We are grateful to our interpreter, Tomann A.Siddique, Syed Hashemi, Lynne Paquette and the interview team and staff at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.


The Bangladesh context

This chapter examines the performance and impact of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee’s (BRAC’s) Rural Development Programme (RDP), and the Government of Bangladesh’s Thana Resource Development and Employment Programme (TRDEP) (under the Ministry of Youth), based on a three-month field study in 1992-3. Both schemes have similarities with the model of credit delivery first developed by the Grameen Bank in the late 1970s-perhaps the best-known credit institution in the country, and one of the most renowned across the developing world. Like the Grameen Bank, BRAC’s RDP and TRDEP are targeted at the ‘functionally landless’ rural poor; they issue mostly small, uncollateralised one-year term loans to individuals belonging to jointly liable peer groups; and they use similar on-site loan disbursement and weekly collection methods by forming village organisations (VOs) or centres (kendras). However, both BRAC and TRDEP have operational elements which are distinct, as discussed below; and they are, in their own right, part of Bangladesh’s diversity of innovative credit schemes.