Graduation programmes are a fairly recent development in poverty programming and are typically directed at the ultra-poor. The first (2002) and biggest of these is BRAC’s ‘Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction’ (CFPR) in Bangladesh. The model is now being replicated globally based on evidence of programme success in reducing extreme poverty.
What determines the success of these poverty eradication programmes? Improving our ability to answer this question should lead to improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of programmes. This research will pioneer an interdisciplinary assessment of Bangladesh of BRAC’s’ ‘Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction Programme’ (CFPR) which targets women in ultra-poor households and two other extreme poverty programmes operated by the Bangladesh micro-finance apex organisation – Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation.
The CFPR supports household well-being in three dimensions – material, social and psychological. The support provided to poor women in life planning and in confidence building constitutes the psychological dimension. The policy question for this research is whether there is any evidence that the design of programmes for the ultra-poor should explicitly incorporate a psychological dimension in their package of support? This is a development frontier that poverty reduction programmes have been largely unwilling to explore. The research is using quantitative analysis based on new data to develop a model of psychological well-being.