Push Pull Model Graduates Families Out of Poverty

Push Pull Model Graduates Families Out of Poverty

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People in poverty have a wide range of abilities and needs.  Some are in emergencies where only direct support--in cash or in kind--can meet immediate needs.  Some are more stable for the moment, but lack the economic opportunities that will help them move sustainably out of poverty. Increasingly, communities and families slide in and out of crisis in response to market, climate, and economic shocks.  CARE recognizes that to address needs for these families, we need to provide both strategies that support increased economic productivity for the individuals ("push" strategies) and activities that work to increase the market opportunities and ability to work with the ultra-poor ("pull" strategies). The push-pull model links interventions directly targeting the very poor / chronically food insecure [agency-building interventions, in the language of our Women's Empowerment Framework] with interventions to change the broader set of factors that influence their wellbeing (market actors, government, traditional power holders, policies, etc).

CARE first started building the Push-Pull model in Ethiopia in 2010, and was the first the first NGO to apply the model to graduating people out of poverty. (Read more here.) This model works in an integrated way not only to build skills, rights, and marketing capacity with communities, but also to connect the ultra-poor to market opportunities. This work was born out of work in Productive Safety Nets Plus (PSNP) to think beyond just meeting immediate needs and into more just and sustainable markets and food systems. 

Our work on the Pathways program and GRAD in Ethiopia are showing us that combining methods can graduate people sustainably out of poverty and into more productive, resilient, and stable livelihoods.  

The graphic shows how we combine and sequence activities to use skills and inputs to push producers and communities, and to create market opportunities that pull communities our of poverty.  It also displays how we target interventions to the level and abilities of the individuals we work with to help them move from ultra-poor to food and nutrition secure.

Want to learn more about how we do it?Check out the 2015 article in the Journal of Enterprise Development and Microfinance that lays out CARE's work, or the USAID Framework for Push-Pull that credits CARE with inventing this approach.

© CARE 2015 Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc. (CARE). All rights reserved.