Refugees & Displacement

Working in displaced 

Most refugees remain displaced for years in host countries, many of which are already struggling to address poverty and internal migration. Without support to earn a livelihood, refugees, host community members, internally displaced people, and others affected by displacement, face extreme poverty and unique barriers to self-reliance.

Our Approach

Since 2006, Trickle Up has been a leader in adapting the Graduation Approach for people living in extreme poverty across different contexts.

In 2012, Trickle Up partnered with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) to provide technical support to Graduation pilot projects in Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, and Zambia.

With additional funding from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in 2016, Trickle Up expanded its support to 10 UNHCR country operations and four international NGO partners.

In 2019, Trickle Up became a founding member of the Poverty Alleviation Coalition, a coalition of UNHCR, the World Bank’s Partnership for Economic Inclusion, and international NGOs. The coalition aims to increase self-reliance and social and economic inclusion of refugees and members of the host community living in extreme poverty through the Graduation Approach.

Trickle Up has worked closely with global and country-level PAC members to share learning and tools that continue to support the expansion of Graduation programming for people affected by displacement.

Meet Jane

Meet Jane

Coaching is a key part of the Graduation approach and Trickle Up’s programs. Read about Jane, one of our coaches in Uganda who helps her fellow refugees thrive despite displacement.

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Targeting plays a prominent role in coaching, a key part of the Graduation Approach and Trickle Up’s programs. Read the brief to find out more about how we continuously improve this program element.

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Our Impact Stats


25.4 of 68.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world are refugees.


85% of refugees are hosted by developing countries


of participants in recently completed projects reported improvements in the quality and number of meals they consume

Technical Support

Trickle Up offers a range of services and resources to support program design, inception, and implementation in addition to offering tailored support on specific program components.

Feasibility study

Market and socio-economic assessments

Targeting and selection support

Design mission

Regularly scheduled remote assistance to discuss any adjustments made to project design

Training of Coaches trainings and support

Remote launch support

Throughout implementation, Trickle Up provides technical assistance remotely as needed, and ideally conducts two support and learning missions, the first being 6 months into implementation, and the second being 12 months into implementation.

These various touch points and continued technical assistance allow for modifications, adaptations, and learnings that can inform necessary changes to a Graduation pilot, in preparation for a project’s scale-up.


With a contextualized Facilitation Guide and Tools, the team designs an effective Graduation program with the implementing partner through an interactive process that usually takes 9-18 months. The process starts with an in-person design mission.

During a Training of Coaches or Training of Trainers session, the team facilitates learning around the coaching visit process and shares Coaching Tools, such as a Graduation Map, a Self-Assessment Tool, and a Household Visit Checklist, and a Coaching Guide.