Bangladesh has made significant improvements in reducing poverty since its independence in 1971 (Ahmed, 2012), however, diverse developmental challenges remain. The role of public, private and non-governmental actors in poverty reduction has been widely recognized in the literature. Numerous private sector initiatives are proliferating within NGOs’ project portfolios as an opportunity for an innovative approach to poverty reduction. Despite this progress, studies have shown the degree to which households above the poverty line remain highly vulnerable and could slide back into poverty when faced with shocks (Ahmed, 2012) such as the loss of working opportunities, food price inflation, illness, natural disasters and other crises. Attempts to alleviate poverty therefore need to look at household resilience if improvements are to be sustained. Using a case study approach, this study investigates how a private sector intervention undertaken by NGOs effectively helps extreme poor households build their livelihood resilience. This research is based on a case study involving collaboration between the Social and Economic Transformation of the Ultra-poor (SETU) project of CARE Bangladesh and Classical Handmade Products-BD (CHP-BD), an export oriented rug-manufacturing company. Under this collaboration in SETU (phase-1), nearly 270 females from extremely poor households (i.e. SETU project beneficiaries) engaged in CHP-BD rug production activities. This resulted in more resilient livelihoods and helped move the women from lower productivity housemaid work to higher productivity rug factory work. The research will also focus on the impact of a temporary closure of the factory on the livelihoods of the women. It analyses the coping strategies adopted by the workers during the closure, and explores the ways in which workers learnt from this event and changed their behaviour in terms of savings, income diversification and strengthening social connections. The authors also analyse how this change in behaviour helped the women build livelihood resilience against potential future shocks.
Mizanur Rahman, M.; Abdul Bari, S.M. The role of the private sector in building resilience among the extreme poor: A case study of a collaboration between SETU project of CARE-Bangladesh and CHP-BD, a private company. Shiree Working Paper No. 17. Shiree, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2014) 22 pp.
The role of the private sector in building resilience among the extreme poor: A case study of a collaboration between SETU project of CARE-Bangladesh and CHP-BD, a private company. Shiree Working Paper No. 17