Skip to main content

An assessment of the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud poverty alleviation program in Rwanda and Uganda



We evaluate the three-year community-based FXBVillage poverty-alleviation model, which provides extremely poor families with sustained social support and graduated material support for education, healthcare, housing, nutrition, and income-generation.


We combine a pre/post analysis of participant households in Rwanda (n = 912) and Uganda (n = 628) with construction and assessment of a combined multivariable household wealth index comparing FXBVillage data with national Demographic Health Surveys.


Many FXBVillage households shifted to higher household wealth quintiles. This shift was particularly strong in Rwanda. Increases among relevant household characteristics included (in Rwanda/Uganda): ≥3 meals/day (5–88%)/(44–86%), school attendance 5–17 years (79–97%)/(64–89%), adequate school supplies (7–97%)/(4–71%), and communal financial support if needed (27–98%)/(29–87%). Universal bednet ownership and water treatment was nearly attained; vaccine coverage was not, especially in Uganda.


The model likely supports poverty-alleviation among participants. The variability of improvements, across indicators and countries, highlights the need for better understanding of interactions within programs and between programs and implementation settings, as well as how these interactions matter to poverty-reduction strategies.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


Download references


We wish to thank the FXBVillage participants and the tireless work of countless staff members who have made the FXBVillage program possible, including, but not limited to, Robert Sekadde, Nathan Kaziba, Catherine Kiggundu, Jane Naluwooza, Charles Lubandi, Sheila Kengingo, Emmanuel Habyarimana, Viateur Rukundo, Enatha Nsengiyumva, Angelique Uwizeye, Charles Gahunde, Rédempta Ndizeye, Alphonse Gatete, Azelle Kamuzine, and Bertilde Muruta.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael O. Harhay.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

We have read the journal’s policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests: SJ, DN and WK are paid employees of FXB. These authors did not have a direct role in the evaluation design, methods or reporting of the results, but were responsible for the collection of the data, providing a local relevance and interpretation of the results and in drafting the introduction and discussion and other important intellectual contributions to the manuscript. DSS was paid by FXB a consulting fee for conducting an evaluation of FXB’s program. Having received funding from FXB, the consultancy could reasonably be perceived as a financial competing interest. MOH, MCSF and EAA declare that he/she has no conflict of interest.


The FXBVillage program is partially funded through a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Cooperative Agreement Number GHO-A-00-09-00011-00 and United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Grant Number M-OAA-GH-HRS-06-937. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the USAID or PEPFAR.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

This article is part of the special issue “Development and Public Health”.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 168 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Harhay, M.O., Fawzi, M.C.S., Jeanneret, S. et al. An assessment of the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud poverty alleviation program in Rwanda and Uganda. Int J Public Health 62, 241–252 (2017).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Poverty reduction
  • Rwanda
  • Uganda
  • Evaluation
  • Graduation program
  • Ultra-poor