27 country or region that is tackling the same kinds of challenges they face. Others might involve convening roundtable discussions, where governments share their challenges and learnings and discuss their approaches. For instance, in December 2017, Trickle Up co-hosted a roundtable discussion in Mexico City in which Indian policymakers had a chance to discuss their programs with peers from Latin America, and visit a site to see the implementation of the PROSPERA national social protection program. This meeting was also attended by representatives of the World Bank and other NGO leaders in graduation. Through the sharing of challenges and learnings, the roundtable arrived at recommendations for scaling the graduation approach in social protection and cash transfer programs. Similar progress was made in November of 2016, when delegations from Zambia, Burkina Faso and Mexico visited Trickle Up’s partner graduation program in Jharkhand, India. AN EVOLVING MODEL Seeing the graduation program in action and being able to discuss it with peers from across the world led to interesting policy adaptations, particularly around the important component of coaching. As noted above, the presence of coaches—who provide graduation participants with an individualized range of both practical and moral support—is an important ingredient in the graduationapproach’ssuccess.Itisalsoamongthehardest to scale. The ideal coach possesses an unusual mix of hard technical skills and soft interpersonal ones; he or she must also be someone with a personal commitment to working with the ultra-poor. People with that ideal profile are difficulttofindincriticalmass,sothecoachingcomponent has been one of the main focuses of experimentation as government-led graduation programs seek to achieve mass-scale outreach. For example, Trickle Up’s partners in the Indian government have been pursuing what they call the “community resource person”—or CRP—model. This approach identifies individuals in the local community with the necessary attributes (basic literacy, availability to work, desire to learn) and then provides training and materials so that these people can deliver coaching. The CRP model fulfills two important goals. First, it delivers the coaching component for graduation participants. Second, it is building the human resources skills base in local communities in a way that would not happen if coaching resources were brought in from the outside. During the November 2016 study tour, the representatives from Burkina Faso were impressed by the CRP model they saw in India, and they are adapting it into their policy outreach in partnership with Trickle Up and their National School for Social Workers. DIVERSE CONTEXTS, DIVERSE NEEDS But different countries are interested in different things. For example, the Indian policymakers who participated in Trickle Up’s roundtable in Mexico City last December wanted to explore what it would take to deliver coaching at the household level, rather than via the self-help groups that are the current locus. And Latin American policymakers have expressed interest in ensuring that their graduation programs are truly participatory. It’s important that participants chart their own pathways out of extreme poverty, but what that means operationally in the context of a graduation program is a topic ripe for exploration. In Vietnam, the question is how to tailor graduation to the needs of that country’s huge youth population. In Bangladesh, it’s how to use graduation to adapt to risks created by climate change. Over the next three years, Trickle Up will be testing, learning and sharing what it learns from its work in Mexico, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Overall, however, there is emerging consensus about the necessity of the CRP model. Identifying and training coaches will be one of Trickle Up’s focus areas going forward. Policymakers are also especially interested in questions of accountability now that public funding is involved. How can they ensure that graduation programs remain accountable to the taxpaying public—and to the people they serve? Earlier randomized controlled trials established the efficacy of the “classic” graduation model. The task now is to learn what works—and how, and why—as graduation classic is adapted to achieve scale and sustainability through various government policies across the globe. View the original article on NextBillion