Extreme poverty in Bangladesh: Protecting and promoting rural livelihoods

Briefing papers
September 2008
Rebecca Holmes, John Farrington, Taifur Rahman and Rachel Slater

This paper examines evidence on the links between social protection and agricultural growth in Bangladesh by synthesising existing impact evaluations from four programmes in the country.
This analysis is carried out against a framework of protection, prevention, promotion and voice. Elements of protection enable households to meet their basic needs and include cash and in-kind transfers. It can reduce seasonal hunger, known as monga in Bangladesh. Prevention aims to break vicious cycles that trap households during shocks and stresses – preventing, for example, sales of productive assets following a drought or flood, or to pay for major family events. Such negative coping strategies can undermine future productivity and livelihood. Promotion, through cash transfers that can be invested in production, or transferring productive assets, can boost incomes and improve livelihoods. More widely, giving people a greater voice can give them access to institutions (such as markets) and information from which they were previously excluded.

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