Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD)

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GRAD Learning Brief

Linkage between Village Economic and Social Associations & Micro-Finance Institutions

Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) was a five-year USAID-funded project designed to help the Government of Ethiopia find sustainable solutions to chronic food insecurity. The project supported households enrolled in the government’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) access microfinance, improve on- and off-farm productivity, and improve links to markets. GRAD also promoted women’s empowerment and improved nutritional practices, and helped develop climate change adaptation strategies. CARE Ethiopia led a consortium that included REST, ORDA, CRS/MCS, Agri Service Ethiopia, and SNV. The project was implemented in 16 districts in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and SNNPR from December 2011 to December 2016.

GRAD Project Description

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This learning brief details background on GRAD, the problem, the GRAD approach to financial inclusion, GRAD’s work linking households with financial service provides, the VESA-MFI linkage model, advantages for MFIs and households, and lessons learned.