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The Food For Education program in Bangladesh

  • Ahmed, Akhter U.
  • del Ninno, Carlo

The Government of Bangladesh launched the innovative Food for Education (FFE) program in 1993. The FFE program provides a free monthly ration of rice or wheat to poor families if their children attend primary school. The goals of this program are to increase primary school enrollment, promote attendance, reduce dropout rates, and enhance the quality of education. This paper presents the findings of a recent International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) evaluation of the FFE program that demonstrates the extent to which these goals were met. This evaluation uses primary data collected from multiple surveys covering schools, households, communities, and foodgrain dealers. The authors first examine the performance of the FFE program, showing that it has largely fulfilled its objectives of increasing school enrollment, promoting school attendance, and preventing dropouts. The enrollment increase was greater for girls than for boys. The quality of education, however, remains a problem. Next, they analyze the targeting effectiveness of the program, its impact on food security, and its efficiency in distributing rations. In general, the FFE program targets low-income households. However, there is considerable scope for improving targeting, as a sizable number of poor households remain excluded from the program even while many nonpoor households are included. Furthermore, the evaluation results indicate that the functioning of the current private-dealer-based foodgrain distribution system of the FFE program is not satisfactory.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND briefs with number 138.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcndbr:138
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  1. Grosh, Margaret E., 1992. "The Jamaican food stamps programme : A case study in targeting," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 23-40, February.
  2. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  3. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  4. Khandker, S.R., 1996. "Education Achievements and School Efficiency in Rural Bangladesh," World Bank - Discussion Papers 319, World Bank.
  5. Ahmed, Akhter U. & Bouis, Howarth E., 2002. "Weighing what's practical: proxy means tests for targeting food subsidies in Egypt," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 519-540.
  6. Bouis, Howarth E., 1994. "Agricultural technology and food policy to combat iron deficiency in developing countries," FCND discussion papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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