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The SEEP Network 
Annual Conference

October 1-3, 2018

Ultra Poor

Considerable numbers of development practitioners are seeking new ways to assist extremely poor people to improve their living conditions. They have seen that economic strengthening approaches often fail to help the “ultra poor”. Unlike the moderately poor, the ultra poor typically are unable to meet their basic needs and are too vulnerable to participate in markets. In this context, the ultra poor are defined as those living on $1.25 per day or less. They have very limited physical, human, and financial assets and social networks to draw on to mobilize and leverage household and community resources or external assistance. Ultra poor households face many deficits and therefore require not only adapted financial services and market development programs, but also improved access to social safety nets, human services, and specific asset building pathways. There is growing understanding that helping ultra poor households to move out of poverty requires a multi-disciplinary approach that coordinates the delivery of an array of financial, market development and human services that can jointly address the myriad constraints they face.

You can also have a look at the Plenary Session: New Strategies in Building Assets for the Ultra Poor


Effective Economic Strengthening for the Ultra Poor Affected by HIV
Targeted at implementers, this participatory workshop provides a framework and resources to assist economic strengthening (ES) practitioners to tailor their activities to the needs and constraints of ultra-poor HIV-affected households. A panel of ES and HIV specialists from three organizations discuss strategies to enhance current programming and overcome barriers. Through a small group activity, workshop participants will begin putting these tools and approaches into action.

Power point available here.

 New Frontiers in Building Savings Groups and Leveraging Their Capacities for the Poorest 
This workshop presents two alternatives to building Savings Groups (SGs) that serve the ultra-poor. Trickle Up’s program, which specifically targets the poorest with SGs in combination with other trainings, mentoring and asset transfers, is contrasted with Catholic Relief Services’ Private Service Provider model, which works through fee-for-service agents who do not restrict their SG-building efforts to the poorest. The session also explores innovations by the International Rescue Committee to help SG members build and then use savings to cope with shocks that would otherwise plunge them into deep poverty. Audience members will discuss the different models and formulate their own recommendations for participation by the poorest.

Power point available here.

More than Just Measuring Poverty - Using Data to Strengthen Products and Delivery Channels
This workshop explores the advantages of making evidence-based decisions regarding the design and rollout of products and interventions for the poorest. It presents the Grameen Foundations’s new Advanced Data Analysis curriculum which complements the Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI), using illustrations from its application with CARD of the Philippines. It also shares the Fundación Paraguaya’s innovative “traffic light” approach to measuring client poverty and discusses how the traffic light informs techniques that FP staff use to motivate and empower ultra-poor clients. Participants will have an opportunity to apply the workshop’s lessons to the field contexts facing their institutions.

Power point available here.

The Ultra Poor Graduation Model: Lessons in Impact and Scale-Up       This workshop will present recent findings from rigorous impact evaluations of programs for the ultra poor in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, and Honduras, along with lessons in program implementation and scale-up from Haiti. The pilot programs are part of a CGAP-Ford Foundation-sponsored program to replicate and test BRAC’s Targeting the Ultra Poor program, a carefully sequenced set of services for the ultra poor, including consumption support, productive asset transfer, livelihood training, savings services, and healthcare. The “Graduation Model” is designed to enable ultra poor households to build livelihoods, assets, and reach food self-sufficiency. Innovations for Poverty Action is conducting randomized evaluations of graduation pilots in seven countries, including Ethiopia, with the Relief Society of Tigray, while Fonkoze is now scaling their graduation program in Haiti.

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