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Changing fortunes in anti-poverty programmes in Bangladesh


  • Mokbul Morshed Ahmad

    (Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK)

  • Janet Gabriel Townsend

    (Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK)


The level of poverty in Bangladesh has remained high by any standard since independence. Strategies to reduce poverty in Bangladesh have sought (i) to increase production and income and (ii) to redirect the flow of income and consumption. In most strategies, income generation predominates with redistribution playing a minor or a complementary role. Three salient characteristics of government programmes to reduce poverty in rural Bangladesh are their lack of commitment to their supposed goals, their inefficacy in reaching the poor, and their lack of co-ordination with non-governmental organizations. These weaknesses help account for the persistence of poverty in rural Bangladesh over the last three decades. The emphasis has now shifted to the work of non-governmental organizations, but this article argues that their programmes suffer from some of the same problems. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Mokbul Morshed Ahmad & Janet Gabriel Townsend, 1998. "Changing fortunes in anti-poverty programmes in Bangladesh," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 427-438.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:10:y:1998:i:4:p:427-438
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1328(199806)10:4<427::AID-JID536>3.0.CO;2-N

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hashemi, Syed M. & Schuler, Sidney Ruth & Riley, Ann P., 1996. "Rural credit programs and women's empowerment in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 635-653, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Janet Gabriel Townsend, 1999. "Are non-governmental organizations working in development a transnational community?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 613-623.
    2. Patrick Webb & Jennifer Coates & Robert Houser, 2002. "Does Microcredit Meet the Needs of all Poor Women? Constraints to Participation Among Desitute Women in Bangladesh," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 03, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

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