Partners in Sustainable Development International is committed to uplifting the extreme poor in rural areas of Bangladesh through a partnership which empowers them to devise creative ways to solve the problems that keep them from financial security and independence. The Model is holistic and recognizes that the truly poor face so many obstacles to their economic recovery, that only a comprehensive program offers them an opportunity for permanent uplift out of poverty. In Bangladesh, the Model is being implemented by our sister organization, the Poverty Eradication Program (PEP).
The Model focuses on identifying the very poorest families as defined by the amount of food available to them each day and access to basic necessities, such as shelter, clean water, healthcare and appropriate seasonal clothing. Most begin the program without these basics - in a state of partial starvation.
Once a family is stabilized, a social worker helps the family identify and prioritize its needs. Together they create a plan for financial independence that includes the entire family; children, parents, the elderly and the housebound. Every family member has an individual plan that is a part of the whole family’s success and includes whatever training, education, tools and the support needed for each member to be successful.
The Model is replicable anywhere in the developing world. Its success and measurability are based on a network of social workers who live in the villages and work with each partner family to develop their plan. Social workers are recruited from the areas where they work allowing them firsthand knowledge of the community and facilitating trust between them and the families they work with. Biweekly visits by social workers monitor progress and ensure that no family falls behind. When an unexpected situation arises, a family’s individual plan can be adjusted to make sure that they do not lose any progress they have made.
Families choose work from a wide variety of programs, each with a learning component, to build a successful financial future. These choices include education for the young and income producing work for women, the elderly, homebound or disabled. With everyone’s participation, the family grows strong and self-reliant.
Families graduate out of poverty within ten years on the average. They learn the skills to become financially independent, build and manage assets and create savings for lean times in addition to being able to provide for the family’s basic needs.
Accountability & Measurability
Partner families are assessed every three years to be sure that they are meeting their goals as they work toward financial security and independence.
The success of the Model is measured by the positive changes in a family’s life and the continued progress on their plan for independence. Social workers collect data on the income the family is earning, the amount of food they have available, the number of children who have completed the two-year primary school program and transitioned into government schools, the value of assets the family owns, the amount of money families have saved, and the impact the program has had on the community, just to name a few.