Resilience among the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh - Report

Mathilde Rose Louise Maitrot, Joe Devine, Geof Wood

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Over the last 8 years, UK-DFID has funded the EEP-Shiree programme to ‘graduate’ 1 million people out of extreme poverty, focussing upon the poorest as targeted beneficiaries.

The method was primarily via asset transfers, the means were via a Challenge Fund supporting partner implementing NGOs, and the measures were embodied in a multidimensional notion of graduation. However, during the period of the programme there was a discourse shift from the static threshold metaphor of ‘graduation’ which says little about sustainability towards the more dynamic and significant notion of ‘resilience’.

So, what is the experience of being extreme poor? Drawing on qualitative data from life histories and tracking studies in EEP-Shiree3, it is clear that there are different routes to becoming extreme poor, which then affect that experience. These routes combine both systemic and idiosyncratic explanations of becoming, living as and sometimes escaping from being extremely poor. The difference between idiosyncratic and systemic explanations is important. Idiosyncratic explanations focus upon personal issues such ill health, disability (physical and mental), elderly family demographics, personal disasters and shocks; systemic explanations refer to the relationships through which extreme poverty has been created or reproduced.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages90
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Poverty alleviation
  • Social policy
  • International development

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