ASC-IIAS Working Paper

Bangladesh field report : defining, targeting and reaching the very poor

Anika Altaf

The Working Paper 126 on Bangladesh is a co-production with the African Studies Centre Leiden.

The research project 'Defining, targeting and reaching the very poor' has resulted in 5 Working Papers. These volumes are field reports on Bangladesh (pdf; Working Paper 126), Benin (pdf; Working Paper 127), Jeldu, Ethiopia (pdf; Working Paper 128), Addis Ababa (pdf; Working Paper 129) and finally aSynthesis (pdf; Working Paper 130).


From 2007 onwards, the PADev (Participatory Assessment of Development) research project started to focus on the assessment of development interventions from the perception of recipients in Burkina Faso and Ghana. One of the most important and striking conclusions of this study was its failure to reach the poor and the very poor, meaning that the bulk of interventions were not reaching these groups. Development organizations thus have to struggle with the question about whether to adjust their current targeting practices or to redefine their target groups.

About the author

Anika Altaf is currently working on her PhD on how to target the ultra poor in poverty-alleviation initiatives. Her research aims to discover how extremely poor people can benefit on a long-term basis from such actions. In addition, she is attempting to find out who the ultra poor are and the struggles they face. Her research is being carried out in Bangladesh, Benin and Ethiopia using the PADev methodology and she is trying to connect Asian experiences (in a country where NGOs are experimenting with and developing methods to reach the ultra poor) with African experiences.

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Image: Slum dweller living in Zenebe Work, Addis Ababa