For the chronic poor, the various livelihood constraints are structured
and interlocked in complex knots that fail to carry forward automatic
induced impacts through interventions, such as microfinance, that work
on untying important strategic knots. BRAC, a poverty-focussed NGO in
Bangladesh has been experimenting with various approaches on this
problem of understanding the knots and trying to design programmes for
the extreme poor.
The first approach was built around food insecurity as this is one of
the most important constraints that trap the extreme poor into chronic
forms of poverty. Yet, the impact of mere food transfers tends to be
typically very short-lived. BRAC's Income Generation for Vulnerable
Group Development (IGVGD) Programme aims to strategically link the food
aid with training, savings and credit. In this way, the programme
creates a missing rung in the ladder for the extreme poor. The
subsequent programme for the extreme poor, which is still in its early
phase, takes a far more comprehensive conceptualization of the knots in
the poverty web of the extreme poor - ranging from lack of assets to
lack of voice.
Targeted Development Programmes for the Extreme Poor: Experiences from BRAC Experiments, CPRC Working Paper No. 20, PRCPB Working Paper No. 2, Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, ISBN 1-904049-19-2, 26 pp.
Targeted Development Programmes for the Extreme Poor: Experiences from BRAC Experiments, CPRC Working Paper No. 20, PRCPB Working Paper No. 2