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The Food For Education program in Bangladesh

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  • Ahmed, Akhter U.
  • del Ninno, Carlo

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed, Akhter U. & del Ninno, Carlo, 2002. "The Food For Education program in Bangladesh," FCND discussion papers 138, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:138
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Breisinger, Clemens & van Rheenen, Teunis & Ringler, Claudia & Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Minot, Nicholas & Aragon, Catherine & Yu, Bingxin & Ecker, Olivier & Zhu, Tingju, 2010. "Food security and economic development in the Middle East and North Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 985, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Agnes Quisumbing & Bob Baulch & Neha Kumar, 2011. "Evaluating the long-term impact of anti-poverty interventions in Bangladesh: an overview," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 153-174.
    3. David Tobón & Germán Darío Valencia Agudelo & Paul Ríos Gallego & John Fredy Bedoya, 2008. "Hierarchical Organization and School Academic Achievement in Medellin: An Analysis from the Educational Production Function," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 68, pages 145-173, Enero-Jun.
    4. Xin Meng & Jim Ryan, 2010. "Does a food for education program affect school outcomes? The Bangladesh case," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 415-447, March.
    5. Ahmed, Akhter U. & Arends-Kuenning, Mary, 2003. "Do crowded classrooms crowd out learning?," FCND briefs 149, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Xin Meng & Jim Ryan, 2003. "Evaluating the Food for Education Program in Bangladesh," ASARC Working Papers 2003-07, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    7. Harounan Kazianga & Damien de Walque & Harold Alderman, 2009. "Educational and Health Impacts of Two School Feeding Schemes: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rural Burkina Faso," Economics Working Paper Series 0904, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    8. Afridi, Farzana, 2010. "Child welfare programs and child nutrition: Evidence from a mandated school meal program in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 152-165, July.
    9. Mezgebo, Taddese, 2008. "“After all, most of the ‘Myth’ has some blurred empirical foundation: determinants of University level performance of students: case study of Rural Development Course covered in 2008 with in Mekelle U," MPRA Paper 17923, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Glick, Peter, 2008. "What Policies will Reduce Gender Schooling Gaps in Developing Countries: Evidence and Interpretation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1623-1646, September.
    11. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Pandolfelli, Lauren, 2010. "Promising Approaches to Address the Needs of Poor Female Farmers: Resources, Constraints, and Interventions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 581-592, April.
    12. Alcaraz V., Gabriela & Zeller, Manfred, 2007. "Use of household food insecurity scales for assessing poverty in Bangladesh and Uganda," 106th Seminar, October 25-27, 2007, Montpellier, France 7939, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Baulch, Bob, 2010. "The medium-term impact of the primary education stipend in rural Bangladesh," IFPRI discussion papers 976, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Ahmed, Akhter U. & Khondkar, Mubina, 2010. "An analysis of institutions and policy processes for selected antipoverty interventions in Bangladesh:," IFPRI discussion papers 1046, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. von Braun, Joachim & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Cohen, Marc J. & Cline, Sarah A. & Brown, Mary Ashby & Bos, Maria Soledad, 2005. "New risks and opportunities for food security: scenario analyses for 2015 and 2050," 2020 vision discussion papers 39, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. Ahmed, Akhter U. & Arends-Kuenning, Mary, 2006. "Do crowded classrooms crowd out learning? Evidence from the food for education program in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 665-684, April.
    17. Vermeersch, Christel & Kremer, Michael, 2005. "Schools meals, educational achievement and school competition: evidence from a randomized evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3523, The World Bank.
    18. Kirdar, Murat G. & Dayioglu, Meltem & Koc, Ismet, 2012. "Does longer compulsory education equalize educational attainment by gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background?," MPRA Paper 39995, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    School children Food ;

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