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What makes TUIF a partner of choice?

Since our inception, TUIF has partnered with women in extreme poverty in India to build economic opportunity and drive inclusion. Through our approach, they have forged resilient pathways out of poverty for themselves and their families.

TUIF has worked with women in ultra-poverty in India since 2013. Through our programs, they develop sustainable livelihoods and strong savings habits, strengthening their capacity, self-reliance, and stability. They begin building their self-esteem and resilience. This profound individual transformation has positive ripple effects for their families, throughout their communities, and over generations.

Aligned with the UN’s sustainable development goal to eradicate poverty, we have decades of experience working on measures to reduce ultra-poverty and collaborating with partners at all levels to address ultra-poverty and reach the greatest number of people. We are a partner of choice for OLM and JSLPS and over the years have worked in collaboration with other actors across the development sector at all levels.

What additional value does TUIF bring to partners ?

In India, TUIF is a pioneer in implementing livelihood programming rooted in the graduation approach. A cornerstone of our model is our robust coaching and mentoring component. We train local coaches to deliver training and mentoring directly to participants so they can succeed on their pathways out of poverty. These local coaches are key to our program’s success. In fact, we’ve seen the powerful impact of this cycle of training, coaching and mentoring via the cadre of Smart Sakhis in the MPOWERED project. Total 136 Smart Sakhis were trained to support 2800 ultra-poor women across five districts of Odisha and Jharkhand, two states of eastern India. To respond to the current needs of our participants and the reality they are experiencing, our projects also integrate digital technology and climate resilient livelihoods alongside our experience and expertise working with people in ultra-poverty. At TUIF, we also work to reach PVTGs in remote, rural areas.

Why does TUIF deliver programs with and through partners instead of implementing directly ?

TUIF is a small highly, specialised organisation focused on poverty alleviation and whose livelihood programming is rooted in the graduation approach. We believe that the best way to deliver our approach and reach people in extreme poverty is via local partners. In our experience, these partners have deep local roots and familiarity with the community we are seeking to reach. Moreover, they understand the prevalent socio-economic conditions faced by participants. So, uniting our expertise in livelihood programming and partners’ deep local knowledge ensures that a project is responding to the needs of participants and being implemented with efficiency and effectiveness.

Why does TUIF’s work focus on those living in ultra-poverty ?

Currently, 648 million people worldwide live on less than $2.15 a day. This is extreme or ultra-poverty. According to the latest official data, released in 2011, 268 million people in India are living in ultra-poverty.

Households living in ultra-poverty face unpredictable availability of wage labour, own few or no assets, have limited livelihood prospects, and tend to be food insecure, eating less than 2 meals a day. They. are socially, economically, and geographically isolated.

TUIF works in partnership with local organizations and government agencies to identify those in ultra-poverty, connect them to social protection schemes, and design interventions to support them as they break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Why does TUIF work in East India ?

TUIF works in East India. We started in West Bengal in 2005 and continue our work there in Howrah. We’ve also expanded to Odisha (Sundargarh, Balangir and Jajpur) and Jharkhand (Pakur and West Singhbhum). There are a few reasons we work in the Eastern region:

  • Poverty in India is largely concentrated towards the Eastern and Central region.
  • Additionally, TUIF has been guided by NITI Aayog’s Aspirational Districts programme “to contribute to improving the districts on all parameters”.
  • Lastly, most CSR activities are concentrated in Maharashtra and Delhi, while East India tends to be ignored.
Why is the period of implementation three years ?

Our model is rooted in the graduation approach pioneered by BRAC. It is based on the premise that participants receive necessary inputs, such as a seed grant, savings coaching, livelihood mentoring and time, so that they can manage an asset/ livelihood on their own. Usually, it takes three years for this process to show results. However, TUIF has piloted innovations that have shown credible results within 2 years of program implementation.

Roughly, how much is the cost per participants for three years ?
15,000- 20,000 is the approximate cost per participant.
How does TUIF monitor its partners and Project participants ?
TUIF follows a three-pronged approach for monitoring progress by partners and project participants.
  1. Continuous review of partners:
  2. TUIF conducts weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews of partners over the course of the project. While weekly reviews are conducted online, all other reviews are held in person and with reference to the progress reports submitted by the partners. TUIF ensures that partners’ senior management are available during these meetings. Partner performance is tracked by comparting the target set for the month / quarter against what has been achieved. TUIF also identifies areas that require more support from us or an external agency during these review meetings. We then arrange for capacity building sessions accordingly.
  3. Regular field visits:
  4. The core program, M&E and operation teams undertake regular field visit and share their observations with the partners. We have developed a detailed field monitoring checklist, including monitoring of procurement and other financial protocols followed by the partners. All feedback sessions with partners are documented systematically. TUIF senior management team also visit the field locations regularly and shares observations with the core program team.
  5. Concurrent monitoring of Key Performance Indicators:
  6. By utilizing a standard measurement framework, we define specific indicators, track each project and measure the progress made by each project participant. TUIF has developed a customised Project Participant Handbook to facilitate monitoring each participant and her family. In addition, baseline, endline and impact studies are conducted to measure the impact of the project and document best practices.
How does TUIF’s small team manage such large-scale programs ?

TUIF’s team is made up of skilled, experienced professionals with expertise in Programs, Operations, Communications, M&E, Accounts and Admin, and Strategic Partnerships. We work in partnership with local NGOs, making it possible to implement and manage large scale programs.

How much are TUIF’s admin costs ?

10% of total budget

How does TUIF support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Which SDGs ?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development created an action plan to address the most significant challenges facing our world and to take crucial steps toward shared prosperity. Through it’s 17 Goals and 169 targets it’s further cementing the UN’s commitments to people and planet and calling on stakeholders at all levels to take action in partnership. At the centre is the understanding that eradicating poverty, including ultra-poverty, is the greatest global challenge we collectively face, and that to do so successfully strategies must include steps to reduce inequality, drive economic growth, and tackle climate change.

At TUIF, our vision is of a world free from ultra-poverty. To achieve this, we know that we must work with the most vulnerable people to reach their communities where they are and address their needs. This is why we take a wholistic approach and partner with women, especially from indigenous and tribal groups, through economic and social inclusion programming that also takes on issues of gender inequality and climate change. Our projects directly support multiple SDGs, mainly:

  • SDG 1 – End poverty in all its forms everywhere,
  • SDG 2 – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  • SDG 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • SDG 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • SDG 10 – Reduce inequality within and among countries

As we integrate climate adaptation and mitigation into our programming, we are also addressing SDG 13—Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts—more deeply.

TUIF makes sure that it is aligned with SDG’s while designing programs, monitoring outcomes, and measuring results. This is to ensure that we are tracking metrics based on the SDG framework which has a unifying agenda for all countries.

How does TUIF manage government programs and partnerships ?

Since 2015, TUIF has been working closely with state chapters of National Livelihood Mission like Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) and Jharkhand Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS). TUIF has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with both agencies primarily to support them to improve the quality and magnitude of engagement with SC, ST and PVTG communities living in ultra-poverty across the states. With the support of Government their field-based teams, TUIF is implementing innovative pilot projects to generate learnings on sustainable livelihood practices which can be further utilized to scale up efforts and reach a larger population.  Simultaneously, we provide OLM and JSLPS technical support to improve the capacities of front-line cadre’s aka Changemakers directly implementing the project by developing capacity building content, training the trainers, and improving corresponding monitoring systems and processes.

How is TUIF different from other organizations working on Graduation Approach ?

TUIF works to deliver livelihood programming rooted in the graduation approach that is responsive to the realities of the communities we seek to reach. This is why we work with and through local project partners, who are deeply knowledgeable about local contexts.

Because it isn’t enough to only support participants’ progress out of ultra-poverty, we also believe it is equally important to consider their next steps post-project.  For this reason, TUIF has multiple initiatives that work to train participants on lifelong skills and connect women with economies of scale. Currently, we are working to collectivise women so they can access larger markets and higher returns together; we are, training youth to enable their families to have two potential household incomes; and we are training women on digital skills to connect them to the fast-changing digital world.

TUIF was registered in September 2013. It’s a Section 8 Not for Profit Company and holds 80G, CSR 1 and 12A Certification.

Why does TUIF focus on partnering with women ?

To interrupt the cycle of ultra-poverty, we know working with women is key.

While poverty affects people of all ages and genders, women across the world are particularly vulnerable because of additional barriers they face. Gender inequality limits women’s access to education, blocks economic opportunities, and compounds social exclusion. It is a driver of ultra-poverty.

Women are more likely to work in the informal economy, preventing them from accessing crucial social protection programs, particularly in countries with strained resources and high poverty rates. They tend to lack control or ownership of land and productive assets, encounter restrictions in mobility, and are prevented from accessing quality education, healthcare, and economic markets. Biased social norms create additional challenges.

However, women are frequently tasked with household budgeting, and may even be the household’s financial managers. In other cases, while they may not control the household income, they adopt various strategies to ensure they can access a portion of these resources to invest in the family’s nutrition, the children’s education, higher nutritional intake for and savings for unexpected income shocks.

It has been proven time and again through research and development program evaluations that interventions that focus on women have transformational impact not only for her but for her family and her community. Over generations.

Why does Trickle Up focus on women?
Women as seen in Literature reviews of development interventions are better receptors of programs. Women are frequently tasked with budgeting for the household, in some cases are also household financial managers. In other cases, while women may not control the household income, they adopt various strategies to ensure they can access part of these resources. Mostly these resources are used for higher nutritional intake for family, schooling of children and savings for unexpected income shocks.
How do you select project participants ?

TUIF consults existing data, including our own and that of our partners, to identify communities living in poverty who are experiencing the most need. Then, with our local partners, we visit each community several times to develop relationships and build trust with leaders and residents.

We seek and value local knowledge, beginning with our deeply participatory process of participant selection. The communities themselves define degrees of poverty as their members experience it via activities such as community walks, community mapping, and wealth ranking. We then use a custom-built poverty assessment tool and several cross-check mechanisms to verify household eligibility. TUIF ensures that all who are invited to participate in a project—individual women, their families, their communities—are fully informed and freely consent.

Why shouldn’t we go to TUIF partners (past and present) and work with them rather than involving your organisation ?

TUIF’s expertise and technical know-how in programming rooted in the graduation approach; the quality of our program monitoring and the digitization of our MIS, which is allowing us to continue enhancing our data-driven decision-making and improving our programming; our roots in both global and local experience and expertise means we bring global best practices to local projects and local experience and learning to global fora; and our experienced staff that strengthens partner capacity for better program implementation are just a few reasons to partner with us.

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