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A Graduation Approach-Based Program for Victims of Colombia’s Armed Conflict: Lessons for Economic Inclusion

Viviana León-Jurado and Jorge H. Maldonado ORCID logo


Transformando Mi Futuro (Transforming my Future) is a poverty reduction program implemented by the Colombian government as part of the strategy to support and repair the victims of the armed conflict. The program is based on the graduation approach that implies a comprehensive intervention in which the household receives consumption support, financial education, asset transfer, technical training, and instruction in life skills. However, unlike other graduation programs, this one targeted the urban population and did not offer direct transfers. Its primary purpose was to build capacities among those households who reported wanting to invest their legal monetary compensation as victims in productive projects. A before-after approach was employed to evaluate this program. The main results highlight positive changes in well-being and a reduction in the gap between the current perception of well-being, expectations for two and five years in the future, and positive changes in labor income and informal savings. These results suggest that the program contributed to improve the living conditions of participating households. However, a heterogeneity analysis shows that changes are differentiated according to participants’ initial labor status.

JEL Classification: D03; H53; I32; I38

Corresponding author: Jorge H. Maldonado, Full Professor, Department of Economics – CEDE, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, E-mail:

Funding source: International Development Research Centre

Funding source: Ford Foundation

Funding source: Fundacion Capital

Award Identifier / Grant number: Fundación Capital


We would like to express our gratitude to the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Ford Foundation, and the Capital Foundation, which, as donors through the Platform for Evaluation and Learning of the Graduation Program in Latin America, made it possible to assess the Transformando Mi Futuro – Colombia program. We also wish to thank the Platform taskforce: Senior researchers: Rocío Moreno Sánchez and Sandra Mendoza; Junior researchers: Mathilde Stoehr, Andrei Romero, Daniel Rodríguez, Laura Gutiérrez, and Camila Suárez; Advisory Committee: Jean-Paul Lacoste (Ford Foundation), Carolina Robino (IDRC), Yves Moury (Capital Foundation), Syed Hashemi (external reviewer for CGAP), and Benjamin Davis (external reviewer for FAO). We extend our thanks to Tatiana Rincón (Capital Foundation), and the Scientific Committee with Michael Carter (UC Davis) and Graciela Teruel (Universidad Iberoamericana). Special thanks also go to all TMF participants who opened the doors of their homes to share their life stories with us. Without their willingness and commitment, this study would have been impossible. We also thank the coaches who were in charge of the participants and who made a great effort to support us and help us understand the dynamics in which these households operate.


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Received: 2021-10-11
Accepted: 2022-05-25
Published Online: 2022-06-22

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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