Final evaluation of UPP-Ujjibito Project

Another 183,000 families pulled out from extreme poverty
Finds final evaluation of UPP-Ujjibito Project

In continuation of PKSF’s effective interventions to alleviate poverty in Bangladesh, its recently completed and highly acclaimed project — Food Security 2012 Bangladesh-Ujjibito — has helped 183,000 poor households successfully graduate from extreme poverty. This was revealed in the Final Evaluation Report, presented by Dr Baqui Khalily, Professor, Dhaka University, in the closing ceremony of the Project at PKSF Bhaban on 15 September 2019.

Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), was the Chief Guest at the event chaired by PKSF Managing Director Mr Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah. Mr Arijit Chowdhury, Additional Secretary, Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh (GoB), and Mr Manfred Fernholz, First Secretary, Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, were present as Special Guests.

Representatives from the European Union (EU) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), PKSF’s Partner Organizations (POs) and the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) of GoB were present in the programme.

Funded by the European Union, the ‘Food Security 2012 Bangladesh-Ujjibito’ project was jointly implemented by PKSF and LGED from November 2013 to April 2019, with two basic components: 1) cash for work, and 2) skills and capacity development as well as awareness raising activities for the extreme poor. LGED implemented Component 1 styled as ‘Rural Employment and Road Maintenance Programme-2 (RERMP-2), while PKSF realised Component 2 titled ‘Ultra Poor Programme (UPP)-Ujjibito’.

The UPP-Ujjibito has been implemented in 1,724 Unions of Bangladesh through 36 POs. The working areas include all unions of Barisal, Khulna and Rajshahi divisions, and the coastal Unions of Lakshmipur, Noakhali, Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar districts of Chattogram division. The project focused on reduction of hunger and poverty in Bangladesh in a sustainable manner. PKSF took various initiatives (e.g. agro-based, non-agricultural, technical training, technical assistance, awareness development, risk management fund etc.) for sustainable progress of approximately 325,000 extreme-poor households of the areas noted above through ensuring nutrition security, developing capacity of purchasing power of non-food products, resource generation as well as improvement of social status.

The Final Evaluation Report states that apart from the successfully graduated households, the remaining 142,000 extreme poor households have been enabled to enjoy sustainable and decent means of living, sustainable development of health and nutrition and increased participation in social activities and increased social empowerment.

The realistic and effective innovative activities of the project can be replicated in other projects. These activities include ‘1000-day Special Health and Nutrition Service for antenatal, neonatal and child care, Ujjibito Adolescent Clubs to increase health and social awareness, Alor Karkhana libraries for community-based knowledge sharing and social development at the local level, disability-friendly mobile training facilities, livelihood activities suitable for trans-gender for social inclusion, Ujjibito Primary and Secondary School Forums, and Ujjibito Nutrition Villages to raise the health and social awareness for children and adolescents.

The Final Evaluation Report also concluded that self-employment training, technical assistance, and skill development training significantly accelerate the process of graduating from extreme poverty. Access to financial services makes a more effective impact when skill development training is tied to it. Multi-dimensional interventions like dietary diversity and women empowerment will make lasting impacts on sustainable poverty alleviation.