The Economic Empowerment of the Poorest (EEP)/shiree programme is a partnership between the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) to lift 1 million people out of extreme poverty by 2015.
EEP/shiree provides resources to national and international NGOs working in Bangladesh through two challenge funds: the Scale Fund and the Innovation Fund. The Scale Fund provides NGOs opportunities to take large numbers of people out of extreme poverty using tried and tested methods. The Innovation Fund challenges NGOs to design and implement innovative approaches to reducing extreme poverty in urban and rural areas of Bangladesh.
The shiree/EEP programme is worth £65 million (around USD$100 million) over an 8 year period (2008-2015). The name SHIREE – the Bangla word for steps and an acronym for Stimulating HouseholdImprovements Resulting in Economic Empowerment” – reflects the core approach of the programme which is to provide households with the support needed to start and to continue climbing out of extreme poverty.
Harewelle International Ltd and PMTC Bangladesh Ltd manage the Fund in consultation with consortium partners including the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) at Bath University, the British Council and Unnayan Shamannay. EEP/shiree is one in DFID’s portfolio of projects designed to reduce extreme poverty and vulnerability in Bangladesh. The Rural Development and Co-operatives Division (RDCD) is the parent Government of Bangladesh ministry.
The EEP/shiree programme currently has 36 projects with partner NGOs. The partnership encompasses specific economic empowerment sub projects under Scale and Innovation Funds but also a growing research and advocacy agenda. In addition, we network with other relevant actors within Bangladesh to develop learning platforms on extreme poverty.