The implementation of rural poor programmes in Bangladesh
This study explores the initiatives of the public and private sector in the context of the alleviation of poverty of the rural poor in Bangladesh. The central thesis is that the public sector has made a significant departure, at least in theory, towards the conceptualisation of the rural poor programme in a way that the private sector, particularly the non-governmental organisations, have been performing for the last two decades. This study emphasises the recognition by the NGOs, particularly the "moderate ones, that the nature of both the problems and the solutions change in the process. Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), the "moderate" NGO under study, has gone through a "learn as it goes", responsive, inductive process. This study argues quite the contrary with the public sector initiative. It was only prior to the preparation of the Third Five Year Plan that debates were initiated to seriously criticise the rather sterile two-tier cooperative model for rural poor mobilisation around employment generation and acquisition of assets. Presently, BRDB opened the "flood-gate", which so long prevented the NGOs to contribute to the formulation of the training module of BRDB rural poor programme towards human development and institution building. Although it has been argued that "moderate" NGOs, like BRAC, are not institutions setting about to prove a specific model or theory of development in a dogmatic or absolutist sense, it would be difficult to say that they are not guided by an ideology, as this study argues, when the NGOs themselves have accepted the "Freire-type-conscientisation", which in itself is a loaded concept. This study presents a "mobilising" NGO, where the concept of "conscientisation" has been shown to transcend the limits of present day thinking of moderate NGOs.