Other Studies

Assessing Attitudes of the “Change Makers” of Bangladesh Towards Extreme Poverty

This paper presents findings from an attitudinal survey of various “Change Makers” in Bangladesh towards extreme poverty. It provides a background to extreme poverty in Bangladesh, a discussion on why involving “Change Makers” or elites is important, and goes on to cover the attitudes of researchers, civil society, business people, academics, media, bureaucrats, political leaders towards the extreme poor. The authors conclude a relatively good level of sensitisation to extreme poverty among respondents exists, while these continue to not feel threatened by the poor. Those interviewed assigned a major responsibility to the state and NGOs to respond to extreme poverty.

Authors: Hunzai, P and Ahmed, F (2008)

Addressing the Health Needs of the Extreme Poor – A Desk Study by SHIREE

This paper presents an overview of the health scenario of the extreme poor. In this, it covers the main constraints and barriers in accessing medical care, the coping strategies used to manage health shocks and stresses, and moves on to look at the principles for designing health care interventions for the extreme poor.

Authors: Dr. Rebecca Calder and Dr. Hilary Standing (2009)

Extreme Poverty Policies of Donors in Bangladesh An Overview – A Desk Study by shiree

This desk study maps the existing definitions of extreme poverty in Bangladesh, and documents the policies and strategies of major donors towards its reduction. It concludes that very little consideration has been given by bilateral and multilateral donors to ensure that the very poorest receive at least proportionate aid support. As such, shiree needs to make sure that it co-ordinates with other extreme poverty programmes to avoid excessive geographical overlap.

Authors: Joe Devine & Tanya Notley (Bath University) and Taifur Rahman (Unnayan Shamannay) (2009)

Defining Innovation

This short paper unpacks the concept of “Innovation” in poverty reduction and distinguishes between those of a ‘product’ and ‘process’ nature. It was used to stimulate ideas and discussion around Innovation Round 3.

Author: Christopher Tomlinson (April 2010)

Creating Livelihood Options for the Urban Extreme Poor – Exploring the Challenges

This document brings together articles prepared by shiree partners for publication for an advocacy event at the DSK Lesson Learning Workshop in May 2011. It covers various issues facing the urban extreme poor, including: citizenship rights; secure tenure; disability and inclusiveness in the corporate sector; access to basic services; protection of children; and private sector engagement.

Authors: shiree partners (CONCERN Worldwide, UPPR, ADD International, TDH-Italia, Plan Bangladesh, Care Bangladesh (April 2011)

Achieving Sustainable Impact – shiree Discussion Paper

This short discussion paper brings together some ideas on what achieving sustainable impact of projects in the lives of the extreme poor means and what it could look like in practice. It was used to stimulate ideas and discussion around Innovation Round 4 and the Daily Star Policy Dialogue on sustainability.

Authors: Jonathan Perry and Hannah Marsden (April 2011)

Dowry and Extreme Poverty

Dowry is considered to be among the leading causes of poverty in Bangladesh, having the potential to push households into a state of destitution. The growing body of research on this topic has however yet to implement any projects capable of significantly curbing this process.

The findings suggest a strong relationship between dowry and the undertows of extreme poverty. The paper also reports that, in the eyes of the community, actions in relation to dowry can be changed through a series of simultaneous activities. Based on these recommendations, this paper suggests three such interventions; i) the formation of anti-dowry ward committees of locally respected individuals to draw awareness to the illegality and harmful consensuses of dowry; ii) increase law enforcement to enforce already existing laws surrounding dowry and; iii) enrolment of young women into income generating activity training. The paper concludes that through these main interventions a considerable change in actions in relation to dowry would occur and furthermore, the effects of this change would be strongly beneficial for the extreme poor.

Authors: Christopher Tomlinson and Sheikh Tariquzzaman, July, 200

The state of extreme poverty in Bangladesh

According to the 2005 Household and Income and Expenditure Survey, 25.1% of households in Bangladesh lived in extreme poverty. By 2010, the figured had fallen to 17.6%. This reduction confirms that Bangladesh continues to make meaningful progress to reduce levels of poverty in the country. However with an estimated population of almost 160 million, today there remain around 28 million people living in extreme poverty. This poses a daunting development challenge especially when we consider future population projections, and the country’s overall vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters.

By definition, the extreme poor suffer multiple and interlocking deprivations which are likely to negatively affect their entire lives and in many cases, the lives of subsequent generations. The extreme poor have scarce or no productive assets and are mostly illiterate. They therefore entirely depend for their livelihoods on the quantity and quality of the labour at their disposal as well as on relations of support. Their labour tends to be inadequate or impaired because of poor nutrition or health.

Consequently, the extreme poor find themselves entangled in a series of knots or traps. This brief summarises some key outcomes as a result of shiree interventions and identifies issues of general relevance to the analysis of extreme poverty across Bangladesh.