Resettling Urban Populations: Learning from the Graduation Approach in India

The Graduation Approach is a combination of sequenced interventions aimed to lift households out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods. The Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Housing for Urban Poor Sector Project (IRSHUP), an affordable housing project in India’s Tamil Nadu state, financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), provided an opportunity to apply the integrated Graduation Approach. The project included the large-scale relocation of more than 6,000 households, many of whose livelihoods and social ties will also be affected. Integrating the Graduation Approach with resettlement planning was proposed to be piloted under IRSHUP to support rebuilding the economic and social welfare of affected households. The design of the Graduation Approach for IRSHUP provides a contextualized adaptation of the model; it also provides a model for adding value to the resettlement process, offering sustainable welfare solutions for resettled populations. This working paper explains the contextualized design of the Graduation program for the project, its envisaged impact, lessons learned at the design phase, and recommendations for other projects involving large scale resettlement and provides a model for future resettlement planning across the region.