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Partnership for Poverty Alleviation in Bangladesh: The Alternative Approaches

Shakhawat Ullah Chowdhury

Assistant Professor of Social Science
Head Department of General Education
Southern University
Chittagong, Bangladesh


Poverty is widespread in Bangladesh. The international community recognizes that reducing global poverty is one of the major development challenges of the twenty-first century. The problem of poverty is particularly severe in Bangladesh, where a variety of poverty alleviation initiatives have been tried. The most recent one involves Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), which are collaborations between partners in different sectors. PPPs are assumed to be effective for reducing poverty as they are seen to optimize the use of scarce resources, promote economic growth and enhance efficiency. The Government of Bangladesh has recognized the use of PPPs as an innovative and effective approach for poverty alleviation in Bangladesh. This thesis addresses this major policy issue by examining the novel arrangements of PPPs to determine how this approach can assist in alleviating poverty.

The social structure of the country is dominated by traditional kinship patterns, and marked patron-client relationship headed by local power elites dominating the surrounding mass of poor. The growth of state influence has extended traditional power relationships, contributing to the widening gap between elite and poor. This has helped accelerate the process of marginalization, impoverishment, class exploitation and social control with its attendant consequences of landlessness and growing urban growth and poverty. Throughout the country, the fragile and underdeveloped democracy permits continuing instability and undermine development.

Against this backdrop, the task of poverty alleviation is massive and urgent in modern Bangladesh. Besides Government efforts, other organizations, popularly known as non government organization (NGOs) in recent times, are also increasingly contributing for the alleviation of poverty in Bangladesh.

In this paper, an attempt has been made to assess the poverty situation in Bangladesh and explores different PPP arrangements for poverty alleviation in Bangladesh and evaluates the performance and effects of these PPPs. It identifies opportunities and constraints affecting these PPPs. This research utilises the multiple-case study methodology, examining two cases namely, the Income Generation for Vulnerable Group Development (IGVGD) and Rural Micro Credit (RMC) PPPs that have been introduced in Bangladesh as poverty alleviation measures. Policy perspective of both government and non government organizations(NGOs) have been reviewed and analyzed. Finally recommendations for poverty alleviation is developed from the literature on the subject and then used to analyse the data from the Bangladesh case studies.

Key words: Poverty, Partnership, Vulnerable, Collaboration.

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