supporting more than a dozen such initiatives in seven countries in Asia and the Pacific, including in the Philippines, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and India. In this session, participants heard from officials and technical experts who are supporting economic inclusion programs at different stages of implementation, from pilots to wider integration in national programs.