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The wider impacts of BRAC poverty alleviation programme in Bangladesh


  • A. Mushtaque R. Chowdhury

    (Deputy Executive Director, BRAC)

  • Abbas Bhuiya

    (Social and Behavioural Sciences Programme, ICDDR,B Centre for Health and Population Research)


Over the decades of the 1980s and 90s many poverty alleviation programmes have been implemented in developing countries. Evaluations of such programmes have traditionally looked at their success in increasing the income levels of participants but less at the wider goals of human well-being. This paper looks at the poverty alleviation programme of BRAC, a large non-governmental organisation in Bangladesh, and, based on carefully designed studies, presents its impact on selected components of 'human well-being'. This study found better child survival and nutritional status in households served by the programme. Simular impacts were also found in other areas such as expenditure patterns, family planning practices and children's education. The studies also looked at the impact on the rural power structure and found a substantial change in the networking relationship of health providers. The likely influence of 'selectivity bias' on the above results is also discussed. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Mushtaque R. Chowdhury & Abbas Bhuiya, 2004. "The wider impacts of BRAC poverty alleviation programme in Bangladesh," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 369-386.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:16:y:2004:i:3:p:369-386
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1083

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bhuiya, Abbas & Chowdhury, Mushtaque, 2002. "Beneficial effects of a woman-focused development programme on child survival: evidence from rural Bangladesh," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(9), pages 1553-1560, November.
    2. 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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    1. repec:bla:ausecr:v:49:y:2016:i:4:p:432-452 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mazumder, Mohummed Shofi Ullah & Lu, Wencong, 2015. "What Impact Does Microfinance Have on Rural Livelihood? A Comparison of Governmental and Non-Governmental Microfinance Programs in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 336-354.
    3. Copestake, James, 2007. "Mainstreaming Microfinance: Social Performance Management or Mission Drift?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1721-1738, October.
    4. Asadullah, M. Niaz & Savoia, Antonio & Mahmud, Wahiduddin, 2014. "Paths to Development: Is there a Bangladesh Surprise?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 138-154.
    5. M. Mizanur Rahman & Fariduddin Ahmad, 2010. "Impact of microfinance of IBBL on the rural poor's livelihood in Bangladesh: an empirical study," International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(2), pages 168-190, June.
    6. Syed Masud Ahmed & AKM Masud Rana, 2010. "Customized Development Interventions for the Ultra Poor: Preliminary Change Assessments of Health and Health-seeking Behaviour (CFPR/TUP 2002 to 2004)," Working Papers id:2575, eSocialSciences.
    7. Standing, H. & Chowdhury, A. Mushtaque R., 2008. "Producing effective knowledge agents in a pluralistic environment: What future for community health workers?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 2096-2107, May.
    8. Alex Addae-Korankye & Alex Abada, 2017. "Microfinance and Women Empowerment in Madina in Accra, Ghana," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 7(3), pages 222-231, March.
    9. Wahibur Rokhman, 2013. "The Effect Of Islamic Microfinance On Poverty Alleviation: Study In Indonesia," Economic Review: Journal of Economics and Business, University of Tuzla, Faculty of Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 21-30.
    10. repec:spr:jglont:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40497-017-0077-z is not listed on IDEAS
    11. M. Niaz Asadullah, 2016. "Do Pro-Poor Schools Reach Out to the Poor? Location Choice of BRAC and ROSC Schools in Bangladesh," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 49(4), pages 432-452, December.
    12. Shahnawaz Mohammad Rafi & Hashima-e- Nasreen & Sarawat Rashid, 2009. "The Pilot Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Project (MNCH) at Nilphamari: Profiling the Changes During 2006-07," Working Papers id:2244, eSocialSciences.

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