The Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Programme(EEP)/SHIREE (Stimulating Household Improvements Resulting in Economic Empowerment) is a very important programme being implemented in Bangladesh.I am taking the opportunity to introduce the programme on the basis of its website,http://www.shiree.org and contents given in the LinkedIn group.
The Economic Empowerment of the Poorest (EEP)/shiree programme is a partnership between the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) under the Rural Development and Cooperative Division (RDCD) of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) to lift 1 million people out of extreme poverty by 2015.
The shiree/EEP programme is worth over £71 million (around USD$110 million) across an 8 year period (2008-2015). The name SHIREE – the Bangla word for steps and an acronym for “Stimulating Household Improvements Resulting in Economic Empowerment” – reflects the core approach of the programme which is to provide households with the support needed to start and to continue climbing out of extreme poverty.
Harewelle International Ltd and PMTC Bangladesh Ltd manage the Fund in consultation with consortium partners including the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) at Bath University, the British Council and Unnayan Shamannay. EEP/shiree is one in DFID’s portfolio of projects designed to reduce extreme poverty and vulnerability in Bangladesh.
The EEP/shiree programme currently has 36 projects with partner NGOs. The partnership encompasses specific economic empowerment sub projects under Scale and Innovation Funds but also a growing research and advocacy agenda.
The Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Programme(EEP)/SHIREE (Stimulating Household Improvements Resulting in Economic Empowerment) aims to support the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.
SHIREE funds a variety of programmes which together aim to enable over 1 million people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty and achieve sustainable livelihoods by 2015. At the same time, the programme seeks to reduce the vulnerability of the extreme poor to natural disasters, economic shocks, social exclusion and undernutrition. Shiree is also committed to addressing the needs of extremely poor women, children, the elderly and ethnic minorities and marginalised groups.
In addition to supporting direct interventions, EEP/SHIREE supports high-quality research and disseminates lessons learned and key findings from the programme’s experience with the aim of transforming the way in which extreme poverty is approached by government, donors, NGOs and the public. It seeks to increase the knowledge base on the distinct experiences of extreme poverty in Bangladesh, and to raise awareness of extreme poverty in an international context..
EEP/SHIREE’s specific outputs are:
Output 1 – Scale Fund: Proven approaches to improving the livelihoods of the extreme poor taken to scale.
Output 2 – Innovation Fund: Innovative approaches to improve the livelihoods of the extreme poor tested, evaluated and successes ready for scaling up
Output 3 – Research and Lesson Learning: Increasing consistency in the understanding, sharing and application of approaches to addressing extreme poverty.
Output 4 – Advocacy: Policy and practice at local and national levels shows increasing recognition of the needs of the extreme poor.
Output 5 – Nutrition: Direct nutrition support integrated across Shiree Scale Fund. Innovative approaches to improve protein intake among key groups tested and evaluated.
Who will benefit
EEP/shiree aims to address the needs of the extreme poor; while there are varying definitions of extreme poverty, shiree beneficiary households fall well within the poorest 10% of the Bangladeshi population. This marginalized segment of the population includes households who are often affected by:
- chronic malnutrition;
- insecure employment;
- lack of shelter;
- limited or no assets;
- little social or political capital;
- limited ability to withstand shocks; and
- poor access to health, education and other basic services.
Extreme poverty is a complex and dynamic phenomenon in which numerous social, cultural and health factors influence a household’s ability to lift itself out of poverty or to sustain positive gains. shiree is helping the poorest households who have failed to benefit from economic growth, social protection mechanisms and other development programmes. In particular the focus is on:
The extreme vulnerable poor who are economically active yet marginalised (e.g. fragmented female-headed households and socially excluded ethnic minorities).
The extreme dependent poor who are economically inactive and rely heavily or solely on charity or government safety nets (e.g. the disabled or elderly without family support).
An important goal of the EEP/shiree programme is to deliver the Challenge Fund as a consistent and fully integrated response to eradicating extreme poverty in Bangladesh, rather than a series of single or unrelated interventions. The team’s approach to realising this end is based on the following guiding principles:
- Excellence in programme planning and operational management
- A partnership relationship with implementing NGOs
- A demand driven approach – implying continuous engagement with beneficiary households
- Sustaining the focus on extreme poverty – not allowing programme drift
- Delivery of programme benefits to the poorest and most vulnerable areas of Bangladesh
- Continued focus on “Value for Money and Impact for Money”
- Integration of research and advocacy activities within the broad programme framework – drawing on implementation experience to ensure relevant research and advocacy outputs
- Fostering learning, creativity and innovation
- Zero-tolerance towards corruption based on principles of transparency, equity, competition and accountability
- Teamwork and a commitment to personal development
Where we work
SHIREE works in different geographic location of Bangladesh. The following map shows district-wise distribution of implementing NGOs.
Click on a shiree logo to see the name of the district and name of the NGOs working there. Click on the name of the NGO and you can visit the web site of the implementing NGO.
The short description also comes with beneficiary household (BHH) target by the project period.
The portfolio of SHIREE sub projects is concentrated in 5 distinct geographical regions that experience a high incidence of extreme poverty. These are:
- The Northwest (especially affected by seasonal hunger)
- The Southern coastal belt (most vulnerable to severe climatic shocks including cyclones)
- The Chittagong Hill Tracts
- The Northeast haor region
- Dhaka urban slums
View Working area of shiree in a larger map
GOVERNMENT OF BANGLADESH PROJECT DIRECTOR
Md. Asadul Islam joined EEP/Shiree as the Project Director in July 2010. He is a civil servant with a background of working in field administration, Magistracy, Collectorate and in Ministries and Directorates. He obtained M.Sc. in Entomology (1st Class) from the University of Dhaka in 1978 (held in 1982) and MBA from Bangladesh Open University. He joined the Bangladesh Civil Service (Administration) through the Special BCS 1982 as a Magistrate. He stood 1st in the 46th Senior Staff Course in the BPATC. Prior to joining the EEP team, he was the Director of Administration in the Directorate of Relief & Rehabilitation. Throughout his career, he has contributed to a diverse number of projects and initiatives of the GoB in different capacities. His expertise is in the area of ICTs, resource mobilisation, natural disaster management and human resources management. He contributed to the launching of the Early Warning Cell Broadcasting System through Cell phones (a Disaster Management & Relief Division and A2I initiative of the GoB). He has mentored the MATT2 (Management at the Top-2) PIP Team thrice (a GoB and DFID initiative under the Ministry of Public Administration in Bangladesh). He has received trainings on Regional Disaster Management from Bournemouth University, UK; Innovations in Capacity Building for Education and Development in the School of Policy, Planning and Development in the University of Southern California, Disaster management course in South Korea etc. He has visited UK, USA, Australia and other countries. Asadul Islam is also an active member of various academic, social and professional organizations including the ‘Dhaka University Registered Graduate Forum’, ‘Dhaka University Alumni Association’, ‘Dhaka University Zoologists Forum’, ‘West End 1971 Forum’, etc. He is blessed with a son Anharul Islam and a daughter Auruba Islam..
MANAGEMENT CONSORTIUM: PROGRAMME DIRECTOR
John Woolner is the Chairman of Harewelle International Limited, incorporating PMTC International, PMTC (Bangladesh) Limited and ULG International Limited. John has experience working with local governance, community development, sustainable livelihoods, particularly focusing on small farmers, fisher folk, and women. This has covered all aspects of vocational training and institutional strengthening. Administration and management, the fundamentals for DFID interventions and John oversees the delivery of overseas project proposals, planning, design and evaluation, reporting, budgeting and financial control. John is also an avid bird watcher and nature lover.
Monjur Hossain is Managing Director of PMTC Bangladesh Limited. Following his earlier career as a senior in the Plantation Industry, Monjur has been involved in the development aid sector since the late 1990s and is a recognized professional in Project Management. He has been the Project Director for numerous projects with a wide-array of different donors including DFID, SDC, USAID, DANIDA and ADB. As an Attorney of Harewelle, Monjur is a signatory in the execution of the accountable grant agreements between NGOs and EEP/shiree Programme and supports that programme in matters concerning HRM.
THE SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM
In 2010 SHIREE formed a Senior Management Team (SMT) to provide overall programme direction and oversight under the Chairmanship of CEO. The SMT meets regularly and has been successful in bringing a new coherence and drive to this large and complex programme.
Colin Risner joined shiree as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in May 2010. He has prior experience of working in Bangladesh having been a team leader for a major DFID/World Bank funded project (ASSP/ASIRP) between 1997 and 2001, as well as undertaking a number of short term assignments. Colin started out as a lecturer in economics before joining a large UK local authority, transitioning into development work via a range of local government related assignments in the 1990s. Since leaving Bangladesh in 2001 he has worked in 15 African and Asian countries on projects ranging from the macro and strategic (country programme reviews, donor harmonisation, public sector reform), to operational level interventions (community driven development, gender auditing and organisation development). Immediately prior to joining shiree, he spent 6 months establishing a civil society sector monitoring project in Ethiopia. Colin has a wide range of experience but his focus throughout has been on facilitating local ownership, exploring innovative approaches and helping teams to perform to their potential. Principles that he is building on in shiree. He has been based in Cornwall for the last 10 years and still harbours ambitions to become a passable surfer – although time is fast catching up with him!