Poverty and Working Children

Researcher: Ferdous Jahan

Save the Children UK (SCUK) with the support of the European Commission launched the Poverty and Working Children project in 2004 to improve, monitor and understand the multidimensional complexities surrounding child labour. BRAC Development Institute (BDI), now a part of BIGD, and BRAC Research and Evaluation Division (RED) conducted a series of research initiatives as part of the PWC project. Poverty and Working Children project has completed the following studies:

 

  1. Changing Child Labour Practices in Bangladesh: Employers’ Perceptions.

The study explores the change in labour practices and attitudes of employers in the northern district of Nilphamari and shows that there has been a marked change in child labour employment conditions.

 

  1. Livelihood and Survival Strategies of Dhaka’s Urban Poor Working Children: A Case Study of Waste-Pickers.

This case study gives an insight into the lives of the collectors of recyclable-waste in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The study shows that the children involved in this industry lead fragile but sustainable lives.

 

  1. Children’s Education and Labour: Effects of BRAC’s TUP Programme.

This qualitative study analyses the effects of BRAC’s TUP programme on child labour and children’s education in ultra poor households. It explores the reasons behind financial changes brought on by the TUP programme.

 

  1. State of Child-Labour among the Rural Ultra Poor: A Case of CFPR/TUP Beneficiaries.

This study explores the issue of child labour among the rural ultra poor of Bangladesh. It examines children working in different economic sectors such as poultry, livestock, nursery or day labour and how their lives have benefited from the TUP/CFPR programmes.

 

  1. Gender Disparity in School Access: An Assessment of Trends in Education

The report looks at access patterns of children belonging to extreme poor households – specifically how these children gain or denied access to education. At the same time, recent trends in primary school enrolment indicate that boys’ enrolment and attendance has begun to slip at the primary school level, leading to greater gender disparity for those children who pursue secondary education - which was also revealed in this report.

 

  1. Revisiting Child Labour Agenda: Reflections of PWC Project

Save the children UK implemented PWC project through various partner NGOs. After successful completion of PWC project, this research was held to evaluate and learn good practices from the PWC project. One urban project area (Dhaka Lalbag) and one rural project area (Khulna- Koyra) was selected for the research.

 

 

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Older People’s Access to Microfinance

 

Researcher: Syed M. Hashemi
Funded by HelpAge International

 

The objective of the research was to understand older people’s access to and inclusion in mainstream microfinance programmes in Bangladesh. The in-depth qualitative study examined whether microfinance could provide income security and a reduction in poverty for the elderly.

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Financial Education and Consumer Protection

Researcher: Syed M. Hashemi
Funded by BRAC Microfinance

BRAC Microfinance and BRAC Development Institute (now a part of BIGD) collaborated in 2011-13, to develop a multi-pronged strategy to address the financial literacy needs of the poor, enabling them to make more informed decisions and practice better financial behaviour. The programme was piloted in 5 sites across Bangladesh, to disseminate key financial literacy messages on informed decision making, borrower rights and responsibilities, record keeping and reconciliation, over-indebtedness, sudden shocks and emergencies, complaints handling and redressed mechanisms and income generating activities. A baseline survey for the programme was conducted in 2012.

Publication:
• Hashemi. Syed M. & Umaira, Wamiq. 2011. New Pathways for the Poorest:  The Graduation Model from BRAC.  CSP Research Report.

 

 

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Strengthening Social Protection of Informal Workers:

Supporting Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion Across Stable and Fragile Contexts

Researcher: Ferdous Jahan
Funded by ODI-European Union

The aim of the project was to inform and strengthen social protection policy to reduce poverty and increase social inclusion among marginalised workers and the vulnerable in the informal sector. The project was rolled out in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and India. In Bangladesh, the study investigated the nature, extent and drivers of social exclusion and vulnerability of informal sector workers and groups living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and on char land. The project examined two conditional cash and asset transfer programmes: the Char Livelihood Programme (CLP) and the Vulnerable Group Development Programme (VGD) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This three- year project started in May 2011 and was completed in May 2014.

Publication:
• Omar Faruque Siddiki, Rebecca Holmes, Ferdous Jahan, Fahim Subhan Chowdhury and Jessica Hagen-Zanker, May 2014. How do safety nets contribute to social inclusion in Bangladesh? Evidence from the Chars Livelihoods Project and the Vulnerable Group Development programme;  
• Omar Faruque Siddiki, Rebecca Holmes, Ferdous Jahan, Fahim Subhan Chowdhury and Jessica Hagen-Zanker, May 2014. The contribution of the Chars Livelihoods Programme and the Vulnerable Group Development programme to social inclusion in Bangladesh: Country Briefing;

Conference and workshops:
• A National Seminar titled ‘Can social protection contribute to social inclusion?’ jointly organised by ODI and BIGD in Dhaka on 6 April 2014.
http://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/events-presentations/1598.pdf

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Food Security for the Ultra Poor (FSUP)

Researcher: Syed M. Hashemi
Funded by World Food Programme, Dhaka

The World Food Programme started its four-year Food Security for the Ultra Poor (FSUP) Project in January 2009 to contribute to eliminating extreme poverty and hunger amongst ultra poor households in disaster prone areas. Specifically it sought to achieve measurable and sustainable changes in food security and nutritional well being of 30,000 households by improving their livelihoods.  BRAC Development Institute, now a part of BIGD, conducted several quantitative sample surveys in treatment and control households to determine the impact of the FSUP project. Changes were assessed on the economic lives of project beneficiaries, their levels of food security and their ability to withstand shocks to their lives and livelihoods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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100-Day Employment Generation Programme (EGP)

Researcher: Syed M. Hashemi and Ferdous Jahan

This in-depth qualitative study provided feedback to the Government of Bangladesh on the implementation and results of the first phase of the EGP safety net programme. In the first phase, the majority of beneficiaries - particularly women - reported positive impacts, including long term changes such as consumption smoothing and the lessening of loan burdens. Despite the lack of clarity in the selection criteria and limited preparation of field officials, the programme was viewed as successful in targeting the ultra poor. The study contributed to fine-tuning the modalities for the implementation of the second phase of the programme.

• External link:

http://research.brac.net/others/100_day_Study_phase%201_%20FINAL.pdf
• Publication:

Study on the First Phase of 100 days Employment, BDI, BRAC and NFCSP http://research.brac.net/others/100_day_Study_phase%201_%20FINAL.pdf

 

 

 

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