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PDF_logo Designing Social Protection for the Rural Poor: Learning from Lessons on the Ground

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Designing Social Protection for the Rural Poor: Learning from Lessons on the Ground


Paper No:31

Author:S. R. Osmani

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Pages:29

This paper seeks guidance for future directions of a social protection system in rural Bangladesh on the basis of lessons learnt on the ground. For this purpose, an attempt was made to glean insights about the strengths and weaknesses of the existing social protection system by utilising a large-scale poverty survey that is representative of rural Bangladesh. Careful empirical investigation shows that despite the fact that the existing system is reasonably progressive in the incidence of benefits, the system has failed to achieve the major objectives of serving the interest of disadvantaged groups by shoring up their living standard, by enabling them to cope better with periodic crises and by preventing them from falling down the asset ladder. The proximate reasons for this failure are two-fold. First, the aggregate amount of benefits is abysmally small in relation to the need; and secondly, even the small amount that is available is distributed heavily in favour of better-off households.

 
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