assachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA has
been associated with the research of the CUF-THP Program in Murshidabad district of
West Bengal ever since its inception.
Findings of ultra-poor program shared at a press conference
and published in the prestigious ‘Science’ journal
press conference titled ‘A Livelihood Programme That
Works for India’s Ultra-Poor: New study in Science’ was organized on May 15, 2015
at the Press Club, Kolkata. This was done to create awareness about the findings from
a landmark study being published in the ‘Science’ journal focusing on a livelihoods
programme that has found to be consistently effective in bringing the ultra-poor out
of poverty across continents.
he study is based on six rigorous randomized evaluations
conducted across India (by Bandhan in West Bengal), Pakistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras,
and Peru by eminent researchers including from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
and Yale. The data shows that this approach led to large and lasting impacts on the standard
of living of these ultra-poor.
ccording to study co-author Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Professor of
Economics and Director of Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT, "The ultra-poor
face several challenges, beyond just not having sufficient income. They don’t have adequate food
or means to save, and suffer from low morale to escape from their current situation. The approach
we evaluated addressed several of these factors at once, and the positive gains in income, livelihoods
and health persisted even one year after the programme ended”.
he press conference was attended by Mr. John Floretta, Deputy Director,
J-PAL South Asia and Mr. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, Founder, Bandhan. Prof. Banerjee joined the conference
on Skype, shared the study results, policy relevance and also answered the questions raised by the
r. Ghosh shared the importance of the study and also spoke of scale-up
efforts of its Targeting the Hard core Poor (THP) Program. The study report says that the program is cost
effective, with positive returns in five out of six countries, ranging from 133 percent in Ghana to 433
percent in India that were sustained one year after the end of the program. Bandhan’s program has been
adjudged as the most cost effective.