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Study on Programs and Approaches for the Excluded

ERG collaborates with BRAC's Research & Evaluation Division

Development Initiatives for the Excluded Ones

Background and Purpose

Segments of the society which fail to be parts of the mainstream development initiatives are broadly defined to include the excluded ones. Such exclusions arise for a wide range of reasons, which in turn define the dimensions over which exclusions may be defined. Amongst the widely known categories of exclusion are, women (gender dimension) and ultra-poor (income-poverty measure).

It is however recognized that exclusions may arise due to old (or, very young) age, attachments to particular occupation, residence in particular locality (geographical dimension), ethnic or religious identity, etc. It is often alleged that the mainstream development initiatives, aimed at alleviating poverty, miss out certain segments of the stated target groups. It is increasingly recognized that the reasons lie in mismatches between program characteristics and certain inherent characteristics of the excluded groups – and not because of any fault of one or the other party.

Thus, various development partners make extra effort to design special programs aimed at reaching the groups normally excluded by the mainstream programs. The proposed study aims at mapping such initiatives in Bangladesh – at both geographic and programmatic dimensions. The mapping will be done within an analytical framework (to be developed under the study) which will allow one to infer
the reasons of exclusion and better understand the ways to address the excluded groups.


Specific objectives are:

  • Develop an analytical framework to address broader issues surrounding “Exclusion”;
  • Use the framework to profile organizations/programs (including those within the
    government) that specially aim at reaching the groups normally excluded by
    mainstream development programs;
  • Develop a thana /district level database and undertake the geographic mapping of
  • Identify a selected number of special programs undertaken by the Microfinance
    Institutions (MFIs) to reach the ultra-poor, and undertake a comparative study based on
    case studies.

Study Methodology

The study will involve two distinct phases: the first will involve profiling and mapping of the
programs; and the second will be on a comparative study. Methodologies involved in the two
phases are discussed separately.

First phase:

The analytical exercise will initially be based on literature review and through deductive reasoning. This will however be fine-tuned as information is gathered during the course of the study. The study will undertake extensive document and web searches to list all programs aimed at excluded groups. These will be verified and gaps filled through field visits in all 64 district headquarters. During these visits, a short questionnaire will be administered to collect information from responsible staffs of MFI/NGOs at the district or sub-district levels, and from relevant government offices. In cases of the larger MFI/NGOs, information may be sought from their head offices in Dhaka or at regional headquarters.
Compilation of data following the field visits will be further verified through regional consultations. The information will be processed within a GIS-supported platform to generate appropriate maps.

Second Phase:

Depending on the availability of secondary data at program and beneficiary levels from
selected organizations, analytical exercises may be undertaken. The latter would also help in
making unbiased choices of sample for the second phase of the study.
A set of criteria, to be developed and discussed with a wider group, will be the basis for
comparing across programs. These criteria will cover process as well as outcome indicators,
the latter being identified through individual or focused group consultations. The focus on
process part will address the degree of responsiveness of organizations to demands for changes
in programs, as well as the nature and degree of participation by members of the excluded
groups. The degree of externalities – negative as well as positive – will also be assessed
between programs.


Two major outputs are perceived:

  • Profiling of Special Programs for the Excluded, including spatial mapping of these

  • Comparative Assessment of Selected Programs for the Excluded undertaken by the
    MFIs – a report.

Core Research Team

Mohammad Salahuddin
Biva Arani Mallik
Mehnaz Rabbani
Iftekharul Huq
Shahadat Hossain Siddiquee

Under the Supervision of

Professor  Farida C Khan
Professor  Wahiduddin Mahmud
Dr. Sajjad  Zohir

Mapping exercise and surveys to be coordinated by

Naser Farid
Touhid Uz Zaman


For more information, please mail

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