Relative Effectiveness of Alternative Microfinance-Driven Poverty Alleviation Programs in Bangladesh (BOK)
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In general, the effectiveness of microfinance-driven poverty-alleviation programs run by Government Organizations (GOs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in developing countries, such as Bangladesh, is assessed by repayment rates, the number of beneficiaries, the area coverage, the amount of loans disbursed, the cost of operations, profitability, and the financial sustainability of the projects. This study argues that these methods are quite restrictive since none of them reflect the perceptions of poor people concerning the effectiveness of such projects. Development agencies such as GOs and NGOs have never been compared on the basis of service delivery effectiveness (a processed based comparison); nor have they ever been compared on the basis of their relative contribution to raising the living standards of the poor (an outcome based comparison). Both types of comparison are crucial to poverty reduction. The main reason behind the absence of such comparisons is the unavailability of the appropriate parameters that could be used for such analysis. For the process-based comparison, this study develops and validates a two-dimensional multi-item service delivery effectiveness scale through construct, convergent, discriminant and nomological validity. The scale captures different aspects of effectiveness in the delivery of services. These aspects are termed the 'credibility dimension' and the 'focus towards beneficiaries dimension' of service delivery in poverty-alleviation programs. For the output-based comparison, this study also develops and validates a 'multidimensional poverty model' to compare the effectiveness of GOs and NGOs in contributing to the economic, social, political, and cultural elements in the lives of the poor. The methodology is based on 930 samples collected from 12 districts and 107 randomly chosen villages in Bangladesh during September-December 2009.