Haitian Graduation Research

The Haitian Graduation Research Programme is a partnership between IDS and Fonkoze. The research has five components designed to understand better the impact of Fonkoze’s Graduation Programme for the extreme poor: Chemen Lavi Miyò programme.

1. Who are the ultra-poor? The purpose of this research is to provide a credible and authoritative analysis of ultra poverty in Haiti and locate the Fonkoze target group as a category within the national profile of poverty. This will enable Fonkoze to use this evidence in national advocacy to encourage the government, and its international partners, to support the graduation model as a proven route to address ultra poverty. The results of the analysis will be presented to academic audiences in Haiti for peer assessment and later be used in policy advocacy events in Port au Prince in support of policies for the extreme poor.

2. Pathways through CLM and its sustainability. This resesarch will address three sets of questions:

  • What is the pattern of progress during the graduation programme for participants of different socio-economic profiles and how does this relate to the inputs they have received?  Is there any pattern related to livelihood options?  What is the relationship between psycho-social profile and progress in the programme and sustainability?
  • What happens to participants with different profiles after graduation?  Who slips back or continues to progress and why, with particular focus on health shocks and reslience to this?  Is there a relationship between progress made during the proramme and sustainability (ie are the fast movers more likely to progress and not slip back?)
  • Graduation into what – what support or services are most important in sustaining graduation?  What is the progress within the microfinance programme and how does this relate to participant profile?  How does use of microfinance compare to other post-graduation pathways? What is the role of the Village Assistance Committees in sustainability outcomes?

3. CLM’s effect on its members children. The research programme will examine the intra-household impacts of CLM for children with the aim to investigate programmes’ potential to break intergenerational transmission of poverty.  This is summarised in the overall research question:

What is the potential of the programme to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty?

In order to answer this question, this research will take place at two levels.

  • Evaluating CLM’s impact on core indicators for infants and young children (up to age five) that signal the potential for long-term improvements in development and livelihoods.
  • Investigating CLM’s impact on balance between school, work and wider development for children transitioning from childhood into adolescence (age 12-15), also including CLM’s potential to reunite biological families.

4. CLM and psychological well-being. This research responds to the global concern to assess the role of psychological well-being and addresses a fundamental CLM concern to understand how key results are achieved.  The Case Managers are the crucial element within the CLM programme and spend their time building up the confidence of participants and equipping them with the wherewithal to achieve economic empowerment.  Yet, we do not really understand how they achive their results and, therefore how to strengthen performance  This research will address that gap by using a miodel of psychological well-being to assess the contribution of case managers.  It will jointly assess changes in psychological well-being and changes in material outcomes.

5. Social accountability for ending extreme poverty: researching an advocacy strategy.  In Haiti, Fonkoze, an NGO, has pursued the graduation model in its Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) programme or ‘the pathway to a better life’. Fonkoze has now graduated more than 5,000 households out of ultra poverty and continues to empower poor women through new cohorts. Research on CLM has produced similar positive results in two studies and established the case for expanding the CLM graduation approach. A 2015 World Bank report uses 2012 poverty data that shows the numbers of extreme poor in rural areas of Haiti remains nearly unchanged since the last survey in 2001 at over 37%. The World Bank analysis recognises that even a significant improvement in economic growth will not effectively target the extreme poor and without special measures, Haiti will not meet the extreme poverty target of less than 3% by 2030. The need for expansion of programmes targeting the ultra poor such as the CLM approach in Haiti therefore has authoritative support.

Fonkoze is committed to pursuing an agenda of influencing and advocacy to seek government support for the graduation approach. The rationale for this action research is to learn lessons on how such an advocacy strategy can promote government accountability for extreme poverty.

Project details

start date
1 January 2016
end date
30 September 2019

About this project



Image of Keetie Roelen
Keetie Roelen

Research Fellow / Co-Director, Centre for Social Protection

Image of Martin Greeley
Martin Greeley

Research Fellow

Recent work


Poverty, voice and advocacy: a Haitian study

Making All Voices Count Research Report

Over the past ten years, Fonkoze (a non-profit organisation in Haiti) has adapted the 'graduation' model of lifting families out of extreme poverty through its Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) or 'pathway to a better life' programme. Yet despite international recognition for this approach, Fonkoze’s...

1 December 2017