Graduating to Resilience in Uganda


Trickle Up and IMPAQ International are key consortium partners for the AVSI Foundation-led, "Graduating to Resilience" project, in the Kamwenge District in Western Uganda, funded by USAID Office of Food for Peace over a seven-year period from 2017 to 2024. The overarching goal is to graduate extremely poor refugee households (predominantly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and host national Ugandan households from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience. Trickle Up brings to the Consortium expertise and capacity in addressing gender inequality and significant experience as one of the lead actors in the Graduation Approach, particularly with refugee populations.


The project will support 13,200 households that are economically active but chronically unable to meet their basic needs without some form of assistance. Half of the households will be from the host community and half will be refugee households. Using a women-plus household approach to targeting participants, 75% of direct participants will be women.


Households will be divided into two cohorts, allowing for a rigorous external evaluation to be carried out by an external agency (Innovations for Poverty Action) contracted separately by USAID. Three treatment variations will be tested in parallel: 1) Standard Adapted Model, 2) Group Coaching Model, and 3) Empowerment Model, as detailed in the graphic below. Each cohort will participate in the Graduation Pilot for 30 months. The project will contribute to the global learning agenda on how to apply Graduation in different contexts and with different populations. It will also support Trickle Up and the humanitarian community’s learning about cost-effective ways of adapting and scaling up the Graduation Approach as a solution to extreme poverty for refugee populations.

Uganda project arms

Project Data

Cohort 1 with 6,600 households began in January 2019. In an effort to share among stakeholders, the consortium will be sharing regular Notes from the Field to provide updates on progress, gains in learning and knowledge, and discoveries and challenges. The first update was released in January 2019 providing insight on overall context, adaptations to the Graduation Approach, the targeting process, adaptive management approach, and much more. Please follow along! To date, the project has:

  • Coaching (individual and group) began in January 2019, currently the Activity has 180+ community-based coaches. Coaches are responsible for guiding participants through goal-setting activities around the pathways of food security and nutrition, savings, business, basic-needs, and self-efficacy, while delivering technical content around nutrition and sanitation.
  • Established 266 (133 refugee and 133 host national) Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs), each with approximately 25 persons
  • Established 266 (133 refugee and 133 host national) Farmer Field Business Schools (FFBS) promoting either maize, beans or groundnut production
  • Consumption Support (CS) began in February 2019, this will be provided for 12 months via electronic cash transfer via Mobile Money. Refugees will continue to receive food assistance from World Food Programme (WFP). In addition, Graduating to Resilience participants receive monthly CS of Ugandan Shillings (UGX) 18,000 per person (in the household) per month for refugee participants and UGX 15,000 per person (in the household) per month for host community participants based on the consumption gap identified at baseline.

Kamwenge, Uganda 

Start Date: 10/1/2017
End Date: 9/30/2024


Number of Participants: 13,200


Vulnerable Populations

Women, People with Disabilities, Rural, Youth, Refugees, Extreme Poor


Project Components

Stipend for Consumption Support, Asset Transfer, Coaching, Savings/Self-Help Groups (savings and credit services, Technical Livelihood Skills Training, Financial Literacy and Capability Training, Links to Government Services, Access to formal financial services, Healthcare services, Legal services, Access to local government registration for VSLAs and production groups, Links with agricultural extension services and input suppliers

Our Partners

AVSI Foundation, an NGO created in 1972, carries out cooperation projects for development, with particular emphasis on education and the defense and promotion of the dignity of the person. They work all around the world thanks to a network of 35 founding members and more than 700 partners. Trickle Up has been partners with AVSI Foundation since 2017.

IMPAQ International helps governments, businesses, foundations, non-profits, and universities evaluate and enhance their programs and policies.​ IMPAQ’s mission is to create enduring solutions to global problems through rigorous approaches and innovative thinking. Trickle Up has been partners with IMPAQ International since 2017.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy non-profit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. Trickle Up has been working with IPA since 2007.