The meeting had a panel of two presenters – Rita Larok, the AVSI Foundation Global Graduation focal person/Graduating to Resilience Chief of Party, and John Paul Nyeko, the Activity Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor; and was moderated by Mara Forbes, Trickle Up’s Uganda Program Manager.
The discussion focused on the Activity cohort one graduation results that culminated in a 73 percent graduation rate (an active 5,199 of 6,629 participants). The presentations further entailed the resilience results showing 61 percent of the graduated 73 percent remained resilient and met the graduation criteria 18 months after the closure of cohort one. This was followed by: an overview of the Activity, Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA)’s randomized control trial results, the graduation approach, and a comparison with the other two graduation programs, particularly concerning how graduation and resilience are measured. The unique identifiers of the Activity included its sequencing of activities, measurement criteria, and coaching model.
The program was broken up with some visuals: the Activity animation video and a story of the ‘Ntonwa Family Group.’ Other key learnings discussed were (1) why some households retrogressed after cohort one and (2) the low scores in meal frequency, housing structure, and food diversity criterion.
The ended with a positive concluding note, highlighting that focus group discussions in the resilience follow-up found that almost all families had goals and plans to improve their livelihoods. Most of the households are actively implementing skills learned, including saving, boiling water, utilizing health services, kitchen gardens, consumption of three meals, market prices awareness and knowledge, health basics, justice services and other redress mechanisms, and social networks and support through Village Saving and Loans Associations. Finally, the meeting ended with a summary of lessons learned, possible next steps, and a question-and-answer session.
The question-and-answer session also addressed questions on costing, attribution, numbers and dropout, gender and inclusiveness, graduation measurement, resilience, results, and the uniqueness of the Activity and its approach. Overall, the evidence presented showed that the graduation approach showed significant positive results on the resilience of refugees and host communities.
Graduating to Resilience is a 7-year USAID- Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance- funded Activity, led by AVSI Foundation in partnership with Trickle Up and American Institutes for Research (AIR). The Activity seeks to test the ability of the Graduation Approach to graduate 13,200 extremely poor refugee and host community households (across two cohorts) from food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience.