Pathways from Poverty (PFP) phase 2

Building economic empowerment and resilience for extreme poor households in riverine areas of Bangladesh

Project name: Pathways from Poverty: Building economic empowerment and resilience for extreme poor households in riverine areas of Bangladesh, Phase 2
Donor: UK Aid-DFID (EEP/shiree)
Duration: 2012-2015
Partners: Own Village Development (OVA), Jhanjira Samaj Kallyan Sangstha (JSKS), Uttara Development Program Society (UDPS), AKOTA, Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK)

The second phase of the 'Pathways from Poverty: Building economic empowerment and resilience for extreme poor households in riverine areas of Bangladesh (PFP)' project was started in April 2012. The three-year project, now the largest one implemented by Practical Action in Bangladesh was supported by the EEP/Shiree programme of DFID (UK Aid).

During 2009-2012, the preceding phase of the project was delivered to 59,000 women, men and children of 16,850 extreme poor families helped them to improve their livelihoods. The new phase worked with a further 60,000 poorest people (15,000 families) living in four northern districts of Bangladesh. The project also supported, to a limited degree, the first phase participants. 

The Shiree project won the award for Outstanding International Leadership at the Annual Gala of British Expertise International in London on 11 April 2016

EEP/Shiree helped over one million people take steps out of extreme poverty. It contributed to the development of policy on Extreme Poverty as set out in the 7th Five Year Plan. At its 2016 Closing Conference, EEP/Shiree set out guidelines for the next generation of projects to tackle Extreme Poverty.

Read more about evolving discussions on tackling Extreme Poverty in Bangladesh on the EEP Shiree website, which will continue to run until 2021 -

The project contributed towards the overall Economic Empowerment of the Extreme Poor (EEP) programme, a collaborative venture of UK Department of International Development (DFID) and the Government of Bangladesh, which lifted over a million people out of extreme poverty by 2015.

The project aimed to step up around 60,000 extreme poor women, men and children from extreme poverty by the end of project. For this, the project improved the lives of this vulnerable sect of people with improved livelihoods while making them better resilient to natural disasters such as monsoon flooding and river-bank erosion, and eventually reduce disaster risks.

The activity package of the second phase was similar to that of the earlier phase:

  • A wide range of proven, effective and viable technical means was offered to the participating families as the solutions to their struggle utilising which they would be able to build resources.
  • Technical capabilities of the participants were developed which enable them to engage in farming (vegetable growing in sandbar, animal rearing, fish culture etc.) and other non-farm earning options.
  • The project also interacted with government and non-government entities to extend participants’ access to required services – like inputs, marketing, health, education etc. and by promoting producer groups, the project encouraged collective actions to bring about greater benefits to the participants from their livelihood interventions.

Our work on turning barren land into productive pumpkin fields continues in the Pumpkins Against Poverty project:

Pumpkins Against Poverty

It’s monsoon time in Bangladesh and the Brahmaputra, Testa and Jamuna rivers have burst their banks. Many villages are under water and thousands of hectares of crops have been damaged. Thousands of people are affected by flooding in Kurigram, Chilmari and Gaibandha, the sites of our pump...

Read more

Pathways from poverty: building economic empowerment & resilience for extreme poor households in Riverine areas of Bangladesh

Download an illustrated four-page project brief outlining the aims and approach of this project

This was the second phase of the Pathways from Poverty project, which ran since 2009, and follows on from Practical Action's earlier river erosion work.

Pathways from Poverty (PFP) phase 1

Project name: Pathways from Poverty (PFP): Building economic empowerment and resilience for extreme poor households in riverine areas of Bangladesh (phase 1)
Donor: DFID (UK Aid)- shiree
Duration: 2009-2012
Partners: Own Village Development (OVA), Jhanjira Samaj Kallyan Sangstha (JSKS), Uttara Development Program Society (UDPS), AKOTA, Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK), Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), Handicap International (HI)

Harvesting pumpkins from sandbars, Rangpur districtThe project targeted extreme poor people living in 120 flood protection embankments located in four northern districts of Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur and Nilphamari adjacent to the Brahmaputra and Tista rivers.

The Pathways from Poverty project is part of the larger shiree initiative funded by DFID Bangladesh. Practical Action is one of 6 NGOs awarded ‘scaling up’ contracts under the Shiree initiative, to scale up tried and tested approaches for working with what DFID terms the “ultra poor” – that part of the population currently untouched by most development initiatives.

They characterise this population as being without assets, unable to plan beyond today because of the precariousness of their income and access to food, and untouched by the institutions focussing on the poor, be they government agencies, NGOs or the micro credit institutions.

Project aims

The project goal was to graduate 50,550 extremely poor people (16,850 households) in rural areas from extreme poverty by Project Year Three. The project purpose was to improve livelihoods of 16,850 vulnerable char land households with improved livelihoods and increased resilience to natural disasters.

  • Generating employment opportunities for 8,000 extreme poor households (HH) through utilisation of sandbars, under-utilised lands and water resources by year three;
  • Providing operational access for sandbar cropping in char and fellow lands
  • Provide skills training to the beneficiaries in different fields of farm and non-farm activities
  • Adopting participatory market development approach to link the extreme poor to markets for creating income opportunities
  • Creating opportunities for the extreme poor through various livelihood options to cope with risks and ensure year round livelihood security
  • Capacity building for protecting assets during disasters and seasonal food crises
  • Empowering the extreme poor by building links, awareness and enhancing their ability to increase access to services from the local institutions, government and private sector
  • 16,850 extreme poor households secure market access and increased incomes;
  • By year three, 90% of targeted households support asset protection strategies that increase resilience to impacts of disaster and seasonal food crises;
  • Extreme poor households with stronger influence over decision making and service provision by the local government, line departments and private service providers.

Blog reports

Field reports from the Pathways from Poverty project

Find out more

Disappearing Lands - River Erosion Project

Pathways from Poverty follows on from our earlier work with communities coping with river erosion

Find out more
no comments