Concern, an international NGO, has been working both in rural and urban
areas of Bangladesh for the last three decades. One of the core values
of Concern is \"Target Extreme Poverty\", so early in the year 2002
Concern wanted to assess whether its community development programmes
are reaching the extreme poor effectively or not. To get the answer of
this question Concern decided to conduct a participatory research in two
of its rural and urban working areas. Moreover, it was planned that the
research learning will be used to develop a standard methodology to do
an extensive research in the other rural and urban working areas.
Concern believes that the extreme poor live in many numbers in the
environmentally vulnerable areas, and this is the outcome of the
extensive experience of Concern in running emergency programmes in such
areas. At present, Concern is directly implementing Integrated Rural
Development Project (IRDP) and Urban Community Development Project
(UCDP) in four rural and five urban environmentally vulnerable
locations. Out of these locations Concern management choose Dimla IRDP
and Kamlapur UCDP randomly to conduct this study.
The two simple research questions of this study were:
- The extreme poor and their vulnerability in study locations: Who are
the extreme poor? What are their vulnerabilities? What are their
capacities to cope with crises?
- Targeting the extreme poor: Is Concern reaching the extreme poor
effectively through its existing community development projects?
This paper is comprised of five sections; the first states the origin
and justification of the study, research questions, and a brief overview
of the study locations. The second section presents the livelihood
strategy of the extreme poor, beginning with the live lihood assets and
vulnerabilities of them. The third section gives an overview about the
effectiveness and efficiency of Concern's community development
programmes to reach the extreme poor. The fourth section explores the
role of government and the other NGDOs to reach the extreme poor. The
fifth section presents conclusions and throws light on strategic
direction to work with the extreme poor.
Reaching the Extreme Poor:Learning from Concern’s CommunityDevelopment Programmes in Bangladesh presented at Staying Poor: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, 7-9 April 2003. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, 21 pp.
Reaching the Extreme Poor: Learning from Concern’s Community Development Programmes in Bangladesh