Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Challenge Fund, Bangladesh



Management of a major Challenge Fund (total value of £84 million over 8 years) designed to channel DFID funding to the NGO sector in Bangladesh to lift one million people out of poverty. The programme involves working directly with government to address issues related to extreme poverty, including changing government policy, improving interaction with civil society, promotion and awareness raising of poverty reduction initiatives.

The programme gives priority to lesson-learning, communications and experience-sharing across the Government of Bangladesh portfolio for the extreme poor, and with other programmes. As part of this process the fund has adopted an advocacy role within Bangladeshi society to raise awareness of issues and to stimulate a national dialogue on a wide range of subjects.

The Management Team are also responsible for monitoring and evaluating progress of all funded projects. The management team has jointly developed a framework to ensure that a multi-dimensional understanding of extreme poverty and related factors, including climate change are fully developed both in the Challenge Fund itself and externally.

Ecorys is providing the following types of services:

  • Project Management: responsible for the overall management of the Challenge Fund, management of international and domestic consultants and support staff, co-ordination and networking with other donor funded projects in Bangladesh, the design of ToRs, reporting to DFID and the Government of Bangladesh and project procurement;
  • Production of technical and policy papers and advocacy articles on climate change: conference papers, journal articles and newspaper articles;
  • Grant fund management: design, assessment and implementation of three separate funding streams providing grants to NSAs and NGOs working in poverty alleviation;
  • NGO and NSA capacity building support: provision of training, institutional strengthening, lesson learning support and monitoring and evaluation improvements, particularly for field based operations;
  • Technical assistance: provision of specialist poverty alleviation policy and programme advice to key stakeholders, including DFID, GoB, NSAs and NGOs;
  • Monitoring and evaluation: establishment of high quality monitoring and evaluation processes and management information systems in both EEP and in recipients of EEP funding;
  • Networking and Lesson Learning: the establishment of local and international networks designed to share lessons learned and to improve design and implementation of poverty alleviation programmes.