Who Gets What and Why: Resource Allocation in a Bangladesh Village

In the course of its activities over the last seven years, BRAC has developed certain capacities within the organization and gained some perceptions of the rural scene through experience at the grassroots. It was, however, felt that a more systematic investigation and analysis of the structure and dynamics of society was essential for formulating appropriate development strategies. Land has traditionally been valued as the ultimate security in the subsistence agricultural economy of Bangladesh. But what happens as land becomes scarce to an increasing percentage of the people and how does one maximize available resources? This study attempted to ask these questions in the context of a single village in Bangladesh. It investigated the complex of resources available to that village: which resources have been added to the resource base and which resources have either dwindled or increased in value over time. The study also explored the factors which affect and regulate the distribution and continuing redistribution of the resources available to and availed of by the people of the village. The study attempted to understand who in the village maximized which resources for what reasons and under what circumstances. The report found that the dominance of land as a source of income is deceptive, so land is not necessarily the first economic investment although it is considered the ultimate economic “security”. The village was at a point where trade and employment, at least superficially, were increasingly significant. The report concluded that although the resource base for factions is not high, the strength of factions derives from the close integration between kinship and factions. And although avenues of external income have become significant to Dhankura (the village), the internal distribution of these resources and the individual villager’s behaviour in response to these resources has remained “traditional”.

Author: RED, BRAC
Type: Monograph
Year: 1979