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Development assistance in Bangladesh

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Building resilience by reducing vulnerability and improving inclusion in the growing economy in Bangladesh


Around 75 million Bangladeshis either live in poverty or are at risk of falling into poverty. This means it is difficult for large parts of the Bangladesh population to develop the skills or assets needed to get decent jobs or to safely access funds to invest into the market. Being excluded from these opportunities perpetuates the poor's isolation from the economy and constrains growth as a result.

Australia is assisting extremely poor women to find pathways out of poverty, building on the lessons and successes of our previous investments. Livelihoods programs provide people with cash transfers, productive assets, training and access to free health services. This package of support has been proven to increase income-earning capacity amongst the poor.

Related initiatives

BRAC Strategic Partnership Arrangement

$95 million, 2016-2020

BRAC is one of the largest non-government organisations in the world, and affects the lives of 110 million people in Bangladesh alone. Australia's Strategic Partnership Arrangement with BRAC and the UK Government is an innovative approach to delivering aid through non-government organisations. It allows BRAC to decide how to allocate pooled funds from development partners for its programs. These programs deliver basic education services, skills training and livelihoods assistance to build resilience amongst the poorest and most marginalised communities in Bangladesh, particularly women and children.

Chars Livelihoods Program and Strengthening Government Social Protection Systems for the Poor in Bangladesh

$9.2 million, 2014-2018

Funding under these initiatives provides support for the extreme poor to build pathways out of poverty and promote economic inclusion. The Chars Livelihood Program is improving the livelihoods, incomes and food security of approximately 68,000 families living on the isolated 'chars' (river islands) of north-western Bangladesh – a pocket of extreme poverty.

Strengthening Government Social Protection Systems will contribute to policy reform that promotes poverty reduction and economic empowerment in Bangladesh. International evidence shows that effective social protection programs contribute to poverty reduction and the growth of a productive middle class.

In addition to having a direct impact on communities, these programs have provided Australia with an opportunity to engage in policy dialogue on social protection. Australia has supported the Government of Bangladesh to develop a national social protection strategy.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
QAE- Bangladesh Chars Livelihoods 2010 Plan
2011 Bangladesh Annual Program Performance Report 2012 Performance report
Independent impact Assessment of the Chars Livelihoods Program Phase 1 2012 Independent evaluation
Independent Impact Assessment of the Chars Lifelihoods Program Phase 1 – management response 2013 Independent evaluation
2012-13 Bangladesh Aid Program Performance Report 2013 Performance report
2013-14 Bangladesh Annual Program Performance Report 2014 Performance report
Annual Review 2014 Chars Livelihood Programme- Summary 2014 Annual review
Chars Livelihoods Program Logframe 2014 Performance report
2014-15 Bangladesh Annual Program Performance Report 2015 Performance report
Annual Review 2015 Chars Livelihood Programme- Summary 2015 Annual review
2015-16 Bangladesh Annual Program Performance Report 2016 Performance report
Independent Evaluation of DFAT's Investment to the World Food Programme for Supporting Vulnerable Communities in Cox's Bazar and Management Response 2018 Independent evaluation
Independent Mid Term Review (MTR) of DFAT’s Strategic Partnership Arrangement (SPA) Phase 2 in Bangladesh with BRAC and DFID 2019 Independent evaluation

Related links

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.


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