The paper reports on findings from eighteen focus-group discussions and twenty semi-structured interviews with participants, their family members, and staff of Uttaran’s SEMPTI project. The focus of the research was on elderly beneficiaries who were extreme poor. The paper reports on how extreme poverty affected the elderly, and how the project, which was organised around the transfer of productive assets, impacted their lives. The relationships that elderly participants had with family members or others who helped them manage the assets were crucial to the success of project interventions: participants who had strong relationships were more likely to report that they benefitted from the asset transfer. When relatives, or others, who did not share strong pre-existing reciprocal relationships with the elderly person, managed assets, projects were less likely to benefit the elderly person. The idea of intergenerational bargain (Collard 2000) is used to describe this dynamic. The research draws attention to the need to clearly understand elderly peoples’ family and social contexts for the successful implementation of social protection interventions, especially when they are based on the transfer of productive assets for income generation.
Kabir, S.T.; Rana, S. Supporting extremely poor elderly people in rural Bangladesh with asset transfers for income generation: lessons from Uttaran&#8217;s SEMPTI project. Shiree Working Paper No. 15. Shiree, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2013) 34 pp.