Aude de Montesquiou

Financial Sector Specialist

Aude de Montesquiou is FinEquity Community of Practice Facilitator at CGAP.

Aude worked at CGAP from 2005 to 2017, last as Financial Sector Development Specialist, leading CGAP’s Graduating the Poorest and Vulnerable Segments work. She oversaw the implementation of the CGAP-Ford Foundation Graduation Program, a global effort to understand how safety nets, livelihoods, and microfinance can be sequenced to create for the poorest out of extreme poverty in eight countries with an intensive research agenda and randomized impact evaluations in seven sites (Science, 2015). She was a co-founder and successfully managed the Graduation community of practice and is the author of seminal publications on economic inclusion of the poorest including technical guides, research and policy briefs.

In 2017 Aude co-created a new Global Partnership within the World Bank Social Protection and Jobs Unit (SPJ), the Partnership for Economic Inclusion (PEI), to help governments develop, implement, and scale economic inclusion programs to sustainably increase the income, assets, and economic resilience of extreme poor and vulnerable people. She was a Social Protection Specialist at PEI/SPJ until 2021 and co-edited and authored the World Bank flagship State of Economic Inclusion Report 2021 downloaded over 40,000 times. 

Most recently, Aude has been Senior Advisor at BRAC’s Institute for Governance and Development working on digital innovations for Economic Inclusion programs. With close to 20 years of experience in financial inclusion, livelihoods, and social protection, Aude provides technical advice to economic inclusion programs worldwide. She has held speaking engagements at many high-level events on extreme poverty reduction including with Mohammed Yunus, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Government of Brazil. Aude is currently based in Paris.

Before joining CGAP, she completed internships working on impact evaluation at PlaNet Finance, and with microfinance institutions in Lebanon and Togo. Aude holds a master’s degree (Summa Cum Laude) from the School of Political Science in Paris (Sciences-Po) with a specialization in development studies, and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of La Sorbonne. She is fluent in English and French, speaks Portuguese and Spanish, and has rudimentary German. Aude is currently based in Paris.

By Aude de Montesquiou


Adapting the Graduation Approach for People with Disabilities

Here are nine lessons for how donors can adapt the graduation approach to help low-income people with disabilities build sustainable livelihoods.

Graduation Pathways

The graduation approach is expected to grow in scale and influence, with strong demand from governments to create nationally scaled programs.

Eliminating Extreme Poverty

Continued reduction of extreme poverty will require targeted interventions to help the poorest increase their standard of living. Effective social protection programs are critical to this effort. Livelihood development programs, lump-sum cash transfers, and graduation programs have the potential to help the very poor increase incomes to move out of extreme poverty.

Graduation into Sustainable Livelihoods: What’s in a Name?

When it comes to graduation programming, the term “graduation” is often misunderstood, which can lead to confusion about the approach. What is the meaning of "graduation," and what does it mean for poverty reduction efforts?

The Graduation Approach Works: Now how do we Reach Scale?

Over half of 40 new Graduation projects are being implemented by governments. Some are adjusting the approach or integrating technology to make it more efficient and easier to scale.