EVALUATING THE RURAL MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME AS A POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY
Keywords:POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY
Bangladesh is one of the most poverty stricken countries in the world. A recent survey reveals
that 40 percent of its population live below the poverty line. The Government of Bangladesh’s
efforts at poverty reduction has not been very successful. There have been fluctuations in the poverty
situation of the country, but the percentage of rural poor has remained high.
For last few years, the government has been pursuing Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). One
of the avenues for poverty reduction is the Social Safety Nets Programmes that transfer income to
target groups. Rural Maintenance Programme (RMP) is one such programme, targeting destitute
rural women. RMP not only transfers income, it also provides training and savings to target groups
with the expectation of their graduation from the poverty’. This paper attempts to show how far the
aims of the programme have been achieved and find out if target groups have really been able to lift
themselves from poverty. At the same time, we have tried to examine if PRS has any contextual
limitations in changing poverty and if those prevent it from fulfilling its goals.
The quantitative as well as qualitative aspects of poverty are examined. Results show
that since poverty is multi-dimensional, poverty reduction strategy requires multi-directional
efforts. Addressing only the income-poverty is not enough for poverty alleviation since qualitative
characteristics of poverty also require to be addressed to ensure sustainability of efforts.
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