The Growth of Microfinance and Social Safety Nets:

The Growth of Microfinance and Social Safety Nets: A Case of Bangladesh Case Study

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INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

In recent years, Bangladesh has witnessed substantial reduction in the number of people that are living under both lower and upper poverty lines (Yuge, 2011). The changes in the social structure, living standards have revolved around development in social safety net programs and development of microfinance subsector (Yuge, 2010). Microfinance and social safety nets have developed at a great margin in Bangladesh since the first microfinance pilot experiments and programs were carried out by BRAC and Grameen Bank. Specifically, the research will evaluate three microfinance institutions that will help to arrive at a generalizable conclusion; the institutions are, BRAC, Grameen Bank, and Proshika.

Facts And Figures from the Three Microfinance Institutions

  1. BRAC

Formed in 1972, BRAC is the world largest non-governmental development organization and it is based in Bangladesh. The organization has presence in all the 64 Bangladesh districts and in other countries in Americas, Africa, and Asia, employs more than 115, 000 people (with women making about 70%) and reaches about 126 million people. BRAC is 70-80% self-funded through various commercial enterprises such as food and dairy project. The objective of BRAC as to empower women and eradicate poverty through education, public health, promotion of gender equality and offering disaster relief (BRAC, 2016).

  1. Grameen Bank

Founded in 1983, the Dhaka based Grameen Bank deals with giving micro-loans to the impoverished with no collateral requirement. The bank was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 together with its founder. The bank runs the low cost housing in Bangladesh which saw it win World Habitat Award in 2008. It has presence in more than 2565 locations in Bangladesh employing about 22, 149 people (Grameen Bank, 2016).

  1. PROSHIKA

Established in 1975, PROSHIKA, is an NGO based in Bangladesh that aims at creating self-development to the rural poor. The organization has created more than 12.33 million self-employment through its programs and achieved to alleviate over 1 million families out of poverty. The organization offers a broad range of programs that include employment generation, education and training, building health infrastructure, employment generation, and environmental protection in initiatives (PROSHIKA, 2016)

Significance and Motivation of the Study

Most of the existing studies look at the extent to which Bangladesh economic performance have affected the sub microfinance sector in the industry (Godquin, 2014). Some school of thoughts argues that the best indicator of measuring growth is by comparing the performance with that of the peers in other regions around the world (Ali, Islam, and Hatta, 2015). Many of the studies carried out based on this philosophy, are skewed toward showing that Bangladesh microfinances is immature and underdeveloped given the time that has passed since the first microfinance pilot experiments and programs were carried out by BRAC and Grameen Bank (Barkat, et al., 2013). Moreover, majority of the studies look at the social nets and microfinance in Bangladesh in terms of their current benefit to the social welfare. However, the proposed study will look at their benefit, value, and size over the years which will help to fill existing information gap concerning their historical growth (Raihan, 2013). As such, the study will seek to look at the growth of the microfinance and social nets in right of how they have attained their key objectives of improving health, reducing poverty, empowering women and bettering the education.

The findings of this study will be vital to the microfinance stakeholders as it will provide vital information such as the way in which microfinance have improve or failed to improve the life of the Bangladesh residents which will influence the kind of social and business models decisions that they make (Pradhan, Mohd and Sulaiman, 2013). The findings will help them to come up with competitive business strategies that will help to make the microfinance sector in Bangladesh a more success (Meyer, 2012). On addition to this, the findings will help to fill the existing knowledge gap about the extent to which the microfinance and social safety nets have grown and improved the welfare of the Bangladesh community (Hulme and Moore, 2015). The growth of microfinance and social safety nets will be looked at using a multidimensional model that will factor in the growth regarding social development and institutional development. Using multidimensional model will help to integrate all factors that affect the growth of microfinance and social safety nets and thus arrive at a more generalizable and reliable findings (Chowdhury et al., 2013).

Aims and Objectives

Aim

The aim of this study will be:

To evaluate the growth of microfinance and social safety nets using a case study of Bangladesh microfinance institutions represented by BRAC, Grameen Bank, and Proshika How are these case studies affected into women empowerment, poverty reduction, better education, health improvisation, and income/asset growth variables at the national level?

Objectives

  1. Evaluate the annual assets and performance of three microfinance institutions (BRAC, Grameen Bank, and Proshika) in Bangladesh over the years by determining the extent to which the microfinance and social safety net have grown; will be evaluated by using data obtained from the managers who operate in these sectors.
  2. Determine the factors that led to the growth in Microfinance and Social safety nets in Bangladesh. The factors will be obtained using both primary and secondary data. Primary data will be obtained from interviews the managers while the secondary data will be taken from the literature review.
  • Identify various social and economic impact of the growth in microfinance and social safety nets by evaluating the poverty, health access, women empowerment and education access indices in Bangladesh and their changes over the years.
  1. Offer recommendations to the microfinance stakeholders on the best way to regulate and stimulate growth in the microfinance sector. The recommendations will be based on the research findings and will be helpful in order to identify the areas that have not been tackled in the research and to propose a way of using the findings of the research in a practical approach.

STRUCTURE OF THE DISSERTATION

Literature Review

The literature will evaluate the past studies and scholarly articles that compare and contrast the performance of BRAC, Grameen Bank, and Proshika regarding women empowerment, poverty reduction, better education, health improvisation, and income and asset growth. Literature review will present arguments that are selected with a bias to flow along with the hypothesis of the research.

Research Methodology

The research will use cross-sectional design. The study will use primary data, and secondary. The primary data collection tools…………………………..

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