Tackling psychosocial and capital constraints to alleviate poverty

Thomas Bossuroy, Markus Goldstein, Bassirou Karimou, Dean Karlan*, Harounan Kazianga, William Parienté, Patrick Premand*, Catherine C. Thomas, Christopher Udry, Julia Vaillant, Kelsey A. Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Many policies attempt to help extremely poor households build sustainable sources of income. Although economic interventions have predominated historically1,2, psychosocial support has attracted substantial interest3–5, particularly for its potential cost-effectiveness. Recent evidence has shown that multi-faceted ‘graduation’ programmes can succeed in generating sustained changes6,7. Here we show that a multi-faceted intervention can open pathways out of extreme poverty by relaxing capital and psychosocial constraints. We conducted a four-arm randomized evaluation among extremely poor female beneficiaries already enrolled in a national cash transfer government programme in Niger. The three treatment arms included group savings promotion, coaching and entrepreneurship training, and then added either a lump-sum cash grant, psychosocial interventions, or both the cash grant and psychosocial interventions. All three arms generated positive effects on economic outcomes and psychosocial well-being, but there were notable differences in the pathways and the timing of effects. Overall, the arms with psychosocial interventions were the most cost-effective, highlighting the value of including well-designed psychosocial components in government-led multi-faceted interventions for the extreme poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
Issue number7909
StatePublished - May 12 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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