Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Disability-inclusive approach to bring families out of extreme poverty

In 2011, Humanity & Inclusion (HI), a leading global development NGO based in France, initiated a project in Bangladesh entitled ‘Taking Successful Innovation to Scale: Pathways for Disability – Inclusive Graduation out of Poverty’. The project supports families of persons with disabilities to transition out of poverty through a comprehensive model, including health care, training, and livelihood support. The project is in its third phase (2018 to 2022) and in 2020 is supporting 1,447 households.

“With HI’s support I am running a shop, my children go to school, and we can eat three times a day.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Disability Inclusive Poverty Graduation
Organisation:Humanity & Inclusion (HI)
of Implementation
Bangladesh – Kurigram and Chattogram
Start Year2011
Sub-CategoryA project of Civil Society


  • Project has grown from supporting 600 households in phase one (2011–2014) to 1,447 households in phase three (2018–2022)
  • 95 per cent of targeted households have graduated to above the national poverty line


In Bangladesh a fifth of all people living in extreme poverty have a disability. Approaches to poverty alleviation exist, but are not disability-inclusive.


The Disability Inclusive Poverty Graduation project is a series of timed interventions delivered over four years. The first step is to provide rehabilitation services, such as occupational therapy and counselling, as well as financial support to meet basic food needs. Participants then receive vocational skills training and are coached to find work or to start their own business. The project facilitates participants’ access to local markets and financial services.

In the final step, participants learn about their rights, personal financial management, and disaster risk reduction strategies so their income becomes resilient. Accessibility measures include making structural adaptations in a person’s home or workplace, providing modified tools, and providing documents in such accessible formats as Braille, pictorial, and easy language. Two pilot phases ran between 2011 and 2018, with over 95 per cent of targeted households having graduated to above the national poverty line.

A participant in the Disability Inclusive Poverty Graduation project tends to his cattle. A man in an adapted bicycle with three wheels and hand-operated pedals rubs a cow in a field. Another man gives the cow an injection. A second cow is in the background.

A participant in the Disability Inclusive Poverty Graduation project tends to his cattle.


The project budget is US$5.3 million and is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (75 per cent), HI itself, and Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills, Ltd.

In 2020, HI is scaling the model in Bangladesh and has conducted a randomized control trial to evaluate the model. Based on its findings, it will publish a report in 2021. HI’s model was adapted from an existing poverty graduation model developed by BRAC, an international development NGO.

HI has replicated the model in Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mali, and is supporting three NGOs and eight DPOs to make their livelihoods disability-inclusive.


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