Social Protection

Type of Investment


Project Stage


Length of Investment


Investment Overview

International Care Ministries (ICM) supports people living in ultra-poverty in the Philippines through the multifaceted Transform programme. GIF investment is supporting ICM to test variations to Transform with the goal of optimising the cost effectiveness of the programme for delivery at scale.


The Development Challenge

The Philippines is home to 7 million people living in ultra- poverty, defined as living on less than 50 US cents a day, who face a range of challenges which require multifaceted interventions which reflect the complex nature of ultra-poverty. Graduation programmes are one solution which combines financial literacy and inclusion, business development training, asset transfers, health and education components.These programmes have a strong and growing evidence base, but have proved challenging to scale given the need to finance asset transfer component and the intensity of the intervention, which is typically delivered over several months in a community setting.


The Innovation

International Care Ministries (ICM) uses a different approach to the standard graduation models deployed globally. They leverage a large network of pastors and the pastors' social capital in villages to deliver a "light-touch" version of graduation, called Transform, to last-mile locations. Transform focuses on providing training and mentoring services, without any explicit large asset transfer or basic income support, resulting in a fully loaded cost of approximately $12 per family member. ICM attributes this efficiency to its leveraging of the local infrastructure of deeply embedded faith communities. Prior to GIF investment, ICM had graduated over 250,000 families from its four-month Transform programme, impacting 1.3 million people.


Our Investment

In May 2020, GIF provided ICM with a $5.5M scale grant to rigorously test variations of the Transform programme to identify the optimal mix of components which can deliver cost effect impacts. Working with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), ICM will test the impact of programmatic changes relating to, the size, timing and mode of delivery of small asset transfers, the programme duration, and the inclusion of new components focussed on health, education and values. ICMs large reach allows ICM and IPA to randomise these changes across different transform batches, and generate evidence of their impact on outcomes relating to income, consumption, health, and belief, among other. This research will inform the design of a revised ‘Transform 2.0’ which contains the optimal components to deliver cost-effectiveness outcomes, which in turn will be evaluated through a large scale randomised control trial.


Progress to date

Experimentation to date includes randomised control trials focussed on the impacts of attendance incentives, documentary and drama modules, grants to support livelihood components of the programme, and the impact of the Family Academy programme on children's maths and phonics. Results from these evaluations are expected in 2023 and will inform the design and evaluation of Transform 2.0, to be launched in 2024. Since GIF’s grant was awarded more than 70,000 individuals have completed the Transform programme in the Philippines, benefiting almost 400,000 family members. ICM has also launched the Transform programme in Guatemala and Uganda as part of its strategy to test and promote the applicability of these approaches in a wider variety of developing country contexts.


International Care Ministries in numbers


People benefiting from a family member graduating from transform since GIF’s investment


The proportion of female Transform programme attendees