BRAC Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative

Designing to empower millions of people to escape extreme poverty

Two women weaving.

Embracing an audacious opportunity to eradicate extreme poverty.

When we began our collaboration with BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, they had already been implementing and providing advisory services for their Graduation approach for nearly 20 years, enabling households to escape extreme poverty through training in life skills, finance, and business skills, along with stipends, asset transfers, and regular coaching. They were looking to update BRAC UPGI’s website to support their ongoing work.

Then, everything changed. BRAC was granted an Audacious investment: game-changing funding to scale-up Graduation programs around the world with a goal of empowering 21 million more people to escape extreme poverty by 2026.

Dreaming bigger for BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative.

With this Audacious investment, we were excited to go back to the drawing board, and have the opportunity to dream even bigger about how this shift would impact the communications strategy and priorities for BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative’s website.

We led thoughtful and thorough research and discovery activities to bring new needs into focus, like updating the brand strategy, core purpose, and messaging; and shifting the information architecture, website design, and development to align with the BRAC UPGI's new operating model: one which would extend to teams throughout Africa and Asia, be catapulted on a high-growth trajectory, and include a new and significant advocacy component.

Elevating clear calls-to-action.

With a defined growth and hiring plan to expand programming to countries in Africa and Asia with the greatest potential for impact, alongside existing and burgeoning partnerships with the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, IFAD, and UN agencies, BRAC was able to provide more opportunities than ever for key stakeholders to join their effort.

We needed to make it clear what BRAC UPGI stands for, how it works, and how to get involved. We collaborated to develop and elevate clear brand messaging and compelling calls-to-action throughout the website.

Positioning an international program, with growing power and impact.

Now that BRAC UPGI would be scaling the Graduation approach across Africa and Asia, we needed to map its positioning and clearly communicate its formula for success, using a newly developed visual framework.

    Building a fresh, but cohesive visual identity.

    We started with BRAC's brand guidelines as a foundation from which to build an identity for BRAC's Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative. We wanted the new identity to feel like BRAC, but to have a personality all its own.

    When it comes to typography, we maintained Helvetica as the primary font, but created higher-contrast in its application: using bold weights for headings and regular weights for body text. For the color palette, we selectively applied the BRAC pink, while introducing a light pink tint, warm yellow, and forest green to ground it.

    Balancing tone: smart and rigorous meets personable and warm.

    BRAC's Graduation Initiative sits at the intersection of high-level evidence and advocacy and advisory support for partners at the local level. To represent both of these concepts, we developed a visual approach to bridge strategic rigor and human purpose: Geometric shapes and swift movement provide a smart sharpness, whereas an airy layout and vibrant photographs bring a softer, more personal element.

    Building a precise and intuitive resource database and map experience.

    With resources from approximately 20 countries, on just as many topics, the BRAC team needed an intuitive and clear way for a user – from a practitioner to a government representative – to find exactly what they needed to understand and partner with BRAC UPGI on adopting the Graduation approach.

    Through a thorough content audit to understand and group BRAC UPGI’s resources, we built filters for type, topic, geography, context, and population to provide a seamless user experience.

    We also worked together to develop an interactive and filterable world map that would show the breadth of BRAC UPGI's work and international impact.

    The site is beautiful and functions so well. We are very excited to share this product with our partners and have a site that demonstrates how we are evolving and expanding our work. [...] You have made this experience so seamless, painless, and enjoyable for us.
    BRAC Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative
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