Supporting Refugees to Find Wage Labor or Self-Employment in Ecuador

Trickle Up is assisting UNHCR in Ecuador in integrating the Graduation Approach into their existing projects for refugees. We seek to create a self-sustaining safety net and help refugee and Ecuadorian families lift themselves out of extreme poverty by equipping each household with the skills and means to generate a sustainable income and linking them to existing services. UNHCR and Trickle Up launched a Graduation Approach pilot in Santo Domingo in 2015. Santo Domingo is a town of 270,000 people with a thriving market economy just three hours from Quito. Since then, UNHCR Ecuador has adopted the Graduation Approach as their livelihood strategy across the country. Currently, we are working at six sites with three types of clients: vulnerable refugee households that are new to UNHCR’s programs, existing refugee clients, and Ecuadorians who are living in extreme poverty. We help participants find wage-earning jobs or start their own businesses. They work one-on-one with a coach to decide their income-generating activity, receive training to prepare them for their work, and develop a CV if relevant. Their coaches serve as their guide throughout the project, monitoring their progress, keeping them motivated, and linking them to other services.


Build the capacity of UNHCR to integrate the Graduation Approach into its existing interventions with refugees in Ecuador Equip refugee households with the skills and means to engage in income generation, participate in a self-sustaining safety net, and improve their lives. Overcome the risk of exclusion and poverty under which these families live, with the ultimate goal of reaching integration in their new community, thus creating a long term sustainable solution

Cross-cutting issues



  • Ecuador


  • Economic Recovery and Development
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • Protection
  • Social Services
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