Supporting Women’s Livelihoods at Scale: Evidence from a Nationwide Multi-Faceted Program

The success of multi-faceted “graduation” programs at reducing poverty raises three questions: can the impacts of these programs be maintained when implemented by governments at scale, will positive effects be offset by negative spillovers, and can bundled programs be streamlined without losing impact? We find that a nationwide livelihood program implemented by the government of Zambia yielded consumption and earnings increases comparable to graduation programs, without negative economic spillovers on non-beneficiaries. However, the effects were entirely driven by the asset transfer portion of the bundled intervention, indicating a streamlined package could be a promising poverty alleviation strategy for developing-country governments.