Rural development is one of the most important strategies for poverty reduction in Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh emphasizes poverty reduction through sustainable economic growth, rural development and improved infrastructure. To support these efforts, international donor agencies had financed the construction of small-scale rural infrastructure and had provided technical assistance to plan, construct, and maintain these schemes. There was an urgent need to optimize the combination of different schemes and to establish an effective coordination framework. The issues included more effective planning, implementation, operation and maintenance, and participation of stakeholders.
The objectives of IC Net’s study were to: 1) analyze the institutional framework, coordination among concerned agencies, status of participation, lessons learned, and impacts from past and on-going SSRI development projects and programs; and 2) recommend effective and efficient mechanisms for developing SSRI.
IC Net evaluated the outcomes and impacts of past SSRI development projects and proposed recommendations for future SSRI development. The study focused on projects implemented by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), the Department of Public Health Engineering, and the Rural Electrification Board. IC Net reviewed and analyzed the impacts derived from the improvement of Union and Upazila roads, growth centers and rural markets, and from the establishment of Union Parishad complexes, water supply and sanitation facilities, rural electricity, and small-scale water resources.
IC Net carried out a household survey of 800 households in the project area. IC Net developed analytical frameworks, questionnaires and data processing procedures, and supervised data entry and cleaning of data. IC Net worked with national consultants to conduct and supervise the analyses and the socioeconomic interpretation of the results obtained. In addition, IC Net coordinated discussions between LGED and JICA on lessons learned and the policy implications of the study results.