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http://www.econ.yale.edu/~cru2/pdf/Science-2015-TUP.pdf

brac ultra poor program replication

http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1260799

Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India,
Pakistan, and Peru 

Graduating the Ultra-Poor in Honduras

Researchers:
 
 
Bram Thuysbaert
Location:
 Lempira
Sample:
 2,403 households
Timeline:
 2009 - 2013
AEA RCT registration number:
 AEARCTR-0000058

More than one fifth of the world’s population lives on less than US$1.25 per day. While many credit and training programs have not been successful at raising income levels for these ultra-poor households, recent support for livelihoods programs has spurred interest in evaluating whether comprehensive “big push” interventions may allow for a sustainable transition to self-employment and a higher standard of living. To test this theory, in six countries researchers evaluated a multi-faceted approach aimed at improving long term income of the ultra-poor. They found that the approach had long-lasting economic and self-employment impacts and that the long-run benefits, measured in terms of household expenditures, outweighed their up-front costs. This evaluation summarizes the Honduras site, where an unexpected chicken illness destroyed most of participants’ program-related productive assets. Honduras was the only country where long-run benefits did not outweigh their up-front costs.

Policy issue

More than one fifth of the world’s population lives on less than US$1.25 per day. Many of these families depend on insecure and fragile livelihoods, including casual farm and domestic labor. Their income is frequently irregular or seasonal, putting laborers and their families at risk of hunger. Self-employment is often the only viable alternative to menial labor for the ultra-poor, yet many lack the necessary cash or skills to start a business that could earn more than casual labor.

In the past, many programs that have provided poor households with either credit or training to alleviate these constraints have not been successful at raising household income levels on average.  However, in recent years, several international and local nongovernmental organizations have renewed their support for programs that foster a transition to more secure livelihoods. Combining complementary approaches—the transfer of a productive asset, training, consumption support, and coaching— into one comprehensive program may help spur a sustainable transition to self-employment. To better understand the effect of these programs on the lives of the ultra-poor, researchers coordinated to conduct six randomized evaluations in EthiopiaGhanaHondurasIndiaPakistan, and Peru.

Context of the evaluation

In Honduras, researchers partnered with PLAN International Honduras and Organización de Desarollo Empresarial Feminino Social (ODEF), a local microfinance institution. The study focused on poor households with children who were not generally receiving microcredit or development assistance. Those ultimately selected to participate were identified as the poorest members of the community through a participatory wealth ranking process. Within the sample, the median daily per capita consumption was 2014 PPP US$1.32, with 60 percent of households consuming less than US$1.25 per person per day. At the start of the study, around 40 percent of households reported that some adults sometimes had to skip meals, and 20 percent reported the same for children.

Many beneficiaries chose to receive chickens, however, illness caused many chickens to die by the end of the program. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Details of the intervention

In partnership with PLAN International Honduras and ODEF, researchers conducted a randomized evaluation to test the impact of a two-year comprehensive livelihoods program (called the "Graduation approach”) on the lives of the ultra-poor. This approach was first developed by Bangladeshi NGO BRAC in 2002 and has since been replicated in several countries. From a sample of 2,403 households, researchers randomly assigned one-third to the treatment group, and two-thirds to the comparison group, which would not receive the program. 

The intervention consisted of six complementary components, each designed to address specific constraints facing ultra-poor households: 

  1. Productive asset transfer: Participants received a one-time transfer of a productive asset valued at 4,750 Honduran Lempiras (2014 PPP US$537). Most (83 percent) participants chose chickens, while 6 percent selected pigs and 5 percent selected fish.

  2. Technical skills training: Household were trained in running a business and managing their chosen livelihood. For example, households who selected chickens were taught how to care for them, including feed and shelter requirements.

  3. Consumption support: Households received a one-time food transfer worth 1,920 Honduran Lempiras (2014 PPP US$217) intended to cover the six-month lean season. This differed from most other countries, where participants received weekly or monthly cash stipends.

  4. Savings: Households were required to open an ODEF savings account and received either savings matches or direct savings transfers.

  5. Home visits: Program staff conducted weekly home visits to provide accountability, coaching, and encouragement.

  6. Health: Households attended health, nutrition, and hygiene trainings.

The program began in 2009 and continued until 2011. Researchers conducted a first endline survey immediately after the program concluded, as well as a second endline survey around one year later.

Results and policy lessons

Across all six countries, researchers found that the program caused broad and lasting economic impacts. Treatment group households consumed more, had more assets, and increased savings. The program also increased basic entrepreneurial activities, which enabled the poor to work more evenly across the year. While psychosocial well-being improved, these noneconomic impacts sometimes faded over time. In five of the six studies, long-run benefits outweighed their up-front costs.

General results: In Honduras, results varied significantly from overall findings: although livestock revenues increased, total and food consumption did not change, and asset ownership declined. Researchers believe this was primarily due to the fact that a large fraction of chickens, which most households received as their productive asset, died due to illness. At both the first and second endline surveys, treatment households reported an increase in revenue coming from chickens. However, most of the chickens had died by the time of the second endline survey, leading to a decline in overall assets owned relative to the comparison group, and there was no difference in consumption among households who participated in the Graduation program and those that did not.

Cost-benefit analysis: As the program did not have lasting positive impacts on consumption and asset holdings, Honduras was the only evaluated country in which the program’s costs outweighed participant benefits. Researchers calculated total implementation and program costs to be US$1,335 per household (2014 PPP US$3,090). Estimated (lack of) benefits for four years of consumption and assets declines amounted to a loss of 2014 PPP US$6,118 per household, representing an overall negative return of 198 percent.

Banerjee, Abhijit, Esther Duflo, Nathanael Goldberg, Dean Karlan, Robert Osei, William Parienté, Jeremy Shapiro, Bram Thuysbaert, and Christopher Udry. 2015. “A Multi-faceted Program Causes Lasting Progress for the Very Poor: Evidence from Six Countries.” Science 348(6236), doi: 10.1126/science. 1260799.

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KERRY GLASGOWIS HUMANITY'S LAST BEST CHANCE - Join search for Sustainaabilty's Curricula

Dear Robert - you kindly asked for a short email so that you could see if there is a CGTN anchor in east coast who might confidentially share views with my expectation of how only Asian young women cultural movements (parenting and community depth but amplified by transparent tech in life shaping markets eg health, food, nature..) can return sustainability to all of us
three of my father's main surveys in The Economist 1962-1977 explain imo where future history will take us (and so why younger half of world need friendship/sustainable adaptation with Chinese youth -both on mainland and diaspora)
 1962 consider japan approved by JF Kennedy: argued good news - 2 new economic models were emerging through japan korea south and taiwan relevant to all Asia Rising (nrxt to link the whole trading/supply chains of the far east coast down through hong kong and cross-seas at singapore)
1 rural keynsianism ie 100% productivity in village first of all food security- borlaug alumni ending starvation
2 supercity costal trade models which designed hi-tech borderless sme value chains- to build a 20 million person capital or an 8 million person superport you needed the same advances in engineering - partly why this second economic model was win-win for first time since engines begun Glasgow 1760 ; potentially able to leverage tech giant leaps 100 times ahead; the big opportunity von neumann had gifted us - knowhow action networking multiply value application unlike consuming up things
1976 entrepreneurial revolution -translated into italian by prodi - argued that future globalisation big politics big corporate would need to be triangularised by community scaled sme networks- this was both how innovation advancing human lot begins and also the only way to end poverty in the sense of 21st C being such that next girl born can thrive because every community taps in diversity/safety/ valuing child and health as conditions out of which intergenerational economic growth can spring
in 1977 fathers survey of china - argued that there was now great hope that china had found the system designs that would empower a billion people to escape from extreme poverty but ultimately education of the one child generation (its tech for human capabilities) would be pivotal ( parallel 1977 survey looked at the futures of half the world's people ie east of iran)
best chris macrae + 1 240 316 8157 washington DC
IN MORE DETAIL TECH HUMAN EXPONENTIALS LAST CHANCE DECADE? 
 - we are in midst of unprecedented exponential change (dad from 1960s called death of distance) the  tech legacy of von neumann (dad was his biographer due to luckily meeting him in his final years including neumann's scoping of brain science (ie ai and human i) research which he asked yale to continue in his last lecture series). Exponential risks of extinction track to  mainly western top-down errors at crossroads of tech  over last 60 years (as well as non transparent geonomic mapping of how to reconcile what mainly 10 white empires had monopoly done with machines 1760-1945 and embedded in finance - see eg keynes last chapter of general theory of money); so our 2020s destiny is conditioned by quite simple local time-stamped details but ones that have compounded so that root cause and consequence need exact opposite of academic silos- so I hope there are some simple mapping points we can agree sustainability and chinese anchors in particular are now urgently in the middle of
Both my father www.normanmacrae.net at the economist and I (eg co-authoring 1984 book 2025 report, retranslated to 1993 sweden's new vikings) have argued sustainability in early 21st c will depend mostly on how asians as 65% of humans advance and how von neumann (or moores law) 100 times more tech every decade from 1960s is valued by society and business.
My father (awarded Japan's Order of Rising Sun and one time scriptwriter for Prince Charles trips to Japan) had served as teen allied bomber command burma campaign - he therefore had google maps in his head 50 years ahead of most media people, and also believed the world needed peace (dad was only journalist at messina birth of EU ) ; from 1960 his Asian inclusion arguments were almost coincidental to Ezra Vogel who knew much more about Japan=China last 2000 years ( additionally  cultural consciousness of silk road's eastern dynamics not golden rule of Western Whites) and peter drucker's view of organisational systems
(none of the 10 people at the economist my father had mentored continued his work past 1993- 2 key friends died early; then the web turned against education-journalism when west coast ventures got taken over by advertising/commerce instead of permitting 2 webs - one hi-trust educational; the other blah blah. sell sell .sex sell. viral trivial and hate politicking)
although i had worked mainly in the far east eg with unilever because of family responsibilities I never got to china until i started bumping into chinese female graduates at un launch of sdgs in 2015- I got in 8 visits to beijing -guided by them around tsinghua, china centre of globalisation, a chinese elder Ying Lowrey who had worked on smes in usa for 25 years but was not jack ma's biographer in 2015 just as his fintech models (taobao not alibaba) were empowering villagers integration into supply chains; there was a fantastic global edutech conference dec 2016 in Tsinghua region (also 3 briefings by Romano Prodi to students) that I attended connected with  great womens education hero bangladesh's fazle abed;  Abed spent much of hs last decade hosting events with chinese and other asian ambassadors; unite university graduates around sdg projects the world needed in every community but which had first been massively demonstrated in asia - if you like a version of schwarzman scholars but inclusive of places linking all deepest sustainability goals challenges 
and i personally feel learnt a lot from 3 people broadcasting from cgtn you and the 2 ladies liu xin and  tian wei (they always seemed to do balanced interviews even in the middle of trump's hatred campaigns), through them I also became a fan of father and daughter Jin at AIIB ; i attended korea's annual general meet 2017 of aiib; it was fascinating watching bankers for 60 countries each coming up with excuses as to why they would not lead on infrastructure investments (even though the supercity economic model depends on that)
Being a diaspora scot and a mathematician borders (managers who maximise externalisation of risks) scare me; especially rise of nationalist ones ;   it is pretty clear historically that london trapped most of asia in colomisdation ; then bankrupted by world war 2 rushed to independence without the un or anyone helping redesign top-down systems ; this all crashed into bangladesh the first bottom up collaboration women lab ; ironically on health, food security, education bangladesh and chinese village women empowerment depended on sharing almost every village microfranchise between 1972 and 2000 especially on last mile health networking
in dads editing of 2025 from 1984 he had called for massive human awareness by 2001 of mans biggest risk being discrepancies in incomes and expectations of rich and poor nations; he suggested that eg public broadcast media could host a reality tv end poverty entrepreneur competition just as digital media was scaling to be as impactful as mass media
that didnt happen and pretty much every mess - reactions to 9/11, failure to do ai of epidemics as priority from 2005 instead of autonomous cars, failure to end long-term carbon investments, subprime has been rooted in the west not having either government nor big corporate systems necessary to collaboratively value Asian SDG innovations especially with 5g
I am not smart enough to understand how to thread all the politics now going on but in the event that any cgtn journalist wants to chat especially in dc where we could meet I do not see humans preventing extinction without maximising chinese youth (particularly womens dreams); due to covid we lost plans japan had to relaunch value of female athletes - so this and other ways japan and china and korea might have regained joint consciousness look as if they are being lost- in other words both cultural and education networks (not correctly valued by gdp news headlines) may still be our best chance at asian women empowerment saving us all from extinction but that needs off the record brainstorming as I have no idea what a cgtn journalist is free to cover now that trump has turned 75% of americans into seeing china as the enemy instead of looking at what asian policies of usa hurt humans (eg afghanistan is surely a human wrong caused mostly by usa); a; being a diaspora scot i have this naive idea that we need to celebrate happiness of all peoples an stop using media to spiral hatred across nations but I expect that isnt something an anchor can host generally but for example if an anchor really loves ending covid everywhere then at least in that market she needs to want to help united peoples, transparency of deep data etc

2021 afore ye go to glasgow cop26-

please map how and why - more than 3 in 4 scots earn their livelihoods worldwide not in our homeland- that requires hi-trust as well as hi-tech to try to love all cultures and nature's diversity- until mcdonalds you could use MAC OR MC TO identify our community engaging networks THAT SCALED ROUND STARTING UP THE AGE OF HUMANS AND MACHINES OF GKASGOW UNI 1760 1 2 3 - and the microfranchises they aimed to sustain  locally around each next child born - these days scots hall of fame started in 1760s around   adam smith and james watt and 195 years later glasgow engineering BA fazle abed - we hope biden unites his irish community building though cop26 -ditto we hope kamalA values gandhi- public service - but understand if he or she is too busy iN DC 2021 with covid or finding which democrats or republicans or american people speak bottom-up sustainable goals teachers and enrrepreneurs -zoom with chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk if you are curious - fanily foundation of the economist's norman macrae- explorer of whether 100 times more tehc every decade since 1945 would end poverty or prove orwell's-big brother trumps -fears correct 2025report.com est1984 or the economist's entreprenerialrevolutionstarted up 1976 with italy/franciscan romano prodi

help assemble worldrecordjobs.com card pack 1in time for games at cop26 glasgow nov 2021 - 260th year of machines and humans started up by smith and watt- chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk- co-author 2025report.com, networker foundation of The Economist's Norman Macrae - 60s curricula telecommuting andjapan's capitalist belt roaders; 70s curricula entreprenurial revolution and poverty-ending rural keynesianism - library of 40 annual surveys loving win-wins between nations youth biographer john von neumann


http://plunkettlakepress.com/jvn.html

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