Evaluation of an implementation of Graduation Approach by The/Nudge Institute in North Karnataka

Around the world, more than 700 million people (10% of the world’s population) experience extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 per day (UN.org, n.d.). Extreme poverty excessively affects women, who often lack the resources, skills, and opportunities they need to escape the poverty trap. When it comes to India, the Global MPI Reports 2019 and 2020 pointed out that 21.9% of the population was poor in the country, and the number of poor was pegged at 269.8 million. 

A snapshot of multidimensional poverty in Karnataka indicates that the rural MPI is 0.081 and the urban MPI is 0.021 (Niti Aayog, 2021). The North Karnataka region has been known to lag behind the other regions on the level of development. The Nanjundappa Committee, which supported its report in 2033, reported that out of the 39 most backward talukas in the state, as many as 26 were from North Karnataka (Bahadurdesai and Pattanshetti, 2018). Bidar and Gulbarga (Kalaburagi) districts in North Karnataka have multi-dimensional poverty headcount ratios of 19.42% and 21.75% respectively (Niti Aayog, 2021), indicating that noteworthy shares of the population in these districts of North Karnataka suffer from multi-dimensional poverty.


The Graduation approach is a multifaceted set of interventions designed to address the complex nature of extreme poverty. These interventions are adapted to the local context and generally include connecting participants to social protection to meet their basic needs, providing training and assets for income generation, financial literacy and savings support, and social empowerment through community engagement and life skills training - all facilitated through in-person coaching. The Graduation approach empowers participants to develop sustainable livelihoods that set them on a path of upward economic mobility. They also become better integrated into society, develop social connections, improve their self-esteem, and establish active roles in their communities (BRAC, 2021).

The/Nudge Institute is scaling up adaptations of the Graduation Approach in multiple states. Having implemented the approach in Jharkhand, the organization is about to implement a customized version of the same in the districts of Gulbarga (Kalaburagi) and Bidar in the deprived region of North Karnataka. In the project commissioned by The/Nudge, GRAAM will be undertaking a baseline and endline evaluation of the intervention in North Karnataka. 


Project Snapshot:

Project Name Evaluation of an implementation of Graduation Approach by The/Nudge Institute in North Karnataka
Project Sanction Date 22 Nov 2022
Project Period Nov 2022 to Feb 2025
Project Location Bidar and Gulbarga districts in Karnataka
Project Supported By
Project Team

Project objectives:

1) To document the baseline and endline levels on the key outcome indicators pertaining to the various programme dimensions such as livelihood and poverty reduction, financial inclusion, social protection/linkage to social entitlements, food security, nutrition and health, and social and gender empowerment

2) To assess the extent to which outcomes of the programme have been achieved with respect to the various programme dimensions.

3) To assess the changes that have happened in the lives and livelihoods of the ultra-poor beneficiaries in the selected locations as a result of the programme

4) To trace and document the processes and ways in which the programme has brought about changes in the lives of the targeted ultra-poor, and the contextual factors shaping the programme implementation in the selected locations of North Karnataka

Project Result / Accomplishments:

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