Extreme Poverty Research Group

What is the EPRG?

The Extreme Poverty Research Group (EPRG) was formed in September 2010 with the objective of developing and disseminating knowledge about the nature of extreme poverty and the effectiveness of measures to address it. It initiates and oversees research, acts as a learning and sharing mechanism, and assists in the translation of learning into advocacy. It is an evolving forum for the shiree family to both design and share research findings. The EPRG aims to provide a space where both practitioners and thinkers working on a variety of interventions to reduce extreme poverty can come together, share findings and perspectives, and discuss operational and advocacy priorities.

The EPRG is held quarterly and is currently chaired by an EPRG Panel consisting of 5 members from shiree’s Scale Fund and Innovation Fund partners. The Terms of Reference of the EPRG can be read here. For queries and details about the EPRG, please contact Kira Galbraith (Associate Programmes and Advocacy Manager) at: eprgcontact@shiree.org

EPRG Themes to Date: 

EPRG 1 Developing EPRG ToR
EPRG 2 Targeting the Extreme Poor
EPRG 3 Protecting the Gains
EPRG 4 Poverty Thresholds
EPRG 5 Graduating from Extreme Poverty
EPRG 6 Understanding Poverty Indicators
EPRG 7 Gender and Nutrition
EPRG 8 Health Matters from an Extreme Poverty Perspective
EPRG 9 Manifesto for the Extreme Poor: A Research Platform
EPRG 10 Researching the Poorest: Approaches and Developments in Poverty Research
EPRG 11 Social Protection of the Poorest
EPRG 12 Examining the Governance and Poverty Dynamic
EPRG 13 Disability in Bangladesh: The Knowledge to Break Barriers


EPRG Leadership Panel The purpose of the Leadership Panel is to: a) provide a chairperson for the EPRG meetings; b) review and help enhance the quality of shiree research proposals; c) act as mentors and supporters to the shiree research team; d) act as a liaison point with shiree between EPRG meetings; e) act as advocates for the conduct of quality research into extreme poverty dynamics helping to build the EPRG as a focal point for this research over time, with a particular focus on practical mechanisms to address extreme poverty. The Leadership Panel is currently made up of 6 persons from shiree’s Scale Fund projects:

1. Haseeb Md. Irfanullah is currently leading the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Programme of Practical Action in Bangladesh. Over 15 years ago, he started his career as a botanist. Later on, with a PhD from the University of Liverpool (UK), he evolved as an aquatic ecologist, and then as a conservationist at IUCN. At this stage of his evolution, he is a development practitioner with strong interest in research. His current research focus is exploring strengths of innovation in improving community resilience, in the context of ‘Technology Justice’. Haseeb and his co-workers have so far published about 75 research papers, books and other publications on diverse topics − ranging from microscopic plants to natural resource management to poverty-technology nexus.

2. M. Mujibur Rahman has been working at Shushilan as an Advisor since 1989 leading various projects on environment, climate change, human rights, women and minority development, with a special focus on the extreme poor. He holds a Graduate Degree from Dhaka University in History and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science. He also completed a Chartered Accountancy Course under ICAB. He has attended diploma courses on Advocacy from Advocacy Institute, USA, Programme Development Management course from Asian Institute of Management,Philippines and Human Rights folk schools programme from Chunnom University, South Korea. He is currently working on participatory action research with Middlesex University, UK on community-based adaptive learning in managing conflicts and natural resources in Bangladesh and Nepal. He is also a board member of 4 other extreme-poverty focused NGOs.

3. Md. Muzaffar Ahmed is the Program Director at Save the Children. He has worked for several international development organizations for the last 30 years. During this period, he has devoted himself in many areas and particularly to eradicating extreme poverty in the South-West coastal zone. His responsibilities are to lead the Save the Children Household Economic and Food Security (HEFS) or Shiree program teams by providing strategic leadership. There are many challenges working with the extreme poor, particularly considering the climatic vulnerability of the South-West coastal zone, but with strong and dedicated leadership, he believes it is possible that through disseminating learnings and best practices we will be able to achieve the sustainable alleviation of extreme poverty all over the country.

4. Afroz Mahal works at Oxfam as a Program Coordinator across the South of Bangladesh.

5. Abdul Majid Malik is currently an Advisor for Uttaran, a shiree Scale Fund partner.

6. Anowarul Haq is presently leading CARE Bangladesh’s Extreme Rural Poverty Program as Director. He has over 14 years work experiences in the development field with 11 years experience in senior management. He has led the Social and Economic Transformation of the Ultra-Poor (SETU), a DfID funded flagship project of CARE Bangladesh working with the extreme poor in the Northwest of Bangladesh. With CARE Bangladesh’ Social Development Unit, he has vast experience in leading numerous research activities that explored underlying causes of poverty and informed CARE Bangladesh’s programming. His principle area of interest is to develop a model of effective programming for graduating the extreme poor out of poverty. He is an expert on community led methods through which communities can collectively abolish seasonal hunger, enhance food security, improve the livelihoods of the poorest in collaboration with local government. Apart from managing a large portfolio of projects, Anowarul provides leadership support to Nijera Cottage and Village Industries (NCVI), a workers and artisans owned social enterprise working on tapping opportunities emerging from the revival of natural indigo. He is also a core member of Extremely Poverty Impact Statement Development Group and Focal Point Person of Governance Resource Group of CARE Bangladesh. He holds a Masters in English Literature from Jahangirnagar University.