The University of California, Davis
BACKGROUND AND REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
SHOBUJ SHONA VILLAGE ENTERPRISE PROJECT - An Alternative Model
MAJOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT THEMES IN BANGLADESH - A BRIEF REVIEW
Common Prescriptions for Improving Agriculture in Bangladesh
WOMEN IN BANGLADESH - A BRIEF REVIEW
CURRENT FORCES FOR CHANGE IN BANGLADESH
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee - BRAC
Government Development Efforts
GLOBAL WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
Sexual stereotypes and discrimination
Skills and education
Higher cost of female labor
Spatial separation between home and work place
Inadequate quantitative information about women
Inadequate qualitative information and understanding of women's daily lives
Lack of female staff and inadequate mechanisms for ensuring women's input into project development
Inadequate internal staffing by persons who understand and are commitment to WID programming
Inadequate models and insufficient experience with WID programming to meet women's economic needs
Inadequate commitment of financial resources to WID programming
General problems for women in development projects
"Top-down vs. "Bottom-up" projects
Exclusion from design stages of projects
Traditions, attitudes and prejudices
Poor access to resources
Lack of accurate research and information on women
Violence towards women
Create a double (or triple) burden
Lack of control over income
SSVE CONTRASTED TO CONVENTIONAL WID MODELS
Challenging women's traditional roles
Formally involving the Extended Family
Addressing strategic needs
Challenging local social and economic status quo
Introducing corporate structure into rural Bangladeshi society
Introducing Lemnaceae technology
High degree of beneficiary participation
High degree of interdependence between the villager and external institutional resources
Grameen Bank Model
Shobuj Shona Village Enterprise Model
The Project Goal
Specific Organizational Goals
Shobuj Shona Centers
Shobuj Shona Research and Development Center
ORGANIZATION OF THE SSVE PROJECT
Shobuj Shona Village Unit
Shobuj Shona Center
SSV Enterprises, Inc
Shobuj Shona R&D Center
Shobuj Shona Village Unit
Shobuj Shona Village Coordinator
Shobuj Shona Center
Shobuj Shona Village Enterprises INC
Shobuj Shona Research and Development Center
Landed and landless people working together in mutual self interest
The acquisition of assets by women
The introduction of new labor incentive systems in rural Bangladesh
Rural Bangladeshi farmers participating actively in a franchised for-profit corporate
SS Center Management
Immediately Neighboring Households
General Evaluation Objectives
Evaluation Objectives and Benefits for Stakeholders
Shobuj Shona Center Management
GLOBAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
Effects of project on women
Effects of women on project
Effects of project on female participants households
Degree of women's participation
Female participants's level of job satisfaction
Female work performance
SSC services and women participants
Landed and Landless
SS center Performance
Outside attitudes and interest
Summary Evaluation Description
DEVELOPING EVALUATION TOOLS
Technical Knowledge Assessment
Time Use Studies
Survey Question Formulation Process
Shobuj Shona Center service delivery and performance
Possibility of Female Coordinators
Women's Work Performance
Communications With Male SSVE Members
Relationship With SSVE Unit Members
Incentives for Women SSVE Members
Time usage outside of SSVE work
Survey Evaluation Design
Females of Neighboring Para Households
Females of Neighboring Non-SSVE Village Households
Spouses of Female SSVE Shareholders
Children of Female SSVE Shareholders
Survey Data Collection
Social Science Research Assistant
Technical Duckweed Experts
Capital and Shares
Restrictions on Transfer
Transfer of Shares
Alteration of Share Capital
Vote of Members
Functions of the Directors
Books of Accounts
Accounts and Balance Sheets
Deed of License
General Power of Attorney
SHOBUJ SHONA VILLAGE ENTERPRISE IMAGES
Weights and Measures
Principal Abbreviations and Acronyms Used
Government of Bangladesh
BACKGROUND AND REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
SHOBUJ SHONA VILLAGE ENTERPRISE PROJECT - An Alternative Model
Rebecca Torres, doctoral candidate in Geography at the University of California, Davis (UCD), prepared this monograph as a thesis proposal while she was a Masters student in the International Agricultural Development program at UCD. She also prepared a complete set of survey questionnaires for the proposed evaluation project. The monograph and accompanying survey instruments are available for downloading as zipped WordPerfect files.
A serious episode of pulmonary thrombis prevented Ms. Torres from completing the evalutation she had so carefully crafted. She has asked that it be made available through the Duckweed Clearinghouse in the hopes that it may prove to be of use to other projects conducting similar evaluations.
This document's most important contribution is an excellent comparative review of the Shobuj Shona rural development paradigm which provides a cost-effective and viable alternative to the more common development systems modelled after the successful BRAC and Grameen Bank programs. Included as appendices are all necessary legal documents required to replicate such a Shobuj Shona system in most countries around world - certainly in those nations that have borrowed from the British legal code.
Ms Torres' proposed evaluation was to have focused on the role of women in the Bangladesh Shobuj Shona project. She has, therefore, provided a useful review of global WID and gender issues, in addition to an excellent general introduction to contemporary development issues in Bangladesh.
Finally, the monograph presents a good introdution to "duckweed aquaculture," a new cropping system developed by the PRISM group, which is remarkable for its ability to profitably treat wastewater and generate vast quantities of high protein food (via fish, poultry and livestock) for protein deficient populations.
Following her recovery, Ms Torres completed a Masters Thesis based on her original research on coastal farming communities in Northern Peru. She subsequently conducted an important study of farmers markets in Cuba, and is now engaged in field research examining the linkages between tourism and agriculture in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The latter research will contribute to her doctoral dissertation in Geography at the UCD.
Ms Torres may be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com
The Shobuj Shona Village Enterprise (SSVE) project utilizes an innovative Lemnaceae (Duckweed) technology in a franchise-like network of village enterprises to improve village-level protein production, create employment activities and capitalize poor rural populations. The project targets women, among other landed and landless sectors of the population, in an attempt to empower women and poor people through enterprise, income generation and asset accumulation. This paper proposes a thesis which will describe and evaluate the SSVE model, focusing primarily on women's role in the project. It will concentrates on examining the effects participation has had on female members with respect to their economic condition, social status, and family/household relations. The study will utilize interview surveys, technical knowledge assessment checklists, time use studies and case studies. Surveys will cover all 5 existing SSVE villages, including 15 female participants, 60 male participants, 6 project coordinators, 15 spouses of female participants, 15 children of female participants, 15 females of neighboring para households (non-SSVE), and 10 females of neighboring non-SSVE village households. There will be 136 in total, utilizing 7 distinct survey instruments. Technical knowledge assessments will be employed to observe the technical duckweed production capabilities of 20 (10 male and 10 female) randomly selected SSVE participants, 4 from each of the 5 existing SSVE village corporations. Time use studies to observe female activities will be conducted on 8 randomly selected women, 4 SSVE project participants and 4 non-participants. Case studies of women's lives will be developed based on selected time and motion studies and supplemental interviews.
The PRISM group was founded six years ago as an international non-profit organization focused on generating local and family enterprise within rural communities in developing countries. As put forth in the PRISM mission statement:
"PRISM researches powerful ideas and develops them into innovative opportunities to increase productivity. We want to offer rural families a realistic alternative to either urban flight or further destruction of their environment. We are, therefore, dedicated to creating sustainable, rural enterprises that provide the opportunity to work and prosper."
PRISM Bangladesh was created as an affiliate of the PRISM Group in 1990. PRISM Bangladesh is autonomous and exercises full control over local decision making, yet shares with other member organizations of the PRISM Group a common enterprise-driven approach to rural development. The PRISM Group provides international support and exercises control over decision making at an international level. Both entities share several of the same board members and most projects are collaborative efforts between the two. For the purpose of this paper "PRISM" will refer to the collaborative effort between PRISM Bangladesh and The PRISM Group.
Many of PRISM's core technologies are derived from a 10-year research and development effort concentrated on Lemnaceae ("duckweed"), a family of aquatic macrophytes that contain up to 50% protein and attain production levels exceeding one tonne per hectare per day under favorable conditions. These plants are an excellent protein source for balanced livestock and fish feeds. They can also be eaten directly by humans, either alone, in a salad or as a garnish.
Lemnaceae's rapid growth characteristics, combined with its unique ability to filter solids from water, while simultaneously preventing growth of algae species provides the basis for an efficient water and wastewater treatment system. Lemnaceae wastewater treatment systems developed by PRISM have demonstrated, for the first time, the feasibility of providing comprehensive treatment of a community's wastewater at no cost (to the community). Systems now functioning in Bangladesh and Peru have demonstrated the capability of consistently generating net profits while also treating wastewater to standards higher than the strictest now mandated in the US. Lemnaceae plants also demonstrate halophyte characteristics, allowing cultivation in marginally brackish water and desalination of agricultural runoff..
The Shobuj Shona Village (SSV) Enterprise project in Bangladesh exemplifies PRISM's mission, both to foster rural enterprise and promote increasing application of Lemnaceae technologies. The SSVE project, a collaborative effort between PRISM Bangladesh (local) and The PRISM Group (international), seeks to create opportunities for employment in rural Bangladesh through an integrated aquaculture system based on the semi-intensive, continuous culture of Lemnaceae, and Lemnaceae-fed tilapia and carp species. Support for, and replication of, SSVE project enterprises closely resembles franchise operations now so familiar in western countries. These franchised village units or corporations closely resemble one another, in both form and function, as modern profit-making industries - while still retaining characteristics unique to rural Bangladesh.
A principal objective of the SSVE project is to develop a new model for empowering rural Bangladeshi women through enterprise formation, income generation and asset accumulation. Women become shareholding partners in village level corporations by contributing either labor or land. SSVE corporation profits are distributed quarterly to shareholders as dividends. In addition, women (and other shareholders) typically work as employees for their corporations, serving as either duckweed or fish aquaculture workers. In return, they are paid a basic wage and a performance bonus based on the productivity of their respective mixed gender production teams.
Various aspects of this unconventional approach challenge the current social, economic and cultural status quo of the rural Bangladeshi village. Despite this, current levels of beneficiary participation; duckweed production achievements; and high local demand for project expansion are strong indicators that the project is financially successful and enjoys strong local community acceptance.
In its first year of operation the project has achieved distributed fish production averaging 10 tonnes per hectare - more than twice the productivity of achieved by the hitherto best village fisheries project in the history of Bangladesh (Danish-assisted Mymensingh Fisheries Project in north-central Bangladesh) The SSVE project has been met with such enthusiasm that numerous local groups have approached, and continue to approach, PRISM asking to form their own corporations. This, despite having to surrender title to their personal land in the name of the corporation. The prospects for future expansion of the model appear to be excellent.
In addition to the 5 existing corporations, the UNCDF has approved $1.9 million for developing 40 new village corporations. The Dutch government is also funding 20 additional SSVE corporations under the first phase of a $13 million World Bank sponsored duckweed research project to be located at PRISM's current Mirzapur research facility. The new research facility, with a core staff of 4 international scientists supported by 20 Bangladeshi scientists, will perform basic research on Lemnaceae species, their use in wastewater treatment systems and their application as feed for fish and livestock.
The current success enjoyed by the SSVE project, combined with its good apparent prospects for expansion and replication, suggest that the SSVE model itself merits close examination. Its innovative approach to women in development (WID) should be documented and evaluated in a time when women's crucial role in development is widely recognized, yet so few successful models exist. It is the purpose of this thesis to describe and evaluate the SSVE model, and to evaluate its first major application in villages near Mirzapur and Shibaloy, Bangladesh. The evaluation will focus on the role of women in the project. It will examine the effects participation has had on female members with respect to their economic condition, their social status, and their relationships with their families, households and communities. The evaluation will also look at the role of women in the SSVE project and the effect women's participation has had on project productivity and internal corporate relations.
It is important to note that the evaluation described here will only enable an interim assessment of the project as implementation is not yet sufficiently extensive or mature to draw final conclusions.
All field research activities will be conducted as a project evaluation. Collated data and interpreted results will be presented to all project participants as formal feedback. It is intended that results of the evaluation enable project planners, managers and field level participants to improve project design and execution.
This thesis proposal is structured as three major sections:
A brief summary background on Bangladesh is useful in providing a context for the SSVE project and the work proposed in this thesis.
|Population||109 million (1989)|
|Annual Pop. Growth||2.8%|
|GNP Per Capita||US$170|
Bangladesh has few natural resources and is still experiencing relatively high population growth rates. Although Bangladesh is only the size of the state of Wisconsin, its 109 million inhabitants live in only 20% its land area. The remaining 80% of the land mass is covered by water during the yearly 5 month monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Bangladesh's population is still primarily rural, with only 10% living in towns and cities.
Bangladesh's social and economic development is hampered by a literacy rate of 25% (Quddus, 1985; PRISM, 1991), poor health and nutrition, and an inefficient bureaucracy. Per capita GDP is among the lowest in the world. Approximately 44% of the GNP is generated by the agricultural sector which accounts for 40% of bulk exports and employs 75% of the work force (PRISM, 1991).
Given Bangladesh's agrarian economy, the ability to earn a living for most Bangladeshi's is a function of their access to agricultural land and fresh water resources. The landless in Bangladesh are, therefore, trapped in poverty. The incidence of landlessness is extremely high due to immense population pressure on limited land resources. In the 1983/4 agricultural census about 46% of rural households owned less then 0.5 acres, and were considered to be functionally landless - owning insufficient land to provide an inadequate source of household income. The census found that the average family farm size had declined from 3.53 acres in 1969 to 2.25 acres in 1984 (Bangladesh, Bureau of Statistics, 1986; Hossain, 1988).
Women, for the most part, qualify as landless since the amount of land or property they may acquire is limited through the Muslim Law of Inheritance and local social norms (Quddus, 1985). The situation is aggravated by the fact that many plots of land and bodies of water are derelict or, at best, under-utilized because of land disputes among multiple owners and a chronic shortage of capital and technology (Skillicorn, 1993).
Rice is the principal crop in Bangladesh. With annual production of 27.6 million tonnes (Economist, 1993), Bangladesh ranks fourth in the world. With rapidly increasing production of wheat, Bangladesh is now considered self-sufficient in production of food grains. Much of this increased production has come, however, at the expense of protein production. The average Bangladeshi consumes less protein today than he did at the time of (Pakistan's) independence from Great Britain. Production of pulses has not experienced a "green revolution" and growth has therefore not kept up with the massive population growth of the last half century. A major absolute decline has also occurred in the production of fish, which is the preferred form of dietary protein for most Bangladeshis. A combination of poor management of Bangladesh's massive natural freshwater resources, and a significant decline in Ganges river water releases have seen a 50% real decline in the fish catch during the last decade alone.
Freshwater capture fisheries contributes significantly to Bangladesh's fisheries sector which accounts for 5% of the GNP while also employing a disproportionate percentage of the nation's poor. Prospects for improving productivity of the resource are limited in the short run. The damage to the natural ecology has been significant and will require decades to remedy. Freshwater aquaculture has potential for rapid expansion in Bangladesh, where large areas experience either seasonal or continual inundation. Despite the fact that intensified aquaculture production technologies are well established, most poor farmers have no access to the technology and could not afford to apply it if they did. This is due, in part, to poor agricultural extension services, but poor access to credit shares equal blame. Small and landless farmers and fishermen cannot provide the collateral (or other inducements) required by the banks. (PRISM, 1991)
Despite these serious development problems Bangladesh has significant immediate potential for improvement. The nation's abundant water resources are an invaluable asset when they are managed and used efficiently. Although land is relatively scarce, most plots are producing well below their productive capacity due to either capital, technology or other input (extension, quality seeds, pesticides, fertilizers) constraints. In addition to under-utilized land and water resources, Bangladesh possesses an enormous, largely untapped, human potential. Not only is there a large labor force available, but the country has thousands of young university trained professionals who cannot find employment appropriate to the level and focus of their education. All of these resources, with proper investment and management, could enormously benefit the poorest strata of Bangladeshi society - and through them, the nation as a whole.
Contemporary rural development in Bangladesh is dominated by four primary forces: 1) The bureaucracy, which proudly traces its lineage down through the Civil Service of Pakistan, the (British) Indian Civil Service and finally to the Moghuls; 2) the bilateral and multilateral aid agencies; 3) international private voluntary agencies (PVOs); and more recently, 4) the Bangladeshi non-governmental organizations - the NGOs. Each has, at some time, held sway over the process.
In the immediate aftermath of the War of Independence (from Pakistan), through the early 1970s, the international PVOs were all-powerful, with OXFAM, CARE, CRS, ADRA, Lutheran World Relief, World Vision, Save The Children, Ford and Rockefeller leading a host of lesser institutions to develop a national social safety net and prescribe the shape of rural development. Gradually, the bureaucracy, led by a core cadre of officers trained under the Civil Service of Pakistan found both its muscle and its confidence. This had the effect of increasingly constraining the almost cavalier freedom which had characterized the early PVO programs. CRS pulled out, embarrassed by a "blanket scandal." OXFAM found more compelling crises elsewhere. Ford Foundation pundits, the self-appointed intellectual primus inter pares among development experts, stung by charges of arrogance and excess in Ford's third world operations began focussing increasing attention on problems back in the US. Rockefeller found Latin America and a focus on the CGIAR institutions more to its liking. CARE settled down to extensive, but bland, food-for-work and feeding programs - with real control increasingly exercised by US bureaucrats within the USAID mission (employing PL-480 leverage) at Motijheel in Dhaka.
Gradually, rural development in Bangladesh came to resemble a "negotiated settlement" between the senior Bangladeshi civil service officers and the USAID mission. Vast sums of money (and "value") were poured in the country from the US, largely through the PL-480 program. This effort saw the development of critical agricultural support infrastructure, including research institutions, fertilizer factories, and power plants. On the other hand, it also created a pervasive "relief" ethic, as the country was blanketed with the mindless "food-for-work" programs designed primarily to achieve distribution of US and European surplus food stocks.
As the willingness of bilateral aid agencies to pump money into Bangladesh has diminished in recent rears, the power vacuum has increasingly been occupied by the multilateral agencies -led by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program and UNICEF. This has also placed increasing emphasis on "projects" versus the less structured "programs" of the past. Form and elegance - the "process" - came to be better appreciated. "Trips" and "visits" have been replaced by "appraisal missions." Expensive consultants with Ph.D.s fielded by profit-making consulting companies like Checci, Harza and Euroconsult increasingly outnumber the ex-Peace Corps types traditionally favored by the likes of CARE and World Vision.
A small revolving door began to open up as more Bangladeshi economists (among them several civil servants) got Economics Ph.D.s and moved from the Planning Commission or ERD (External Resources Department of the Ministry of Finance) to the World Bank and back again. Everybody has started "doing business" the same way. The Dutch, the Danes, the Swiss, the Norwegians - even the Americans. They also began to increasingly defer to the World Bank and its special relationship with key ministers and bureaucrats. Bangladesh became literally saturated with teams of well-heeled consultants doing "scientific studies" and "appraisal missions" - all of them well practiced at fitting the results of their investigations into the ubiquitous "Logical Framework."
Now, a new, and arguably more powerful factor has emerged - the mega-NGO, exemplified by the Grameen Bank (see footnote 2), BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), PROSHIKA, GK (Gonoshastra Kendra) and CARITAS. By combining common sense, better management, and programs that are more directly responsive to the perceived development needs of villagers themselves, these NGOs now legitimately claim to be doing "what the government, with the help of the AID agencies, is incapable of doing" - achieving significantly improved welfare among specifically targeted population groups throughout Bangladesh. Suddenly it is they, not the government, that holds the answers. Unlike the other development agencies that the government has hitherto learned to successfully parry - these groups are home-grown and politically inclined. They wield genuine power. They can go directly to the World Bank and the UNDP and be listened to - in preference to their government counterparts. More importantly, however, they increasingly hold the ear of the "average villager." They have earned his trust and his confidence, and they are rewarded accordingly.
[Footnote 2: The Grameen Bank, classified as a government bank, is not technically an NGO, but because it is functionally independent of Government, and generally looks and behaves like an NGO, we apply the "duck test" and call it an NGO.]
The sheer size and visibility of the BRAC, PROSHIKA and Grameen Bank networks is compelling. BRAC, in particular, has learned the trick of building its shiny new rural office buildings next to some large, poorly performing government institution - usually a school or some special development authority - then simply offering to "take it over and run it better." The NGOs have become a government within a government. As yet, neither BRAC nor the Grameen Bank have chosen to directly exercise any political muscle - but the simple threat that they may do so is rendering the government increasingly compliant to their wishes.
For the immediate future, the shape of rural development in Bangladesh will be dictated by the evolving dynamic of the relationship between the government and the large NGOs. All other factors pale by comparison. The government has created a Bureau of NGO Affairs - ostensibly to serve as a clearinghouse for "permission" and "approvals," and thereby facilitating NGO activities. The effect, predictably, has been the opposite. Now, approval must be obtained from line Ministries and the NGO Bureaus.
The very existence of the NGO Bureau has made it significantly more difficult for small NGOs to survive in what has increasingly become a highly competitive environment for "donor funding." It is very difficult for a small NGO to compete for funds against the slick submissions of BRAC, GK, PROSHIKA, CARITAS and the Grameen Bank. They must either fund a truly unoccupied niche, collaborate with the larger NGOs or expire. The "NGO Sector" is, in fact, becoming institutionalized and bureaucratized. Competition and innovation is being stifled. The larger NGOs, operating as an oligopoly - a development club - are carefully delineating their physical domains. Village "Groups" are carefully labeled as "BRAC" groups or "PROSHIKA" groups - meaning hands off to any other institution. Gradually, whole villages and even Unions are receiving similar labels (see footnote 3) as the major NGOs stake out their claims and gradually subdivide the entire country.
[Footnote 3: This trend, where large, mature not-for-profit institutions seek to ensure long-term survival without having to always "compete" or "innovate" has an analog in the US, with the "PVO Club" and USAID. The large institutions like CARE, CRS and World Vision lobbied Congress to pass legislation that guaranteed their future existence in an environment free from competition. By law, 16% of all USAID funding must go to PVOs. Using a "bureaucratic efficiency" argument, these same institutions were able to create, post facto, highly restrictive entry criteria to the "PVO Club." Any US not-for-profit agency now seeking to become a PVO, and thereby qualify for the "easy PVO money." must conduct a special audit, then meet 6 financial ratio conditions. The most difficult of these being a "liquidity ratio" of 1.1/1 (i.e., liquidity must equal 1.1 times total liabilities.) Then, to maintain PVO status an institution must continue to raise 33% of its revenues from "other than USAID" sources. The latter criterion strongly favors large institutions with niche (i.e., CRS with catholic churches) or major public fundraising operations - such as CARE and World Vision.
This has predictably had a deleterious effect on the quality of project and program submissions by the PVOs. Proposals submitted by the PVOs are markedly inferior to those generated under the competitive RFP process. In fact, may grant categories are not fully subscribed for lack of qualifying proposals.]
Other factors making significant contribution to the form and substance of rural development in Bangladesh today do not differ greatly from those affecting other poor developing countries: Rural-to-urban migration, "Green Revolution" agricultural technologies, family planning programs, religious conflict and creeping fundamentalism, female wage jobs, land reform, land fragmentation and subdivision, rural credit, television & video tape, the modern information revolution, and rural electrification - among others.
If Bangladesh is to claim any unique factor in its development (not directly related to weather or geography) it would perhaps be "religious conflict." While Bangladesh is minimally affected by the creeping fundamentalism now seriously engaging nearby predominantly Islamic states such as Pakistan and Malaysia, religious identity has, nevertheless, played an important role in determining the current state of the nation.
Since the region gained its independence from the British in the 1947, the area that now comprises Bangladesh has witnessed what is arguably the largest wholesale movement of people in the history of the World. Where East Pakistan was only marginally "muslim" at independence (approximately 46% hindu and 54% muslim) it is now overwhelmingly muslim (88%). As many as 25 million hindus have simply packed up and moved to India (see footnote 4). In many instances they either abandoned their lands and other fixed assets or were forced to sell them for a pittance. In either case, the redistribution of hindu assets has played a major role in contemporary rural development in Bangladesh.
[Footnote 4: While precise statistics are not available in India - and the topic is strictly taboo in Bangladesh - current demographic statistics suggest that between 20 and 25 million people have migrated from Bangladesh to India between the mid-fifties and 1993.]
Agriculture accounts for 78% of the Bangladeshi labor force, with underemployment estimated at 24% for males and 32% for females respectively (E.B. Wennergren et al, 1984). Agriculture's contribution to GDP is just over 50%.
No discussion of rural development is complete without touching on the topic of land reform. In Bangladesh, control over land has moved, since 1950, from the old Zamindari (literally "land controller") system devised by the Moghuls and refined by the British, to the present circumstance where 65% of rural households are "functionally landless." (i.e., own less than 0.5 hectares) The average land holding is now
less than 1 hectare (2.2 acres).
The land ceiling act of 1984 limited family ownership of property to 10 hectares in flood controlled areas and 14 hectares elsewhere (see footnote 5) and provided significant rights (5 year minimum lease with a 5 year option to renew) for sharecroppers. It specified precise distribution of crops from sharecropped land (one third each to the landowner, the laborer and the input provider) and dictated that the sharecropper must have first rights of refusal if land was to be sold.
[Footnote 5: Absentee land owners are formally restricted to 4 hectares in flood control areas and 7 hectares elsewhere.]
Land reform aside, land in Bangladesh is both more finely distributed and more fractured (with a farmer's one or more acres typically distributed in tiny packages, sometimes a mile or more apart) than in any country on earth. Few absentee landlords now maintain active sharecropped farms (see footnote 6). Land holdings are so small that locally, a "landlord" is now someone who owns more than 5 hectares of land. Ironically, most critics of land reform prescribe even further redistribution, citing the inequality between these "landlords" and the landless (M.A. Zaman, 1974; N. Ahmed, 1988). In Bangladesh, which is still over 80% rural, there are simply too many people (115 million people and 16 million rural households) and too little arable land (22 million acres) (E.B. Wennergren et al, 1984).
[Footnote 6: The monied elite of Bangladesh have long since abandoned agriculture as a viable profession.]
Power abuse at the village level lies not so much with distribution of land, but with access to government services and subsidies. Leases to "khash," (government owned) land are auctioned off for next to nothing. People securing use of these lands are typically the local power elite. The Union chairman, or the largest local landlords - or even absentee landlords. Access to agricultural credit and other subsidies is similarly skewed.
Most agricultural development prescriptions for Bangladesh recommend identical solutions. They usually state the goal of "increased intensity and efficiency of agriculture." This, in turn, requires investments in infrastructure: better availability at the farm level of electricity, seeds, fertilizers, water, equipment, credit, and extension services. Most experts on Bangladeshi agriculture also recommend increasing investments in "human capital:" more scientists, better trained farmers, and more efficient marketing. Finally, most still recommend further "equitable" distribution of land by bringing down the land ceiling to 5 acres. There is, however, a growing minority of experts now willing to prescribe a land ownership "floor." with a minimum recommended farm size of 2 acres.
Various institutional arrangements are recommended to provide the advantages of scale economies to cooperating farmers. The Comilla Cooperative model pioneered by BARD appears to be most heavily favored in the literature. But "savings groups" and "farmer associations" are also commonly recommended. None, however, have had the temerity to recommend stock corporations and permanent partnerships with outside institutions as a solution to the problems of rural development (E.B. Wennergren et al, 1984; N. Ahmed, 1988; S.A. Khan, 1989).
Having made their prescriptions, whether making arguments from a "left" or "right" perspective, all the experts portray a "future" for Bangladeshi agriculture which is surprising for both its uniformity - and its pessimism. The leftists lament the fact that collective solutions appear unlikely, while rightists fear the same fate for "private" solutions. Both groups are in agreement that the likely solution will be a hybrid system of government controlled and selectively subsidized cooperative, NGOs, private suppliers and markets.
Bangladesh is an overwhelmingly muslim country, and as with any such country, religious and social norms prescribe cloistering and veiling (purdah) of women in the homestead (bari). Purdah, in Bangladesh, has never had the hard edge associated with comparable practice in Pakistan and muslim states further to the west. This can, perhaps, be partly attributed to the moderating influence of the more liberal hindu attitudes concerning visibility of women. It is also attributable to necessity. Most families can no longer afford to practice purdah. Recent studies suggest that strict purdah is now practiced by no more than 20% of Bangladeshi muslim families, and these are typically at the wealthy end of the spectrum (F. McCarthy and S. Feldman, 1983, N. Kabeer, 1991).
There is significant disagreement among Bangladeshi rural development experts concerning female employment and willingness to seek employment. Official statistics (1974 national census) cite rural employment at 3.87% of the available female labor force, with an additional 0.12% said to be seeking employment. At the other extreme, as many as 25% of women are said to accept regular part-time and seasonal work, and more than 35% will work for food-for-work projects during times of severe local distress (F. McCarthy and S. Feldman, 1983). Regardless of the exact figures, there is a clear trend towards more families being willing to break with the restrictions imposed by purdah, thereby allowing more women to accept wage employment outside the bari.
Historically, the major earning activity for rural women was milling rice. The traditional method, involving use of a simple wooden "dhenki" in the home was consistent with the requirements of purdah. Increasingly, however, milling of rice is now performed in mechanized mills. This, more than any other single factor, has driven women out of the bari in search of work. Women now provide the primary labor inputs to such growing rural industries as brick-making and rural construction (primarily roads, bridges and embankments). Besides wage jobs in agriculture, however, household cash cropping of vegetables and production of handicrafts remain the most important sources of income for rural female workers.
Increasingly, women are also migrating elsewhere in search of work - usually to Dhaka, Chittagong or one of the larger district capitals like Khulna or Rajshahi - but also occasionally to India. This is having a profound impact on gender relations. Women are increasingly being called upon to handle cash and manage bank accounts in settings outside the predictable confines of the household. Up to a million unmarried women are now working in the burgeoning garment industry - usually supervised by men, and often called upon to return home after midnight. While once rejected as somehow "sexually tainted," these girls are now increasingly attractive to male suitors, both for their earning power and for access to whatever wealth they may have accumulated.
Traditionally Bangladeshi muslim women did not accumulate any wealth. The small inheritance allowed under islamic law was invariably claimed by (some would prefer use of the words "deferred to") a brother, cousin or other relative - in exchange for (dubious) assumption of responsibility by the claimant for the woman's welfare should she become widowed or be abandoned (N. Kabeer, 1991). Now, attitudes concerning asset accumulation are gradually changing. While the stimulus provided by the massive recent growth of the garment industry (growing from nothing to a $1.5 billion industry in a decade) has been a major contributor to this change, it is also continuously reinforced by the programs of the Grameen Bank, BRAC and virtually all medium to large NGOs.
The eventual impact this massive injection of female labor into the rural economy will have on the nuclear family, the extended family, the practice of Islam, and rural development in general - is uncertain. Judging from the short-term effects, however, the results should, in each case, be significant.
The following discussion provides a brief description of the current principal development efforts in Bangladesh which include women as a special target group. The Grameen Bank and BRAC are generally recognized as the principal agents for rural change working in Bangladesh. Government development efforts and those of other NGOs will be briefly noted where appropriate.
The Grameen Bank (GB) is arguably the most powerful - certainly the most influential - change-agent for rural development in Bangladesh today. The Grameen Bank is based on the concept of providing poor people with collateral-free working capital loans to create a mechanism where landless people may generate productive self-employment. Initiating in 1976 as a Chittagong University research project, the Grameen Bank was later chartered by the Bangladeshi government as a formal lending institution (rural bank) to improve the lives of the rural poor. Since its inception, The Grameen Bank has continued to expanded at a rapid rate. By 1987 it had 298 branches servicing 250,000 households in 6% of Bangladesh's villages. Ownership of the bank is divided between borrower shareholders who hold 75% of the banks "shares" and the government with 25% (Hossain, 1988).
With few exception, the GB targets people who own less than .5 acres of cultivable land. Women, among the most disadvantaged group in Bangladeshi society, have been prominent among GB beneficiaries. At the end of 1986, 74% of all GB members were women and during that year 98% of new members were women (Rahman, 1986; Hossain, 1988). Collateral requirements effectively exclude women from all conventional credit sources. The Bank's policy of working in target villages has also eliminated the spatial constraint to women's involvement in credit programs. Also, by working directly with women through female loan officers they may now receive loans without any mediation by their spouses or male guardians.
The GB mode of operation is to bring banking services to the village doorstep through a network of rural branches and bank workers who work closely with small groups of borrowers. Potential borrowers form groups of five like-minded people who share mutual trust and confidence. Groups are made up of non-relatives of the same sex. Each group selects a chairperson and secretary from within the group to serve for one year. Chairpersons from the same village form male and female centers which elect center chiefs.
Members and groups must satisfy a number of conditions before loans are granted. First, after the group is formed it is closely observed for a month before any loans are disbursed in order to allow determination that members are conforming to GB protocols. Prospective borrowers must participate in a 7 day training period that promotes the understanding of banking procedures and responsibilities, health, children's education and other social development issues. Once all members demonstrate an understanding of all rules and procedures, two members of the group receive small one-year loans of no more then 5000 Taka (at a 25% interest rate) to be used for non-crop activities such as livestock and poultry raising, processing crops and small item manufacturing. Following two months of consistent weekly repayment (5% of their loans) by the first two, two additional members of the group may receive their loans. The group chairman is the last person to receive a loan. In addition to a weekly loan payment, the GB requires that each member save one taka each week in a collective fund managed directly by the group. This fund may be used by the group to provide loans to members for illness and social obligations. Only after all members have successfully paid back their loans under the strictly specified GB terms are any members eligible for repeat loans.
Despite the fact that the loans are transacted on an individual basis, the entire group is held accountable for all loans. This means if an individual defaults on the loan, all members of the group must repay the balance. These group guarantees exert significant peer pressure on individual borrowers to repay their loans. An outstanding default by any group member renders the entire group ineligible for future loans.
In addition to providing landless people with working capital to generate self-employment the GB in 1984 initiated a social development program entitled "sixteen decisions." The goal of this program is to encourage members to be disciplined, work hard and improve their living standards. The sixteen decisions promoted better housing and sanitation, the education of children, the abolishment of dowry marriages, and other codes of conduct members should follow in their daily lives. Although these 16 decisions are not officially mandatory, their observance has become a de facto requirement for receiving a loan (Hossain, 1988).
A study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute in collaboration with the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Dhaka, in 1988 demonstrated that the GB achieved 98% loan repayment while succeeding in significantly alleviating poverty in its area of operation. This compares favorably with other government rural credit programs - primarily agricultural loans - which average between 20% and 30% loan recovery rates. (See footnote 7) An important additional finding of the BIDS study was that repayment by women, with respect to timeliness, was superior to that of men. At the time of the survey 81% of the women members had no overdue installments compared to male members with 74%.
The BIDS study found that GB members had 43% higher income than a comparable target group in a control village and 28% higher then a comparable group of nonparticipants in the project villages (Hossain, 1988). An earlier study in 1986 found that the GB loans increased the income of 91% of the borrowers (Rahman, 1986).
The impact of the GB on the circumstance of poor rural women was also studied by BIDS in 1986. The study found that female GB participants contributed more than one third of their family incomes, improved their standards of consumption and gained greater control in the family decision-making process. The study concluded that membership in the Bank, access to credit, access to fixed assets, and greater participation in productive activities gave women participants special status in the family (Rahman, 1986).
The GB success has been attributed to a variety of factors:
Intensive on site loan supervision by loan officers working closely with borrowers.
Group loan guarantees reinforced by strong peer pressure for timely repayment.
Group substitution on repayment to avoid default.
Rigorous field - oriented training for bank workers providing hands-on experience and personal insights into village life. This mechanism serves not only to prepare bank staff but it also weeds out workers who will not be able to meet the rigorous demands of their new postings.
Repetitive, regular and highly ritualized protocols - for both loan officers and borrowers.
Massive subsidies from international donor organizations - specifically IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) - which allows high levels of localized supervision without pushing interest rates beyond the "reasonable" or "feasible" range. (Although some would claim that 25% interest rates transcend "reasonable."
The question of long term feasibility and replicability of the GB model is an open one. First, there is the question if whether the Bank can provide groups loans for collective enterprises. It has had only limited success in the few such efforts undertaken to date. The inherent difficulty of managing large groups, combined with a loan officer corps generally unfamiliar with the underlying enterprise operations typically proves debilitating.
Given the requirement for close and intensive supervision of borrowers and the close participation of bank workers with borrowers, the GB's high operating costs, its ability to maintain its intensive services without subsidies from outside sources is questionable. Despite enormous subsidies, the GB has had to raise interest rates from 16% to 25% to meet escalating costs. Its huge cadre of once young and idealistic workers is, like any work force, beginning to age. Workers are getting married, having children - and looking for more security. They all want their wages to continue increasing. They want better benefits. They want to send their children back to Dhaka where they can get a reasonable education. They want better working hours and better working conditions. The dependency on subsidized loans and the earning of profits through their short term deposits with other banks does not provide a secure mechanism for future expansion.
Another possible constraint to GB expansion is the dependency on the personal leadership of the founding manager-director, Professor Muhammad Yunus. The GB program exhibits all the classic characteristics of the "charismatic leader" syndrome. While the GB has implemented modern management practices, including introduction of decentralized decision-making this may not adequately compensate for the early "spark" and "dedication" that was so characteristic of Grameen Bank transactions. Can the Grameen Bank gradually become simply a "well managed rural development bank with a good idea and still succeed as it once did? The answer is not obvious.
The GB's primary focus on non-farm goods and services may also prove to be a constraint for future growth. Agriculture employs 75% of the Bangladeshi labor force and generates 44% off GDP. The Grameen Bank simply cannot continue to avoid agricultural lending if it wishes to grow - and to increase the administrative efficiency of its lending program. In so doing it will inevitably come to more closely resemble may other lending institutions. The question is not whether it will have problems with its agricultural loans. It will. The real question is whether it will successfully mask its operations as those of an NGO - which the Grameen Bank has hitherto taken great pains to simulate - or whether it will be perceived by more experienced farmers as just another public sector agricultural lender - albeit in another guise. If the latter perception becomes pervasive, then the Grameen Bank will probably encounter the same problems as do its sick sister institutions.
The GB clearly cannot count on massive IFAD-type subsidies in the long run. Nor can it continue increasing interest rates as it has done in the recent past. Twenty-five percent is already considered by many experts to exceed "reasonable levels." Unless it fundamentally alters the basic lending mechanism for which it has become so famous, it has only one possible course of action: to increase the efficiency of its lending. This means using fewer bank assets (loan officer hours) to process more loan money. It means using larger and larger groups and spending less and less time with those groups. It means branching out into agricultural credit. It means dealing increasingly with male borrowers.
Recent evidence suggests that the Grameen Bank is no more successful than other institutions when it comes to providing agricultural loans to large groups of male borrowers. A major UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) project channeled through the Grameen Bank and targeted at rehabilitation deep tubewells has been a disappointing failure to date (personal communication - PRISM)
Despite these questions on the future viability of the Grameen Bank, the fact remains that it has had a profound impact on WID in Bangladesh. The GB has conclusively demonstrated that:
Participation as GB borrowers has provided poor rural women with enhanced access to assets and involvement in productive activities. This has, in turn, resulted in increased incomes and a higher standard of living for participating women and their families.
Participation as GB borrowers has elevated women's status, both within their immediate family and in the community as a whole. This has led to significant improvements in decision-making power at all levels.
Despite the existing socio-cultural barriers imposed on rural Bangladeshi women, as GB borrowers they have successfully and actively participated in and benefitted from their involvement in the GB program.
Despite reproductive responsibilities, women borrowers are nevertheless able to participate in and benefit from the GB program and its resulting productive activities.
Female activities financed by the GB loan typically yield a lower return then male activities (Hossain, 1985; Rahman, 1986). This may be attributed in part to the fact that a larger percentage of female loans are directly consumed rather than invested - due, no doubt, to the more intimate involvement by women with the exigencies of family. Nevertheless, despite the fact that repayment then places a relatively higher burden on women - i.e., part of the loan principal was never invested in a productive measure and therefore does not directly contribute to earnings - they have consistently demonstrated lower default rates than men (Rahman, 1986; Hossain, 1988).
The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) is the world's largest non-governmental development service delivery organization in terms of number of employees. The Dhaka based organization was founded in 1972 but it was not until the early 1980s when BRAC implemented a nation-wide oral rehydration therapy (ORT) education project that it really "took off." The ORT project, seeking to lower Bangladesh's high infant mortality rate caused by diarrheal diseases, targeted women who are the principal family care givers by teaching them how to prepare and apply an oral rehydration formula. Remarkably, the project reached over 90% of its national target group - mothers with young children and potential mothers (Skillicorn, 1993).
BRAC has since greatly expanded both in size and in the scope of its primarily project-based activities. These now encompass the entire spectrum of the rural development agenda: health, education, rural credit, agriculture, fisheries, rural industry, handicrafts and other income generating activities. While women remain a primary target for BRAC, other disadvantaged sectors of Bangladeshi society have also become foci of BRAC activities. BRAC's main strategy to reach the poor concentrates on continuous motivation, functional education and economic support (Quddus, 1985). BRAC emphasizes a high degree of beneficiary participation in both its projects and its research efforts (Chambers, 1983).
BRAC's current mode of operation relies heavily on developing, within each "BRAC village" single-sex groupings from a common socio-cultural stratum. Employing mechanisms not dissimilar to those of the GB, BRAC uses these groups to channel credit and technical assistance to the rural poor. BRAC's income earning activities differ from those of the GB in that a) they emphasize group enterprise as opposed to individual activities; and b) they are planned around a single technical activity and typically involve heavy inputs of technical assistance.
BRAC groups are larger then GB teams, averaging between 15 and 25 members. Each group selects a chairman, a secretary, an assistant secretary, and a cashier. Following group formation , key members are chosen to receive 10 days of training on the basic methods of functional education and then asked to impart the information to the rest of the group. As with the GB, the groups meet on a weekly basis and members are required to deposit a minimum savings into the group's joint account (Quddus, 1985). The success of these groups relies on heavy supervision, education and the stimulation of income earning activities.
BRAC is now moving in the direction of developing for-profit subsidiaries also targeted at providing employment or commercial infrastructure for poor workers and farmers. For example, BRAC developed a potato cold storage industry which it directly operates as a for-profit institution, supply services to surrounding small farmers. This has enabled participating farmers to more than double their individual receipts from potato crops by allowing them to benefit from high off-season prices.
BRAC has become the largest supplier and distributer of high quality handicrafts in Bangladesh. The primary impetus for this comes from BRAC's chain of classy retail outlets where high quality handicrafts are sold primarily to middle and upper-middle class Bangladeshis. BRAC developed its own printing operations and is now one of the largest publishers in Dhaka. More recently BRAC has invested heavily in procuring failing garment industries, renovating them and turning them into profitable businesses. As a result, BRAC has now become one of the largest garment exporters in Bangladesh. In the same vein BRAC is also acquiring sick pharmaceutical industries and converting them to production of low-priced basic medicines. All of these activities heavily involve women, particularly the garment and handicraft industries which traditionally rely upon female labour. These for-profit activities provide income earning activities for the poor, while the profits provide BRAC with capital to reinvest in their development efforts (Skillicorn, 1993).
Recently, BRAC was also provided a government charter to convert its existing rural credit operations into the "BRAC Bank." While not yet as extensive, the BRAC Bank now provides a genuine alternative to the Grameen Bank.
The GB and BRAC are emphasized in this discussion since they represent the most powerful and innovative forces for WID in Bangladesh today. However it is important to note the existence of numerous other nation-wide NGO'S in Bangladesh which also work extensively with women. These include the local branch of Catholic Relief Services (CARITAS), PROSHIKA, CARE, Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), The Kumudini Welfare Trust, Gonoshastra Kendra (GK) and the Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) among others. Many of these NGO's promote women's cooperatives for income raising activities, training programs on productive skills, credit programs, health and family planning education programs, food for work programs, literacy programs, and kitchen gardens (Quddus, 1985; Skillicorn, 1993).
The Government of Bangladesh has recognized the need to promote WID in its rural development programs. This is reflected in the objectives and strategies laid out in the government's Second and Third Five Year Plans (1980-84 & 1984-89).
Five Year Plan (FYP) objectives have concentrated on stimulating the participation of women in socio-economic activities through education and training, forming women's associations promoting activities that improve women's social and economic situation, and sponsoring activities aimed at improving children's lives.
FYP strategies have included: a) focusing on the home as the basic unit of production for developing cottage industries; b) providing credit through rural banking structures; c) establishing linkages between women's groups and private business organizations; and d) setting up a National Council of Women for policy formulation.
GOB programs targeted at WID issues laid out in the SFYP included the following specific programs: a) Skills Development Training and Production Centers for Women, b) Industry for Women Program, c) Children's Program, d) Women's Attitudinal Change Program, e) Women's Stipend/Scholarship program, and f) Women's Research Program. The Ministry of Women's Affairs undertook these programs through its affiliated organizations such as Shishu Academy (Children's Academy) and Jatiya Mohila Sangstha (National Women's Organization). Recently, the Women's Affairs Ministry was absorbed within the Ministry of Social Welfare. This was accompanied by dissolution of the Jatiya Mohila Sangstha, closure and lowered funding for other WID programs and a general decline in GOB emphasis on WID (Quddus, 1985).
Women comprise half the world's population. They account for 67% of all hours worked yet are officially counted as only 33% of the labor force. Despite their disproportionate contribution, women receive only 10% of the world's income and own less then 1% of the world's real property. Females constitute over 60% of the world's illiterates (World Bank, 1980; UN, 1979; Maguire, 1984; Momsen 1991). These global statistics, however, conceal the fact that circumstances facing women vary greatly from country to country, and by race, class, culture, and economic order within nations (Maguire, 1984). These statistics do, however, pose crucial questions: Why are women in this position? Why have most development efforts failed to improve this situation? The discussion which follows examines current themes in the Women in Development (WID) literature and develops a framework for analyzing those questions.
In order to understand the emergence of a focus on women in development it is important to examine it within the larger historical context of contemporary trends in international development. The first United Nations Development Decade (1960) concluded with an acute awareness of the need for a new approach to development. Early, pre-1970's, development models concentrated almost exclusively on increasing capital accumulation and GNP in third world nations. Conventional wisdom at that time held that the poor would inevitably benefit from the "trickle down" effects of this economic development. These early models, with their heavy emphasis on the cash economy, tended to ignore the value of women's economic contribution to national welfare (Brydon and Chant, 1989; Maguire 1984) while also failing to recognize any differential economic impact of development programs on men and women.
Brydon and Chant point out that, until the 1970's, programs oriented at improving rural productivity and living conditions had two principal design faults: (1) They did not take into consideration local knowledge of the environment or local business and agricultural methodology; and (2) they focussed primarily on heads of households, on the naive assumption that all households were headed by men and that women would necessarily benefit through the participation of their husbands, fathers or brothers. This had the effect of virtually excluding women from development programs thereby preventing them from realizing significant real benefits from the programs.
In the 1970's it became apparent that economic growth did not readily "trickle down" to improve the lives of the poor (Momsen, 1991; Maguire, 1984; Sen and Grown, 1987). This realization prompted a shift during the Second Development Decade to human resources development and a" basic needs" approach. This new approach concentrated on (1) increasing distribution of the benefits of development programs to the world's poorest people, while also (2) increasing their direct participation in development efforts (Maguire, 1984; Sen and Grown, 1987). Improvements in health, nutrition, water, sanitation, housing and education became the top priority (Sen and Grown, 1987). With this shift in emphasis development planners began to recognize that the participation of women was essential to the development process.
These early attempts to "integrate" women into development have been criticized as being gender-blind (Pepe Roberts, 1979 [Brydon] ) and based on a mistaken belief that women could be brought into existing development models without restructuring (Momsen, 1991). This approach has also been criticized for its assumption that women were not yet making full productive contributions to their societies (Blumberg, 1976; Maguire, 1984).
With the gradual realization that little was known about the true economic and social role of third world women - the extent of their normal day-to-day activities; their formal responsibilities to family, employers and society (Buvinic, 1982; Maguire, 1984; Brydon and Chant, 1989) - development planners came to better appreciate the difficulty, and the importance, of designing projects incorporating women.
As priorities shifted during the second development decade the focus on women's issues at a global level became more pronounced. 1975 was designated "United Nations International Women's Year (IWY), culminating in the IWY World Conference held in Mexico City. The conference themes - equality, development and peace - were expressions of this new, global sensitivity to the role of women in development.
Patricia Maguire has summarized the outcomes of the IWY and other supporting WID events with the following observations:
Agreement on the Mexico City World Action Plan for Women;
Nominated the Decade for Women;
Set attainable Minimum Objectives for the first half of the Decade for Women;
Planned the mid-Decade Conference;
Developed the IWY Voluntary Fund; and
Proposed establishment of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.
Established a common framework for WID goals and strategies;
Agreed on "integration" and "improved status" as WID goals;
Identified key obstacles to women's participation in development; and
Initiated internal WID machinery and developed internal emphasis on research and data collection efforts related to WID
International attention on women's issues heightened;
Shift from equity to poverty approach and differentiation of the needs of Third World women from those of women in general;
Attempted declaration of feminism as irrelevant to WID;
Dialogue, primarily outside of development industry, leading to a) recognition of diversity of circumstances confronting women and b) acknowledgment of linkages between oppression of women and structural, racial and class issues; and
Strengthening and diversification of the informal international WID network.
Other important events modifying the shifting focus on women's issues included:
The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1967);
The inauguration of the UN Program of Concerted Action for the Advancement of Women (1970); and
The Percy Amendment to the US Foreign Assistance Act (1973) which recognized women's roles in production and development in Third World countries and placed an emphasis on the importance of funding programs which would "integrate women into national economies (Fraser, 1987; Brydon and Chant, 1989).
The United Nations Decade for Women (1975-1985) marked the international recognition of women's critical role in third world development (Brydon and Chant, 1989) and the need to include women in planning for development (Momsen, 1991). It gave impetus to NGO, PVO, UN special agency and national government efforts to design projects and programs oriented towards improving the socio-economic position of women. New ideologies and strategies for WID were devised and there was a significant increase and improvement in the collection and analysis of data concerning women (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Despite the new awareness and focus on WID brought about through the UN Decade for Women, there has been little apparent effect on the quality of life of poor women throughout the world. As the United Nations Decade for Women concluded with the 1985 Nairobi conference, it became apparent that for women, poverty, disease, illiteracy and unemployment had continued to increase throughout the third world (Momsen, 1992). Evaluation by development agencies of their WID efforts indicated that they too had not realized their stated goals of improving women's status. In fact it was acknowledged that, in some cases, women's lives had actually worsened as a result of those interventions. (World Bank, 1980, ISIS, 1983; Maguire 1984).
The WID literature is characterized by several fundamental recurrent themes:
Recognition that the concept of "household" is critical to the analysis of gender roles in production - specifically the sexual division of labor. While all societies establish a division of labor by sex, the apparent lack of any "natural" basis for that division has resulted in significant cross-cultural differences (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989). These differences are most pronounced at the level of the household which is the point at which reproductive and productive relations intersect. The household is both the origin and primary destination of the deployment of labor and other resources by household members (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Comprehension of gender roles, the sexual division of labor, and the subordination of women requires recognition and understanding of the multiple roles women play in reproductive, productive and subsistence agricultural work. An understanding of manner in which women blend these disparate responsibilities, both within and outside the home, is vital to planning women's role in development (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
It is necessary to distinguish between women's "practical" and "strategic" needs. Most development projects fail to address strategic needs as this usually requires challenging the local political, cultural and social status quo. True empowerment of women and the achievement of fundamental change will require that development efforts address women's strategic needs in addition to their practical needs (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989).
There should exist a clear conceptual understanding of the role women play in economic life. Women are major contributors to the real productivity of their communities, but the nature of that contribution is often poorly understood and their labor contribution usually under-reported. Women's economic contribution worldwide is, with rare exception, inaccurately reflected in official national statistics. This directly translates into inaccuracies and distortions in the planning and implementation of development projects (Beneria, 1983; Maguire, 1984; Brydon and Chant, 1989; Dixon, 1985; Boserup, 1986).
Economic development has had a differential impact on men and women. In many cases development projects are actually detrimental to the interests of women, aggravating the inequalities between the sexes and widening the gap between men and women's earning power (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989; Maguire, 1984; Boserup 1986; Sen and Grown, 1987).
Enhancing the status of women through improvements in women's education, training, and access to higher wage jobs is not only in the interest of women, but also in the interest in society as a whole - because the economic contribution of women is essential to the process of development (Boserup, 1986; Maguire, 1984).
A household is usually defined as a residential unit where members share domestic functions and activities. Households are focused primarily around managing the resources of the household head and (his/her) spouse (when there is one) and the maintenance of children. The distribution of inputs, benefits and activities may vary greatly among household members according to sex, age and ability (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
The concept of "household" is critical in the analysis of gender roles and relations. As stated earlier, it is the point of origin and destination for labor and resources where reproductive and productive relations meet. The household is the primary locus of the sexual division of labor and it therefore has the greatest effect in determining both the status and role of women in any society. Likewise, this suggests that the household should the first target for efforts aimed at (re)structuring gender roles (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Brydon and Chant argue for the use of "household" as an analytical construct in any examination of gender roles and relations - including the sexual division of labor and the status of women. There are, however, two principal limitations with the use of household as analytical construct.
First, the concept of "work" in the context of a rural household defies clear definition. (Brydon and Chant, 1989) Several authors draw a distinction between "productive" and "reproductive" when analyzing women's labor contributions in and outside the household. Reproductive labor is considered to have "use-value" and contributes to family subsistence while productive labor generates "exchange-value" - usually in the form of cash income. This creates some ambiguity as it is often difficult, at the margin, to draw a distinct boundary between the two (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant 1989). For example, Abdullah and Zeidenstein describe the case of some Bangladeshi women who do not work cultivating rice in the fields for later sale in the market, but they bear primary responsibility for preparing, storing and germinating seeds (Abdullah and Zeidenstein, 1982). Although this work may not be directly remunerated it does make an essential contribution to a crop which has exchange-value for the household.
The second difficulty with respect to use of household as an analytical construct concerns the wide regional variation inherent in such a definition. It is impossible to ascribe a precise definition to household that has valid application across all cultures. These differences are not only attributable to cultural variation. They draw significant variability from factors such as colonialism, new economic systems, and migration (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Despite these problems, household - as an analytical construct - remains arguably the most important tool in the analysis of gender roles and relations. Unless the "reproductive" and "productive" labor women contribute inside and outside the home is considered, it is impossible to gain a clear and valid picture of women's role in economic development. Further, without this information women cannot effectively be brought into the mainstream of economic development. And, without the active participation of women it is unlikely that any development effort can, in the long run, succeed.
The concept of "reproduction" is largely ignored in national labor accounting despite the fact that it serves a vital economic function - formation, training and maintenance of human capital. Women's responsibility for reproductive work, which is carried out primarily in the household, is a major factor in the sexual division of labor; women's position in the labor market; and women's subordination to men. It is, therefore, crucial to look at women's reproductive work contributions when assessing the role of women in economic development and when planning their participation in the development process (Momsen, 1991).
The term "reproduction" has a wide range of connotations and definitions. Biological reproduction refers to childbirth and lactation while physical reproduction includes daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, and health care which contribute to maintenance of the labor force. Finally, social reproduction includes activities that contribute to social welfare - personal obligations to the community, maintenance of kinship relationships, collective education of children and development and maintenance of neighborhood networks (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989). Social reproduction also nurtures social mores, upholds the prevailing ideology and generally works to preserve and maintain the social and economic status quo. (Barret, 1986). In summary, reproduction is described as the transformation of goods and services for household use and welfare. (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Much of the contemporary thinking on women's status draws its inspiration from the early Marxist tenet that reproductive responsibilities are the primary cause of women's traditional subordination to men. Fredrick Engels, a close associate of Karl Marx, wrote The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, a work in which he asserted his belief that women's subordination, particularly in capitalist societies, can be attributed to their isolation from production - which he defined as remunerated labor (Momsen, 1992; Brydon and Chant, 1991; Maguire). Engels postulated that with the emergence of private property men accumulated wealth and, in an effort to secure identifiable heirs, took control of women's sexuality - relegating them to reproductive work to insure the survival of those heirs. With the advent of this monogamous family, women were excluded from remunerative public production and confined to what has always been considered the inferior position of the reproductive sphere. The resulting wealth differential within the family led to inequality between spouses - as it did between classes (Maguire, 1984).
Engels believed that increasing women's involvement in the productive sphere (wage labor) would result in an end to their oppression. Contemporary history shows this premise to be incorrect. Increased participation in the paid labor force has not resulted in significant relaxation of women's subordination (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989; Maguire, 1984) Instead, women's lower status has spread from the household to the productive sphere, where women are invariably given the poorest paid, least desirable jobs. Women have been required to maintain their reproductive responsibilities in addition to their growing productive or wage labor obligations, creating a "double burden."
While Engels believed that capitalist repression relegated women to the reproductive sphere, others attribute this to biological factors. They argue that women's subordinate status is reinforced by women's confinement to the domestic sphere due to gestation, lactation and child-care responsibilities (Lei-Strauss, 1969, 1972; Ortner, 1974). This argument is based on the notion that women's reproductive capacity condemns them to subordination (Brydon and Chant, 1989). Critics point out that these theories, reflecting as they do a culturally biased view of women's bodies, childbearing and child rearing as "constraining," are ethnocentric in the extreme (Roger, 1978; Brydon and Chant, 1989 pp.62).
Scholars offer differing rationale for the origin of women's subordination, but most accept that "reproductive" work is always accorded less value then "productive" work, leading inevitably to lower status and subordination for women who work primarily in that sphere.
A useful framework of analysis within which to discuss the lower status of reproductive activities is provided by the "exchange-value" versus "use-value" dichotomy. Productive labor normally generates cash income which is considered to have exchange-value while reproductive labor provides family subsistence needs and is considered to have use-value. Men normally dominate the former and women the latter. Typically use-value labor is considered to hold greater real value than exchange-value labor. While this analytical construct is useful it suffers from the same shortcomings as the "reproductive" and "productive" division of labor discussed earlier. At the margin, the distinction between "use-value" and "exchange-value" is often ambiguous. For example, subsistence farming is normally production for direct consumption. Surplus production may, however, be sold for cash which has exchange-value. (Brydon and Chant, 1989)
Despite the fact that reproductive labor is crucial to the health, welfare and survival of the world's populations, it continues to be undervalued and largely ignored at the project level. Development efforts in recent years have attempted to increase the participation of women. However, a lack of clear conceptual understanding of the role women already play in economic life and a failure to recognize the value of women's reproductive responsibilities has limited their successful participation in the development process. In order for women to actively participate in, and benefit from, development efforts - particularly those aimed at increasing women's income earning opportunities - programs and projects must recognize women's "double burden" and support them in reducing their reproductive labor loads. (Beneria, 1983; Maguire, 1984; Brydon and Chant, 1989; Dixon, 1985; Boserup, 1986).
Third world women are limited in their choice of employment opportunities facing severe constraints in the productive sphere, in particular. As already noted, productive labor is often difficult to distinguish from reproductive labor. Subsistence agriculture, in which women provide a significant portion of the labor requirements, poses a particular challenge to this definition. While subsistence production is intended for direct consumption by the family, any surplus can be sold for cash. In a rural context subsistence production should more appropriately be considered income which has exchange value (Brydon and Chant, 1989). [This issue is dealt with in more depth in the following pages.]
A brief overview of factors which have been used to explain women's subordinate position and their difficulties in participating in the productive labor force are presented below:
Reproductive responsibilities Throughout the world women's participation in the wage labor force has been significantly lower then that of men, because women bear the primary responsibility for reproductive work - mainly involving child-care and domestic work.
Double burden Women often bear a double burden where they engage in both reproductive and productive work. (Brydon and Chant, 1989; Momsen, 1991). The double burden requires that they work significantly longer hours than do the men in their communities. Women, as a consequence, enjoy significantly less leisure time than men (Momsen, 1991).
Sexual stereotypes and discrimination Women are limited to a narrow range of low paying, less secure and low status jobs because of gender stereotyping and employment discrimination based on gender.
Skills and education Women have less access to training and education, in part due to the sexual division of labor. When determining choice of education for children, it is often felt that females will not need formal training or education as they will be wives and mothers performing primarily reproductive work. The resulting lack of education and formal skills inhibits women's access to better jobs in the formal job sector. It is important, however, to note that equality in access to education does not ensure equality in pay. In most cases women with equal education have difficulty competing against men for available jobs. And, having won a job they invariably receive lower wages than men performing comparable work (Brydon an Chant 1989, Momsen, 1991).
Higher cost of female labor In the modern industrial sector legislation typically requires employers to provide female employees with liberal maternity benefits. This has the effect of raising the cost of female labor, and is a factor now inhibiting hiring of women (Momsen, 1991).
Spatial separation between home and work place Women are constrained to accept outside employment where there is a large spatial separation between their work place and their home - where they usually still bear primary responsibility for reproductive activities. This issue is particularly relevant to women who live in cities. (Momsen, 1991)
Secondary earners The assumption that women are secondary earners, supplementing their family's income, limits their employment opportunities. This assumption ignores the ever-growing trend of female headed households - which now account for over 30% of all households worldwide (Maguire, 1984).
Patriarchy Men still control the power structures in the third world, thus ensuring the continued dominance of the male perspective - while also continuing to limit employment opportunities for women.
Traditional social and cultural values Traditional social and cultural values often dictate the types of employment women may hold while also imposing severe spatial restrictions on women. These two factors often make it impossible for women to pursue productive work outside the home. Traditional values, including local perceptions of honor (and/or dishonor) often provide the primary basis for resistance by husbands and fathers to women working outside of the home.
In addition to the factors described above, several, more comprehensive theories have been advanced to explain the persistence of women's subordinate position in the labor force. These can generally be grouped under the following headings (Momsen, 1989):
Neo-classical economic theories These theories attribute male-female earning differentials to women's lower level of education, family responsibilities, lower productivity, less experience, less physical strength and fewer working hours. Criticisms of these theories include the assumption that education can eliminate the wage differential. Neo-classical theories also assumes that men and women have equal access to jobs and compete on equal ground for jobs. Finally, neo-classical theories assume that gestation, lactation and child-rearing biologically restrict all women.
Labor market segmentation These theories assume that the neo-classical principles apply but within narrow labor market segments such as primary jobs and secondary sector jobs. Women tend to occupy the lower paid, lower security secondary jobs due to their higher absenteeism and turnover. This is attributed to female characteristics rather then the poor nature of the jobs. These theories further assume that gender roles are static, explaining in part, women's continued disadvantaged position in the labor market.
Feminist theories These theories focus on cultural and social factors which place women at a disadvantage in the labor market. Women's reproductive and productive roles are viewed as key variables as opposed to being a fixed conditions.
Female marginalization These theories hold that women's role in production becomes increasingly less important with capitalist industrialization in developing countries. They rely primarily on four key arguments to explain subordination of women in the work place:
Women are excluded from employment on the basis of their gender or characteristics assigned to their gender.
Women are confined to the margins of the labor market - receiving the lowest paid, most insecure jobs. They are virtually excluded from certain types of jobs - such as heavy manufacturing, for example.
Some jobs become feminized due to a high concentration of females in those jobs (receptionists, for example). A direct consequence of feminization is that affected jobs take on a lower status. Garment industry jobs are typical of this category.
The principle of economic inequality, which refers to occupational differentiation such as low wages, poor working conditions, lack of job security, and a lack of benefits, is implicitly accepted by most employers for jobs considered to be "women's work." (Brydon and Chant 1989; Momsen, 1991)
As with their efforts in the reproductive sphere, the work women do for wages (productive work) is largely undervalued. The primary rationale for underpaying women for their productive work is that their income is considered to be "supplementary" to that of their husband or father - the primary household bread winner. Despite the fact that productive labor normally is accorded greater value in most societies, women's participation in productive labor has not necessarily meant improved status or freedom from subordination for women. Development efforts oriented at improving women's status and standard of living through participation in remunerated "productive" labor must address the limitations women face in "productive" work in order to achieve success.
Women play a vital role in agricultural production throughout the world, making a significant contribution to the basic productivity of their communities. This contribution is largely under-reported, however, and is seldom considered in the planning and implementation of development projects (Maguire, 1984; Boserup, 1986; Brydon and Chant 1989; Momsen, 1991). This failure of development projects to recognize women's crucial role in agricultural production has had a detrimental effect on the status of women, has had significant opportunity costs with respect to production increases, and has often resulted in the failure of projects (Brydon and Chant, 1989). Recognition of the key role women play in agricultural production is imperative for successful implementation of both non-agricultural and agricultural development projects.
In addition to their household reproductive activities, women in rural communities bear considerable responsibility for household agricultural production and processing. These activities, which include all aspects of crop production and processing, animal husbandry, seed preparation and storage and local cash crop marketing, arguably constitute a greater responsibility for agricultural production than that exercised by their male counterparts. For the purposes of this discussion subsistence agriculture will be considered as a third category of work distinct from reproductive and productive work. Subsistence agriculture is, in reality, an intermediate category of activity because while subsistence farming is normally for household consumption, the activity itself does not differ in practical terms from income-earning agricultural activity and in times of surplus produce may be sold for real exchange-value (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Earlier, the "double burden" of women was discussed in reference to their reproductive and productive labor responsibilities. Throughout many parts of the world, women bear the primary responsibility for subsistence agricultural production in addition to their household reproductive labor and other outside productive activities. In reality, we can refer to a "triple burden" when we add subsistence agricultural work to the reproductive and productive labor women carry out.
The degree to which women participate in agriculture varies throughout the world. There are a variety of theories and rationale to explain this variability. Ester Boserup in Women's role in Economic Development has proposed that the nature of the agricultural production paradigm of a region affects the level of women's participation which in turn determines women's status. Specifically, Boserup argues that in areas where shifting cultivation is predominant women perform most of the agricultural work and have a higher relative status. In areas where the plough is predominant, men perform relative more agricultural work and women have lower status. In irrigated areas, where farming is intensive and both men and women are highly involved in agricultural production, women's status, again, tends to be relatively higher.
Boserup postulates that modern agricultural methods introduced through development projects have had a detrimental effect on women by lowering their participation in agriculture and thereby lowering their status (Boserup, 1986). While Boserup's central thesis has been widely criticized, her work is considered a landmark in that it exposed women's vital contribution in agricultural production - something previously ignored by mainstream economists and development planners (Maguire, 1984; Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Another factor affecting women's participation in agricultural production is the division of labor based on gender. Most farming systems have developed a gender-specific assignment of farming tasks. For example, men may tend to perform those agricultural tasks that require physical strength, are distant from the homestead and/or require operation of machinery. Women, on the other hand are more likely to perform time consuming tasks that require close attention, dexterity and repetition - such as weeding, for instance. Introduction of new technology or tools will typically alter the existing division of labor, with men generally assuming those tasks perceived as "complex" or involving operation of machinery.
Farm size also appears to be an important factor in determining the variability in women's participation in agriculture throughout the third world. In areas where small farms are predominant, women have a higher degree of participation than in areas where large land holdings are predominant (Momsen, 1989). This may be because smaller farms are geared more at subsistence production where larger farms are more likely to produce cash crops.
Cultural and class factors also affect women's participation in agriculture. In some cultures women's participation in fieldwork is looked down upon and associated with loss of status. In those cultures only poor, divorced, abandoned or otherwise outcast women - all of whom are typically considered to hold low status -work directly in the fields (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Another factor affecting women's participation in agriculture is male migration to the city. Inevitably, women who remain behind are required to pick up the slack - often finding themselves with insufficient time to perform the increased work load. In some cases this has led to under-utilization of land and/or underemployment of labor - and a drop in production resulting in increased poverty and malnutrition (Momsen, 1989).
Additionally, due largely to simple naivete, development projects have had a passive impact on women's participation in agriculture by exclusively targeting men. This is done on the assumption that, as in many western societies, men are the main agricultural decision makers (Momsen, 1989). In so doing projects exclude women from agrarian reform and training efforts - often widening the gap between men and women's earning power and lowering the relative status of women within the community.
Development planners have consistently failed to give adequate consideration to women's needs and have shown a marked predilection to ignore ideas put forward by women - despite the fact that women are central to the development process. This gender-blind attitude at the policy and planning levels has led to the exclusion of women from many projects or in some cases introduced negative effects on women. The following discussion examines the reasons underlying this failing at the policy level.
The most important reason for policy level bias against women is probably simple ignorance - an inability by development planners and bureaucrats to accurately conceptualize the role women play in their rural communities. There is, in particular, a pronounced tendency to underestimate the importance of reproductive activities carried out by women, it's value to family survival and its overall importance to the national economy. Many development planners have compounded this error of ignorance by restricting women's participation in projects to activities involving the household, childbearing and child rearing (Maguire, 1984) - thus serving to reinforce all the standard stereotyped biases against women.
Development analysts have suggested that the reason for the anti-women bias in development planning is that planners, often educated in US and British universities, typically superimpose projects with western values, ideologies and methodologies (Maguire, 198?; Brydon and Chant, 1989). This is not unexpected, because much of the conventional wisdom with respect to WID issues draws its inspiration from studies of women and gender in the first world. Implicit assumptions concerning rural woman also tend to reflect western values. For example, on the assumption - as in the developed western nations - that men are the primary agricultural producers and decision-makers, women have often been excluded from agricultural development projects. This, despite the fact that they may be the principal producers of the crop(s) being promoted. Another case of development planners superimposing western values, is when women have been excluded from projects on the assumption that all households are male headed. In fact, female-headed household are becoming increasingly common throughout the world (Maguire, 1984).
In order to overcome this problem, third world women must play a greater role in defining their own needs and planning and implementing development interventions. This requires the participation of third world women as researchers, policy planners, project staff and active participants in project implementation (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Another criticism of development planning is that it rarely addresses or even acknowledges the constraints of prejudice, traditions, gender inequities, stereotypes and sexism. These factors are believed by many analysts to represent the vary core of societies oppression of women, yet they are rarely openly considered in the planning or implementation of rural development projects (Maguire, 1984).
Many development planners have also failed to recognize factors such as race and class, which in addition to gender, are also at the root of oppression - of both men and women (Maguire, 1984).
Another factor development planners often to fail to take into account in their planning for national development is the effect on women of the wide-ranging economic restructuring efforts now being mandated by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These efforts typically include increasing production for export, raising local prices of basic goods, and services and reducing "inefficient" social welfare programs. The poorest sectors of the population, which is disproportionately female, tend to bear the heaviest, immediate burden of these restructuring adjustments (Momsen, 1991).
In conclusion, Patricia Maguire offers the following general constraints to efficient and effective WID programming and implementation in development projects Maguire, 1983):
Inadequate quantitative information about women A limited data base and lack of accurate statistics on women and WID issues limits the efficient implementation and evaluation of development projects.
Inadequate qualitative information and understanding of women's daily lives Stereotypes and misconceptions about women's lives, activities and economic contribution to their families and communities are common at the highest policy and planning levels. For example, as a result of the common perception of women as exclusively wives and mothers, they have been limited to participation in health, nutrition, family planning and education projects. In turn they are often excluded from projects which concentrate on developing areas such as agricultural, marketing, and management skills.
Lack of female staff and inadequate mechanisms for ensuring women's input into project development Staffing by women at the high decision-making positions is low. Also, participation by local women in projects is often limited due to cultural constraints, stereotypes and misinformation on the part of the project planners, the women themselves and the community.
Inadequate internal staffing by persons who understand and are commitment to WID programming Project staff sometimes have strong attitudinal barriers and have resisted including and targeting women in development projects.
Inadequate models and insufficient experience with WID programming to meet women's economic needs Despite the fact that women have most frequently identified their major need to be income, cash and wage employment (Maguire, 1983, pp. 44), the development industry has been slow to successfully address those needs. Many projects focused at income generating activities provide so few returns or pay such low wages that accepting the work the jobs provide is often not worth the additional burden they add to women's lives.
Inadequate commitment of financial resources to WID programming Despite increasing recognition of the need for WID projects and programs, the development industry has invested only a small percentage of its available resources for WID programming.
The "Development Project" is a recent innovation, succeeding the "program" mechanism of the past. Reinforced by the major multilateral and bilateral development agencies and their economic aid funds, all developing countries now subscribe to some variation of project based development. The intention of the discrete development project format is to provide a consistent structure for planning, implementing and evaluating desired action. Terms such as "goals," "objectives," "logical framework," "objectively verifiable indicators," evaluation," "rate-of-return," and "net present value" have all become part of the common lexicon of the development community.
The United Nations Decade for the Advancement of Women served to motivate most large multilateral and bilateral development organizations, national governments and private NGO's to develop projects aimed at improving the economic and social position of women. The assumption was that by increasing women's participation in the development projects, women would improve their lives through enhanced access to resources, income, employment, and education. It has become clear, however, that participation in development projects has a differential impact on women, with the negative effects on women's social and economic condition often outweighing the positive wage gains - thus actually widening the inequality between men and women. The discussion which follows will examine: a) the relative advantages and disadvantages for women of various types of development projects, b) the general problem of women's participation in development projects, and c) problems concerning project evaluation.
Women are often excluded from participation in projects due to entry conditions that limit access by women. For example, conditions which require a regular income or include only household heads often restrict or disqualify women from participating in a given project.
As we have already mentioned, development projects typically fail to recognize the "triple" burden brought on women through their participation in a project. We have also noted that participation in projects often lowers the status of those women associating with it. In some islamic countries, for example, women who work outside of the home are often ascribed low-status. (Abdullah and Zeidenstein, 1982, Brydon, 1985 pp.112).
When analyzing WID projects it is necessary to establish whether projects address women's "practical" or "strategic" needs. Practical needs refer to immediate basic material needs such as food and shelter. Projects addressing practical needs of women often reinforce women's traditional roles and the existing sexual division of labor. Strategic needs are concerned with issues such as improving women's status, bringing about an equal sharing of resources between women and men, achieving gender equality at home and in the work place, and challenging the existing sexual division of labor.
Most development projects avoid addressing strategic needs because: a) doing so often involves the sensitive issue of challenging the political, cultural and social status quo; b) it requires a long-term commitment; and c) it competes with the more visceral "practical needs" of poor women who are concerned first with basic survival. Nevertheless, in order to truly empower women and bring about fundamental change, development efforts must address women's strategic needs in addition to their practical needs (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989).
"Bottom-up" projects have been commended for their marked success, relative to "top-down" projects, in stimulating women's direct participation in the development process. Bottom-up approaches are often development efforts that have been initiated from within communities, by women themselves. Top-down development projects, on the other hand, are introduced by external authorities. Generally "bottom-up" approaches are thought to have a higher degree of beneficiary input and participation.
Top-down approaches have been criticized for failing to take into account women's views, attitudes, capabilities and constraints (Ahmad and Loufti, 1985 pp. 96). Bottom-up approaches, on the other hand, are considered by many to have a higher likelihood for achieving success as they are often based on women's own initiatives and include a high degree of local participation in their design as well as implementation ( Ahmad and Loufti, 1985; Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Participation by women in the planning and implementation of projects is an important element in designing projects that truly benefit and address the needs of women. However, it is not a sufficient condition to ensure success. Bottom-down projects are usually disadvantaged by poor linkages to, and communications with, external groups. For example, an exclusively internal local initiative will typically encounter greater difficulty a) obtaining funding, and b) gaining access to technical and managerial expertise than an will an external initiative. Additionally, a bottom-up initiative is more likely to depend on volunteer time to accomplish goals. This is a problem for women who normally have little free time to volunteer.
It is an interesting question whether an externally introduced project can effectively practice bottom-up participatory techniques which directly involve beneficiaries in project planning and implementation. Such efforts may provide the advantages of external links to funding sources and technical expertise while simultaneously addressing the real needs of project beneficiaries.
Another approach to including women in development projects is to create women-only projects. The advantage of this approach is that it can avoid conflict, resistance from men and cultural constraints on men and women working together. This type of project can provide women with a non-competitive, non-controversial environment where they can acquire skills and/or earn an income. It is also more likely that the needs and interests of women may better converge than in mixed gender projects. In general, women-only projects have a stronger commitment to women and are better able to reach women - thus promoting a high degree of participation by women, as both staff and beneficiaries.
Women-only projects also have serious disadvantages. First, many efforts directed at only women tend to be small, peripheral projects focussed primarily on practical family-needs. This has the effect, usually unintended, of reinforcing women's roles as wives and mothers. Such projects, along with their participants and beneficiaries, tend to become easily marginalized. Classic examples of women-centered projects include nutrition, hygiene, child-health, education and family planning projects. These projects rarely address strategic needs by challenging women's traditional roles or the inequality between men and women. Rather, they tend to play it safe by restricting their focus to supporting women's roles as nurturers and family care-takers.
Some women-only projects have shifted their focus to increasing women's income and employment opportunities by improving access to credit, training and fundraising activities. These projects make the assumption that poverty is the root cause of discrimination against women. They fit under the general category of "anti-poverty approach" and are targeted at directly improving women's material circumstances.
Many anti-poverty women's projects reinforce traditional skills women often already possess - such as handicrafts, sewing or cooking. (Maguire, 1984; Brydon and Chant, 1989). In-the-home craft and clothing projects usually realize very low returns to women for their efforts - which are usually highly labor intensive and time consuming. These projects often pay so little compensation for the work they require that their net benefits to women are dubious at best. In the final analysis, anti-poverty projects rarely address strategic needs and tend to reinforce women's traditional roles.
Another category of women-only projects is an "equity" approach in which effort is made to share resources and benefits among men and women on an equal basis. These projects seek to eliminate sexual inequality in the work place and at home. Equity projects may include consciousness-raising, women-only credit programs, and sex-education. These efforts emphasize the questioning of women's traditional reproductive roles and encourage further participation in reproductive activities.
Equity projects face limitations, however, as they enter the sensitive area of challenging the political, social, cultural, and economic status quo. Equity projects also demand a long term commitment and are, as a consequence, relatively more expensive than other approaches. The limited resource flow to such projects is also exacerbated by the fact that policy planners are put off by both the need for long-term commitment and the sometimes controversial nature of the projects themselves.
Other women-only projects, besides equity-approach projects, also face resources constraints (Sen and Grown, 1987; Brydon and Chant, 1989). This may in part be attributable to: a) more limited resource networks, b) limited organizational and technical expertise and c) a general "devaluation" of women-only projects within the international development community (Buvinic, 1984; Rogers, 1980; Brydon and Chant, 1989).
As with other WID projects, women-only projects also encounter the problem of loss of status - both by the project and its participants. Simply being labeled a "women's project" generates an attitude among community members that the project is of little importance. Often this may result from a lack of support or cooperation by men who see no direct benefit for themselves, and question the value of any project targeting only women. Additionally, women may be hesitant to participate in such projects for fear of losing status through association with the project. This is most likely to occur in societies where women's participation in activities outside the home is viewed with disfavor by the community at large (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Mixed gender projects have comparative advantages and disadvantages for women participants. First, mixed-gender projects have relatively more access to resources than women-only projects. Given the inclusion of males, the project is more likely to receive the support of male community members. Also, inclusion of males is likely to remove the stigma - and the consequent low status - ascribed to exclusively female projects.
Mixed-gender projects, however, have certain disadvantages for their women participants. The obvious disadvantage is the likelihood of male domination of the project. Male domination typically limits women's participation in the project with a concomitant reduction in benefits to women. Mixed-gender projects are also less likely to address women's specific needs and interests when compared to women-only projects (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
An emphasis on "community participation", or "grass-roots development" or "development from below" as mention earlier under the discussion on bottom-up development, has become pronounced in recent years. These approaches to development concentrate on increasing the participation of project beneficiaries in the planning, design and implementation of projects. Advocates of increased beneficiary participation contend that these projects are more likely to succeed because they better address the real needs and constraints of participants.
Women's participation in, and benefit from, development projects and programs have been limited by a variety of factors. The following is a brief overview of factors that limit women's active participation in development projects
Exclusion from design stages of projects Many participatory development efforts include beneficiaries in the implementation and maintenance of projects, however they fail to include them in the design stages (Brydon and Chant, 1989). Project design must also address constraints to beneficiary participation, an issue particularly important to women. By leaving beneficiaries out of the design stages, project planners limit their target group's ability to participate despite the fact that they may be promoting a high degree of participation in the implementation of the project.
Male resistance In some cases women are prevented from participating in projects by their male family members as it may mean coming into close contact with men outside of the family (Chant 1987; Abdullah and Zeidenstein; 1982 PP. 229 Brydon). Males may also resist women's participation in projects because: a) it may necessitate a reduction in reproductive activities within the family; b) they fear "empowered" women will threaten the male-dominated power structure; and c) they fear project involvement by female family members will result in a lowering of their own status within the community (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Traditions, attitudes and prejudices Patriarchal attitudes, traditions and prejudices embedded in culture and religion can restrict women from participating in projects.
Limited education Women's limited access to education and training may leave them without the minimal skills necessary to participate in certain projects. This is a particularly pernicious "Catch-22" problem, because restricted access to paid jobs further denies women the opportunity to acquire the skills, on-the-job training (i.e., informal education) and work experience necessary to compete for those jobs (Maguire, 1984).
Limited time Given the burden of their reproductive responsibilities, women may have little time left over to participate in projects.
Poor access to resources Constrained access by women to land, credit, and modern agricultural equipment limits their participation in most rural development projects (Maguire, 1987).
Health burden Women's relative poverty is reflected in their nutritional state. Women typically have less access to food and health care than do men. Female babies are deprived of food and medical care in favor of male babies during times of shortage or deprivation. Women, as a consequence suffer greater malnutrition and anemia than do their male counterparts. This is further exacerbated by the additional health burdens of frequent pregnancies and lactation. Together, these health burdens may represent a significant constraint to active participation by women in certain projects (Maguire, 1984).
Lack of accurate research and information on women Inadequate information and statistics on women's lives and activities constrain development planners - who are themselves isolated from project beneficiaries - from designing projects that truly address women's needs. This translates into the need for more female-centered research which can serve as the basis for the accurate design of participatory development projects.
Male staff In some cases male staff members may be insensitive to women's needs or resent their participation. In other cases it may be difficult for women to work with male staff as they may be prohibited by their family members from doing so. Sometimes participation is withheld because women lack the self-confidence to deal with men (i.e., male strangers) in a formal project context (Brydon and Chant, 1984).
Project evaluation can be a powerful tool for improving the effectiveness of development projects and programs. The information and feedback obtained through an effective evaluation can be used by project planners, particularly in projects involving women, to measure precisely whether beneficiary needs are being met. This information can be used to: a) make mid-project corrections designed to improve project performance, and b) improve the design of successive projects. There are, nevertheless, a wide variety of problems commonly encountered in conducting WID project evaluations. The discussion which follows identifies some of the more serious errors committed in WID project evaluations.
The first problem encountered in evaluating WID activities is simply defining a WID project. There are varying degrees of women's participation in development projects and there is no general consensus on what constitutes a WID project. Some projects directly target women while others offer a benefit to the community which will also benefit women as members of that community. For example, can the construction of a road be considered a WID project since "women walk on roads too ?" (Maguire, 1984).
Another difficulty with evaluating WID projects and programs is the lack of baseline data for comparison and measurement of project success. Agencies normally lack accurate data on women's social, political and economic status which predates the project being evaluated. This makes it almost impossible to accurately and objectively measure project impact on women.
Also, related to the problem of baseline data, is a disagreement among development agencies over indicators. For example, there does not exist a single universally accepted measure of women's status, despite the fact that improving women's status is a major objective of many WID projects. This complicates project evaluation and makes it difficult to make precise measurements of a project's impact on women's status, for example.
Evaluation of WID problems can also be problematic if the evaluation is carried out too early in the project cycle. Implementation of WID projects typically takes longer to train staff, secure financing, and build an expertise in WID. A premature evaluation may result in inaccurate findings.
Another problem associated with WID evaluation is a tendency to focus on summative evaluations, that measure outcomes, rather then formative evaluations that measure activities in progress. Summative evaluations are normally conducted at the end of projects, which eliminates the possibility of implementing changes or making mid-course adjustments. Formative evaluations may detect problems and constraints early on and allow the possibility for the project to make modifications that can improve project outcomes.
Patricia Maguire offers the following suggestions for improving WID project evaluations (Maguire, 1984):
Develop a method to categorize WID projects.
Collect baseline data on women and develop indicators for status measurements.
Improve means of measuring and reporting project impact and outcomes.
Allow sufficient time to lapse before undertaking a project evaluation.
Include formative evaluation of projects.
The task of defining precisely what constitutes a WID failure or success is difficult. However, there appears to be some consensus in the WID literature regarding certain project qualities or outcomes which might serve as general criteria for defining a success or a failure. The following discussion will review these major criteria.
WID failures are often projects which cause unintended negative side effects due to a "blindness of women's needs and constraints". The following is a listing of some unintended negative effects that have resulted from WID interventions:
Violence towards women Women are sometimes the objects of abuse by family and community members because of their participation in a project. Women's increased power and independence may prove threatening to men resulting in a backlash of violence. This sometimes occurs when women who achieve economic success and are accused of obtaining their economic gains through prostitution or witch craft (Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Create a double (or triple) burden Projects that ignore women's existing reproductive, productive, and subsistence agriculture responsibilities may place an even greater burden on women's already heavy workload. The added burden may outweigh the benefits accruing to women through their participation in the project.
Male take-over In some cases projects which have demonstrated benefits for women - particularly by increasing cash income - have been taken over by males in the community once they noted the positive results.
Lack of control over income Although women may earn an income through a project, this does not necessarily mean they can retain control over that income. In many (perhaps most) cases, women must hand their earnings to their spouses, who in turn may not use the money in a manner which benefits the women who earned the money. As such, increasing women's income does not necessarily translate to greater independence, better quality of life, or improved status.
Unintended negative results from development projects are normally caused by a failure to recognize local cultural constraints and to develop strategies for dealing with those constraints. This failure to recognize and plan for constraints is characteristic of "top down" approaches to development which do not include beneficiaries in the planning, design and implementation of projects.
These WID failures are also a result of failure to recognize women's separate roles as reproducers and producers. Projects which see women only as reproducers may serve only to reinforce women's traditional roles and do little to change their status. However, projects which focus on women as producers must recognize and plan for their reproductive responsibilities or else they may only serve to increase women's burdens - with few benefits. WID efforts must, therefore, take into account women's multiple roles in their households and communities.
Perhaps the most profound reason for failure of WID projects is their refusal to address strategic needs. It is questionable to what degree a project can address strategic needs while the practical needs of the beneficiaries remain unfulfilled. For reasons of basic survival practical needs take precedence over strategic needs. However, without addressing strategic needs it is impossible to truly empower women and bring about fundamental change. (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989).
In reality, project successes in WID have been far and few. However, there are certain qualities that are associated with projects that have some degree of success. Projects with a gender-aware, bottom-up orientation are generally felt to represent a more effective approach to development because they are more likely to synchronize with local cultural practices and will have a high level of beneficiary participation. Whether introduced externally or from within the community, this approach is seen to have more success than the top-down orientation that fails to engage local cultural realities (Jain, 1980; Brydon and Chant, 1984).
Income generation can play a key role in increasing women's independence and access to economic resources. Increased access to economic resources, capital and equity can significantly improve women's decision-making influence within the family and their overall status. However, increasing women's income alone does not necessarily mean that their status will increase. Dixon concludes that it is often easier to increase women's income than to improve their status (Dixon, 1985). Dixon cites examples where women were earning an income but were either subject to restricted personal freedom if married or, were either widows or deserted wives and considered to be of low status if unmarried. Projects that work towards improving women's status in addition to increasing income generation are more likely to truly benefit women and as such be considered as "successful."
In order for a project to improve women's status it must address strategic needs in addition to practical needs. Few projects have successfully done so, despite the fact that is a necessary step in empowering women and reducing the inequalities that exist between men and women.
The current WID literature is briefly summarized as follows:
In order to effectively incorporate women in development projects and programs into national development agendas it is necessary for planners to recognize and understand: a) the multiple roles women play in reproductive, productive and subsistence agricultural work; and b) the true economic contribution they provide to their communities (Brydon and Chant, 1989). Without support in reducing their domestic and community labor loads it is highly unlikely that development efforts will truly be successful in benefiting women. In other words, development planners and managers must address women's double (or triple) burden when planning and implementing development projects.
There is an urgent need for more accurate research and information on third world women's lives. Women's activities and the economic contribution they make to their respective communities is rarely reflected with any accuracy in national statistics or the planning and implementation of development projects that employ those statistics (Beneria, 1983; Maguire, 1984; Brydon and Chant, 1989; Dixon, 1985; Boserup, 1986). Without this information, development planners are unable to develop projects and programs which meet women's real needs.
Women must have increased access to, and control over, economic resources in order to improve the quality of their lives and their status. However, increasing income earning opportunities alone is not a sufficient condition.
In order to empower women and bring about fundamental change, development efforts must address women's strategic needs in addition to their practical needs (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989).
Economic development often has a differential impact on men and women. Development projects with a low level of beneficiary participation in the design and implementation of the projects tend to ignore women's needs and often exclude them from projects altogether. Consequently these projects may have a negative impact on women by exacerbating the inequalities among the sexes and widening the gap between men and women's earning power (Momsen, 1991; Brydon and Chant, 1989; Maguire, 1984; Boserup 1986; Sen and Grown, 1987).
Women's active involvement in the development process is not only beneficial for women but for society as a whole. Women are essential to development.
The SSVE project mobilizes the landless, the landed and marginal landholders through a modern shareholding structure to form a franchised network of village enterprises based on duckweed cultivation and duckweed-fed aquaculture of carp and tilapia. This corporate structure utilizes modern management techniques and provides a mechanism through which the rural poor obtain access to capital and technology. The Shobuj Shona model enables capital formation for all shareholding participants through their investment of land or labor. Landed and landless pool their investments of land and labor to form a common asset of a joint. Women, who are normally landless, have the unique opportunity to accumulate assets and to exercise democratic control over those assets through participation in the project.
The SSVE corporate structure enables a modern external institution to actively participate in village-level enterprise on a true, partnership basis. In return for its managerial and catalytic function, its provision of technical expertise, and its access to external finance and markets, the external partner (PRISM, in this instance) accepts minority shares in each SSVE.
Village-level SSVE enterprises are supported by Shobuj Shona Centers, a 10 hectare farming and logistics support center endowed with all technical, managerial, financial and marketing infrastructure necessary to support up to 100 near-by SSVEs.
PRISM has established, and now manages two Shobuj Shona Centers to provide support to the 9 existing SSVE villages - 7 villages in the Shibaloy area and two outside of Mirzapur. Ten village coordinators now serve as a direct link between the SSVE corporations and the Shobuj Shona Centers, providing technical assistance, supervision and management to the enterprises. Currently 17 coordinators are in training at the Mirzapur Shobuj Shona Center in preparation for the planned expansion into 60 additional villages.
In contrast to more conventional WID development efforts, the SSVE model is unique in various respects. The following are specific qualities which distinguish the SSVE model from more conventional development efforts involving women.
Challenging women's traditional roles The SSVE project challenges women's traditional roles by involving them in 'productive' agricultural work outside of the home. SSVE project activities are technical in nature and involve agricultural fieldwork which is traditionally male dominated in Bangladesh. Traditional women's income earning activities promoted through projects would more likely include handicrafts, crop processing and garment production.
The SSVE project also challenges women's traditional roles since they are brought into the project as stockholders with ownership and decision making rights equal to male participants. Although the need to increase women's access to income and assets is widely recognized, development efforts are normally cautious about engineering such rapid changes to the local socio-economic structure.
In Bangladesh women are largely associated with the reproductive sphere and their activities are normally tied to the household. Cultural constraints also limit women spatially from leaving their homes. The SSVE project closely ties women to productive activities outside the household that require their spatial separation from the home. By generating their own income and assets they take on the role of producers in addition to their traditional role as reproducers.
Formally involving the Extended Family Bangladeshi communities typically live in extended families - with as many as 20 nuclear families living together in a common "bari" homestead. Above all else, the extended family represents "security" for every Bangladeshi. It mitigates the effects of individual unemployment, sickness or other disaster. The extended family is the well-spring of the Bengali culture, of personal value systems, and of social morality. It possesses enormous labor resources that can be instantly deployed or withdrawn - without significantly affecting the stability of the family itself. It is a collective day care center for children. It provides temporary care for infants.
The SSVE project seeks to avail of the enormous hidden labor assets of the extended family during times of temporary need. By endowing a woman with stock, and reinforcing her productivity (see Footnote 8) - as opposed to merely her time - the SSVE provides a powerful incentive for the extended family to "add value" to the woman's participation by: a) providing free extra hands when she may require assistance at the pondside; b) picking up the slack at home with respect to child care and household work; and c) becoming "intellectually" involved with her work and the progress she is making or, conversely, the problems she is having. Ultimately, it is virtually costless for the extended family to inject additional labor. In the case of duckweed production this additional labor can realize very high returns at the margin.
[Footnote 8: The SSVE pays labor on the basis of productivity - which is not a novel concept in itself. Where it differs from other "piece work" systems is that it pays on an increasing slope basis. At the margin, the payment per unit of production continues to increase. For example, a woman may receive 3 takas for harvesting 300 kgs of duckweed on a given day. She might receive 2 takas for harvesting 220 kgs, but that would increase to 4 takas for harvesting 350 kgs and 6 takas for 400 kgs . . . etc..]
Addressing strategic needs The SSVE model attempts to address strategic needs in addition to practical needs. Rather then simply offering women employment opportunities the SSVE model seeks to empower women through the ownership of a tangible asset - SSVE stock. It is assumed that practical needs will be met through women's income derived from employment by the project. Shareholding goes beyond that, however, by endowing the woman with ownership and decision-making powers in her own corporation. Shareholdings offers the possibility of future economic security for women participants which is independent of their husband's or father's property or income.
Conventional development efforts normally fail to address strategic needs, despite the fact that this is widely viewed as a prerequisite to achieving social and economic equality for women. Addressing strategic needs enters the risky realm of challenging the political, social and economic status quo in addition to requiring a significant long-term financial and personal commitment.
Challenging local social and economic status quo The SSVE model challenges the local social and economic status quo by instantly providing traditionally disadvantaged groups such as women and the landless with an income significantly greater than the local norm - as well as tangible assets in the form of shareholdings.
Landed and landless people, traditionally antagonists, are brought into the project as partners for mutual self-benefit. Also, in contravention of traditional social norms, men and women are organized into a unit to work together as equals. All of these aspects of the SSVE model challenge the local social and economic status quo. As mentioned earlier, conventional development efforts are more reluctant to take on this task and prefer to orchestrate more gradual change. They reflect a common concern that to bestow massive, immediate increases in income, technological capacity and social status on a few, privileged community members will create a local social imbalance sufficient to destabilize the entire community.
Introducing corporate structure into rural Bangladeshi society The implementation of a modern for-profit corporate structure into a rural setting is a unique element of the SSVE model. While cooperatives, associations, "groups" and cottage industries are fairly common, a formal corporate model is a novel concept. While running the risk of being too novel a concept for villagers to grasp, the "newness" of the corporate structure may actually facilitate the introduction of asset acquisition by women and landless people - i.e., social constraints on female ownership in such institutions do not yet exist.
Introducing Lemnaceae technology Although the SSVE model could potentially be applied to various other activities, it is now structured around aspects of duckweed aquaculture. These new technologies have only recently emerged from extensive R&D and have not yet been implemented on a large scale under largely uncontrolled circumstances. Women SSVE members have, in effect, a head start at a bright new technology that promises to revolutionize fish farming in Bangladesh. Although various development projects occasionally introduce new technologies, agricultural innovations are invariably targeted at men - do the detriment of women (Boserup, 1986). In other cases the introduction of a new technology has often had the effect of displacing women from their traditional role in agriculture.
Given the fact that duckweed farming is a new technology, there is no pre-existing sexual division of labor associated with it. In many cultures women are assigned agricultural tasks such as weeding and which are thought to require patience, dexterity and persistence. These same qualities are required for successful duckweed farming. Duckweed farming requires regular and continuous maintenance, careful monitoring, and high precision. It does not require the mastery of heavy machinery, sophisticated equipment or great physical strength.
Mixed-sex project The SSVE project involves the creation of units comprising both men and women. In Bangladesh there is a tendency for single-sex group formation in "collective" projects. This is done in order to overcome cultural constraint which limit women's contact with males outside of the family. The SSVE project runs the potential risk of inhibiting female participation by having mixed sex units. On the other hand the project runs less risk of loss of status in the community by being labeled a "women's project".
High degree of beneficiary participation The concept of a high degree of beneficiary participation as being conducive to successful project outcomes is fairly common. However, even with good intentions, beneficiary participation in project decision making is difficult to implement and achieve. The SSVE model seeks to encourage a high degree of beneficiary participation through mechanisms such as an elected Executive Committee representing each village corporation, focus/informant groups, and internal weekly unit meetings.
High degree of interdependence between the villager and external institutional resources It is the presumption of almost every development project that "functional independence" is the primary project goal. This assumes that the "project catalyst" must eventually leave, with villagers then assuming themselves whatever function that catalyst originally provided. The SSVE project takes the radical view that "functional independence" is the antithesis of "modernization." There is, therefore, no presumption that the project catalyst will ever leave. In fact, the SSVE project promotes the ever-increasing interdependence (call it "specialization") with external factors - which it believes to be an essential condition for modernization. Failing this, villagers will be forever trapped in extreme poverty, unable to compete against an increasingly interdependent and specialized modern world. (See footnote 9). The SSVE project takes the view that each villager should always take maximum advantage of his comparative advantage, noting that it will gradually shift with his increasing wealth and sophistication (See footnote 9a).
[Footnote 9: The SSVE project takes the view that the development industry has become trapped by the political implications of the words "independent" and "self-sufficient." Gandhi's metaphor of the "self-sufficient" villager spinning his own thread has somehow become cast in stone - despite the fact that national independence is no longer an issue in these countries. His martyrdom and deification have only compounded the problem - which remains the most serious single constraint to third world rural development today (Skillicorn, 1993)]
[Footnote 9a: With increasing wealth it will be necessary to inject higher levels of technology into production processes, and to gradually move away from agriculture to small-scale distributed manufacturing]
As mentioned earlier, the GB model is currently the best known and most successful development effort targeting women in Bangladesh. Therefor it is interesting, therefore, to contrast the GB and SSVE models. While they have obvious differences, they also share similarities. Perhaps more profound are the subtle distinctions which differentiate the two models.
The strongest obvious similarity between the GB and SSVE models is the use of groups. Both models are structured around groups and rely heavily upon group guarantees and peer pressure for their success. In the GB model, the entire group is held accountable for individual group member loans should he default. The SSVE model has a different type of group guarantee wherein individual salaries are dependent upon group productivity and performance, and the entire corporation bears responsibility for repayment of credit, with the price of default reflected in diminished dividends and a drop in stock value.
Peer pressure plays an important role in both models. GB members exert pressure on fellow members to make loan payments and SSVE members pressure each other to maintain high levels of productivity and "pull their own weight".
Both models also require that groups demonstrate fiscal discipline through mandatory savings. The GB requires that members place a small weekly savings in a group fund while the SSVE model requires both group and individual savings as a prerequisite for participation.
Another similarity between the two models is their approach of bringing the project activities to the village doorstep. The GB assigns bank officers to villages, requiring that they meet with groups within their home villages. The SSVE analog is the SSVE coordinator, who lives in the village and provides constant daily supervision as well as a daily interface with the nearby Shobuj Shona Center - which pays his salary and productivity.
The final similarity the GB and SSVE models share is their dependence on intensive supervision in order to insure the success of participants activities. The GB utilizes highly trained bank officers to closely follows the entire loan process through to complete repayment. The SSVE model relies heavily upon technically trained coordinators who supervise unit productivity and performance.
The GB and SSVE model are very different in various aspects. The following summary of these differences helps highlight the salient features of the SSVE model and how it is distinguished from the principal development model in Bangladesh today.
|1. The GB is a specialized public financial organization. While bank borrowers are considered shareholders of the bank they are not issue individual stock certificates nor do they receive dividends on their shareholdings or "bank ownership" - and they are not called upon to vote on or to endorse any decision of the management (Skillicorn, 1993). The ownership issue if meaningless.||1. The SSVE model is a for-profit private
corporation consisting of a franchise-like
network of village enterprises. Individual
members receive shares based on their land
or deferred labor contributions. Dividends
are paid on shareholdings. Shares in the
SSVE model reflect a market price and may
be bought, sold and passed on through
inheritance as with any other modern
publicly held corporation.
Unlike the GB, villagers do not "own a nominal piece of" the key external catalytic institution - in this case PRISM. Rather, PRISM owns 15% of each SSVE as compensation for its "franchise rights" and its direct investment in the local Shobuj Shona Center.
|2. The GB target group is limited to people who are functionally landless, owning less then .5 acres.||2. The SSVE target group consists of functionally landless people, defined as people with less then 1 Bigha (.3 acres or 1/8 ha.), and landed people. Landless comprise approximately 75% of all SSVE shareholders with landed comprising the remaining 25%. The current upper limit on land holdings is 10 ha. - to inhibit "take-over" by powerful landlords.|
|3. The high rates of GB supervision are paid
for through imposition of extremely high (by
banking standards) interest rates,
development subsidies from bilateral and
multilateral development organizations and
earning from short-term deposits of heavily
subsidized loans. This has had the effect of
putting continuously upward pressure on
interest rates as GB administrative and
overhead costs continue to rise. At a time
when the lowest Sonali Bank development
project interest rates were 9%, the Grameen
Bank was forced to raise its rates from an
already high 16% to 25%. The GB
management offers the rationale that this is
"still considerably lower than rates charged
by village money lenders." Ultimately,
however, the only credible solution will be to
lower rates of supervision - with predictable
Ultimately, the supervision (or technical assistance) provided by the GB is "divorced" from the consequences of good or poor productivity - and cannot be truly responsive to the production process. Simply raising interest rates to cover increased costs is, in effect, blithely "passing the buck to the villager."
|3. The cost of the extremely high rates of
PRISM supervision are borne directly by
SSVE production, because PRISM is a
shareholder in each SSVE and profits
directly from dividends issued by each
corporation. Supervisors are, themselves,
paid on the basis of the productivity of the
units they supervise.
Credit is treated quite differently in the SSVE model. PRISM, as the franchise organization, takes responsibility for acquiring all necessary credit on behalf of the SSVE corporations. Transaction costs for the credit provider (i.e., the Bank) is then reduced to a single transaction between PRISM and itself - a very attractive proposition for any rural development bank, which can then claim almost cost-free distribution of funds right down to the village level. The actual disbursement and "management" of the credit is then done by PRISM - not as a bank, but rather as a true partner in the production of duckweed and fish. This has the effect of keeping real interest rates to a minimum (i.e., 9% versus 25%) and distributing the cost of credit supervision where it belongs - to the production process itself.
|4. GB participants receive cash-in-hand loans which they must carefully manage and individually invest in developing a good or service which they must then offer for sale. In some respects this mechanism involves a high degree of risk for the individual who must meet weekly loan payments and resist the temptation to use the loan for pressing daily survival needs. While participants receive training on bank procedures and social programs they receive little technical assistance in developing and marketing their product or service.||4. SSVE participants never receive
individual cash loans. They take on the
responsibility of paying the SSC back for
supplies and services through their unit's
group productivity. In this model the
personal risk is significantly lower, as
individuals do not personally handle cash nor
are they obligated to make weekly payments.
The risk they take is on the value of land and
labor inputs they have already invested in the
Salaries and dividend earnings are highly dependent upon group productivity. Since the SSVE unit's activities are centered around duckweed/fish aquaculture, the SSC center is able to provide a high degree of technical assistance in all production processes. Also the
The SSC mitigates its risk by being the sole provider of inputs and by providing consolidated external marketing services to all associated SSVEs. In this manner, all "receipts" pass through the SSC before being disbursed to SSVEs. Credit repayment becomes a simple matter of disbursing a lesser amount back to the SSVE.
|5. GB borrowers are more independent of
the project then are SSVE shareholders. GB
participants generate self-employment as a
result of their loan - personally handling all
aspects of their income earning activities.
With cessation of GB credit, it is assumed
the GB participants will be able to continue
on with their individual income earning
The GB model celebrates functional independence and self-sufficiency.
|5. SSVE participants are completely
integrated with the project at all.
Employment is provided through the project
and shares are acquired through land
contribution and deferred payment to labor.
The SSVE units and SSC share a special
interdependent relationship where the SSC
Center provides inputs, technical services,
and marketing while SSVE units provide a
specified level of productivity. Since the
project is functioning as a franchise network
of corporations a degree of central
management and technical assistance is
necessary. The SSVE project would argue
that all corporate entities rely on a variety of
outside goods and services and the SSVE
unit corporations are no different.
Interdependence between "technologically and financially competent" external institutions and the villager lies at the heart of the SSVE model. The SSVE model argues that the very essence of modernization is increasing interdependence.
|6. The GB project does not provide loans for crop production, however it does provide funds for a variety of crop processing activities.||6. The SSVE project is centered around
agricultural production - specifically
The SSVE project recognizes that with the increasing wealth of its corporate shareholders, corporations must acquire increasing amounts of technology in order to compensate for higher wages. Corporations must also move their focus away from agriculture to manufacturing, where returns to capital and technology are higher.
|7. GB officers normally have no technical expertise and are therefore not expected to provide technical assistance to GB participant's productive activities. In special cases the GB has provided some technical assistance in a particular activity it has chosen to promote in an area (Skillicorn, 1993).||7. SSVE coordinators are agricultural
experts who are expected to provide
continuous technical assistance to units they
Unlike the GB, where loan officers make scheduled visits, the SSVE supervisor is expected to work at production sites, providing continuous monitoring and supervision.
|8. The GB works with single-sex groups.||8. The SSVE project works with mixed sex groups.|
The SSVE project seeks to greatly increase protein production and consumption at the village level through the application of new integrated Lemnaceae-cum-fish farming technologies.
To introduce a new corporate development model based loosely on modern franchise methodologies - yet ensure consistency with the requirements of rural Bangladeshi culture.
To address, as project beneficiaries, the poorest segments of rural society - landless laborers, women and small to medium farmers.
To enable landless and women beneficiaries to "invest" labor in lieu of land in acquiring corporate shares - and to ensure that those shares have equal value to shares issued against the investment of land or monetary resources.
To significantly enrich each project beneficiary.
To permanently improve the status of female project beneficiaries.
To establish new product standards at the village level enabling implementation of distribution and marketing technologies which emphasize consumer utility and product value.
To improve the local ecology and environmental sanitation by colleting and recycling as duckweed a significant portion of the human fecal product of each participating village.
By increasing both the wealth and income of Bangladesh's poorest sectors through this mechanism, PRISM's SSVE project objectives remain consistent with those of the Government of Bangladesh's current Five Year Plan - which emphasizes agricultural production and employment generation as the basis for a rural development program designed to achieve sustained employment and income generation for the rural poor.
With respect to women, the SSVE project looks to provide rural women with the opportunity to acquire technical duckweed farming skills, earn a significant steady income, and accumulate assets in the form of SSVE stock. The SSVE project believes that through increased access to economic resources and the ownership of SSVE shareholdings the women participating in the project will not only improve their economic condition but also their social status within their families and communities.
The specific organizational objectives as stated in the SSVE project proposal are as follows:
Establish franchised SSV Units in villages in which a group of 15-25 members of the targeted population organize themselves into a legal business (under the conditions specified for an SSVE franchise), invest 6-10 hectares of land for integrated Lemnaceae and fish farming, and establish a minimum capital fund through sustained savings.
Develop SSV Units into efficient village level production systems through the efforts of an SSV Coordinator who will serve as a permanent on-site technical and management advisor, credit coordinator, and liaison between the SSV Unit and the Shobuj Shona Center which provides support to affiliated SSV units.
Develop an effective operations support infrastructure in the form of Shobuj Shona Centers (SSC) which will finance their own infrastructure through a demonstration farm and provide support for up to 100 SSV Units. The SSC will be responsible for local development of farming protocols, supply of Lemnaceae and fish stocks, supply of other inputs when needed, purchase and processing of excess supplies of harvested Lemnaceae, training and extension, financial monitoring and accounting and credit management.
Establish a greatly expanded Shobuj Shona Research and Development Center (SSR&DC) which will support its activities by research grants and contracts, by sales of Lemnaceae seed stock, and by sales of the product of an extensive experimental farming system. The SSR&DC will be responsible for scientific investigation, maintenance of Lemnaceae germ plasm stocks, evaluation of trends in Lemnaceae aquaculture, and other studies as appropriate. The SSR&DC Center will operate independently of SSV Enterprises. Its work will not be proprietary, and its results will be open to any interested party.
Eventually create a public corporation, SSV Enterprises, in which SSV Units have equity and gradually, themselves assume management responsibility for the franchised SSV Units, the SSV Coordinators, and the SSC Centers. Until that time, PRISM-Bangladesh will continue to provide overall management of the SSV Enterprise project.
(PRISM, 1992. Shobuj Shona (SSV) Enterprise)
The following are specific targets for the SSVE project during a five year period, 1992-1996:
||No. of SSV Units:
||300 ||No. of Ha. in Lemnaceae
||900||No. of ha. in fish
||1200||Lemnaceae Prod. (Dry MT)
||3450 ||Fish Production (MT)
||12360 ||Egg Production (x1000)
||43,890 ||Chicken Production (x100)
||240 ||Persons Employed
||24,360 ||Women Employed
||10,000 ||Total Sales (US$)
||$29,886,149 ||Average Income per Beneficiary
The primary SSVE target group comprises landless laborers, women and small to medium sized farmers. The majority of the targeted farmers own less than 1.5 acres of arable land - usually low lying areas and derelict ponds which now find little useful application. The criteria used, in the project and for the purposes of this evaluation, in establishing the landless condition will be landholdings less then the Bangladeshi land unit of 1 Bigha (about 1/8 ha.). Under this condition approximately 75% of the SSVE shareholders are categorized as landless with the remaining 25% being landed. This breakdown of shareholder classification reflects landholding patterns in the typical Bangladeshi village (Skillicorn- personal communications, 1992). All women participants will likely fall within the landless category. None of the shareholders are expected to own more then 10 ha. of land as that was an initial constraining requirement for participation in the project. This requirement would anyway exclude few potential shareholders as the average Bangladeshi village (5,000 to 10,000 persons) may only have a handful of persons with landholdings exceeding 10 ha. (Skillicorn - personal communications, 1992).
The target population constitute approximately 68% of Bangladesh's rural population. Their per capita income is significantly lower then the national average of $130 per year. The average family of 5-6 persons normally cannot be sustained through agriculture alone, requiring families to supplement their farm income through other agriculture-related activities such as field labor, rearing animals, and petty trading among other activities. This group suffers disproportionately from illness, malnutrition, poor housing and sanitation, and illiteracy (75%). Among these, women suffer the most since they have fewer employment opportunities and have difficulty acquiring land under the Muslim Law of Inheritance and local cultural constraints (PRISM, 1992. Shobuj Shona (SSV) Enterprises).
Currently only 15% of the existing project participants are women. However, the SSVE project has formally stated the objective of eventually achieving a ratio of 50% female project participants.
In order for target beneficiaries to form a SSVE they must meet the following criteria:
Organize themselves into a group of 15-25 members including landless people, and register as a legal business in which the members or owners are responsible for contracted debt.
Commit amongst themselves at least 6 hectares of land to the corporation on a long term basis - a 10 year lease for example.
Establish group and individual bank accounts to demonstrate their ability to save. The group must sustain 6 months of savings prior to being awarded a franchise.
Define the SSV Unit organization and develop management and production plans which demonstrate the capability of owners to make decisions and to carry them out.
Establish a proper meetings venue and demonstrate regular attendance. "Meaningful" group meetings must be held with consistent regular attendance for 6 months prior to being granted a franchise.
With the assistance of a temporarily assigned SSV coordinator, the business must evaluate its resources and planned organizational structure and then produce a business plan which is utilized in franchise negotiations. The business plan must meet all the criteria for being awarded a franchise.
(PRISM, 1992. The Shobuj Shona Village Enterprise Project)
Crop yields in Bangladesh are low compared to most other Asian countries. Overall production of carbohydrate crops have increased over the last decade but Bangladesh lags behind in its production of protein foods. Technologies such as improved fertilizers, seeds, irrigation and farm systems reach only a small percentage of Bangladeshi farmers. This low level of production and technology results in low income.
Fish constitutes eighty percent of the animal protein consumed in Bangladesh, despite the fact that it is scarce and largely out of reach for the poor. One kilo of a fish such as carp costs the equivalent of three days wages for a day worker. As a result there is an increasing risk of protein malnutrition among the poor.
In addition to the problems of limited technology and credit mentioned earlier, freshwater fisheries in Bangladesh have experienced problems due to a lack of inexpensive, locally produced, high protein feed sources. Despite these limitations, freshwater fisheries represent the most significant unrealized productive potentials in Bangladesh.
The SSVE project approaches these problems and potential through two key innovative concepts. The first involves application of novel Lemnaceae technologies that enable significant increases in production of high quality fish feed and fish for. The high yielding plant is capable of producing 30 times more protein per hectare then soybean, a plant of comparable nutritional value. It is an excellent fish feed that can be made widely available at a low cost. Duckweed aquaculture does not require a great deal of expensive equipment or employ "high technology" and is therefore a feasible technology for small rural farmers - enabling them to make productive use of their derelict and underutilized ponds. Duckweed production is also very labor intensive - generating significant new job opportunities at the village level and allowing villagers to earn a "good" living in their villages without having to migrate to the city in search of employment.
Another significant benefit of duckweed aquaculture is that it can be cultivated with wastewater or village nightsoil - instead of expensive commercial fertilizers. As a result, the potentially dangerous waste is treated - improving local village environmental conditions and reducing the incidence of enteric infection among the local population. A well managed duckweed-fed fish aquaculture system can generate high financial returns for even the smallest farmers.
The second key SSVE innovation is that of village level corporations - assisted by Shobuj Shona Centers which provide technical assistance, training, credit, marketing and management services. Producer cooperatives in Bangladesh have historically had low success rates. The franchised enterprise network seeks to overcome many of the deficiencies of the cooperative system by enabling the accumulation of capital assets (shares or stock) by all participants through investment of either land or labor. This unique model strives to "allow landed and landless to work together for mutual self-interest, rather than being cast in their traditional role as antagonists". (PRISM, 1992. The Shobuj Shona Village Enterprise Project.) The idea is that the synergy of mutual participation in the SSVE corporation achieves higher returns for each group member than they might otherwise achieve - whether it involves the exploitation of landless laborers or, on the other side, the seizure and redistribution of large land holdings.
A listing of the basic SSVE model elements follows - the SSVE is still in an early implementation stage and expansion is projected for several years to come, therefore the last two elements are still in the planning stage. The following are the elements of the SSVE model. The SSVE is still in an early implementation stage and expansion is projected for several years to come, therefore the last two elements are still in the planning stages.
Shobuj Shona Village Unit -- Production & Pond-side Marketing
SSV Coordinator -- Direct Support & Liaison
Shobuj Shona Center -- Support Services, Management, Training, Marketing
SSV Enterprises, Inc. -- ( will remain with PRISM-Bangladesh as long as SSVE remains a publicly funded PRISM project. It will eventually be spun off as a publicly-held corporation with National Management)
Shobuj Shona R&D Center -- (An independent institute which will remain non-profit with all results openly available to any interested scientists, duckweed "practitioners" or institutions)
The relationship between these elements is illustrated in figure 1.
Shobuj Shona Village Unit The SSV Unit consists of 15-25 male and female stockholders who manage up to 6 ha. of land (either "invested" or provided under a long-term irrevocable lease) - 3 ha. are dedicated to duckweed production and 3 ha. to duckweed-fed fish production. In addition to duckweed and fish, these units grow other profitable crops (bamboo, bananas, lentils, squash and other vegetables) on the perimeter of duckweed and fish ponds - taking advantage of the unlimited available water and nutrients. Also, the SSVE units produce duckweed-fed chickens and eggs.
Members organize themselves into work teams (5-6 persons) having complete production responsibility for 1 to 2 hectares of small ponds - duckweed crop maintenance, harvesting, guarding the fish, and local pond-side marketing.
Members have the opportunity to earn through this system in three ways. First, they are remunerated on a rising-slope, performance-based payment for field work on a daily basis. This system does not simply pay wages on a straight taka (Bangladeshi currency) per ton scale, instead it pays increasingly higher marginal returns to increased production - reflecting the incremental value of increased production to the corporation. This also serves as a deterrent to internal theft or "self consumption" because, at the margin, the value of Shobuj Shona products for individual members is significantly higher then the local market value of those items. Above a certain target threshold for fish production, SSVE's may even pay their workers the entire receipts from sale of fish.
A second earning mechanism is through corporate profits, where shareholders are paid dividends according to their ownership of stock. The third earning mechanism now being considered involves a monthly lottery where tickets are awarded to work teams for sustained high levels of production and are also randomly distributed to those found working the field on unannounced visits.
Each village corporation elects its own internal Executive Committee consisting of a chairman, a treasurer and a secretary. The Executive Committee assigns members to work teams, and these decisions are ratified (or rejected) by all unit members during weekly or bi-weekly meetings. The corporation has absolute discretion over work team division of labor, the organization of village meetings, and the spending and reinvestment of profits. In cooperation with the SSC, SSV units have input into production, marketing, expansion, membership and personnel decisions. As a franchisee, the corporation commits to rigorously follow the SSC production protocols in order to assure a consistently high level of production and quality of product - the key to the enterprise's success.
Each SSV Unit also sends a few members to occasional Focus/ Informant Groups at the SSC. This provides another mechanism for incorporating the SSV enterprises into the general SSC decision making processes.
Shobuj Shona Village Coordinator The village coordinator is the critical operational element in the franchise agreement. The coordinator is employed by the closest SSC but must reside in the village he is serving. He serves as the link between the SSC and the village corporation. His responsibilities include monitoring and maintaining production, providing training and technical assistance, and advising and monitoring village level business transactions. He also serves as the intermediary between the SSC and his SSV unit for credit arrangements and other business transactions.
The coordinator is perhaps the most important position within the SSV enterprise network. He must have good managerial, accounting and technical skills. Normally the SSC attempts to recruit local young men and women with advanced degrees in agriculture to fill this position. The coordinator receives a base salary from the SSC which is set at a competitive level with comparable urban jobs. In addition, the coordinator may receive as much as 5% of the net profit of the SSVE village or villages he is serving. The coordinator's income potential is, therefore, highly dependent on the productivity of the SSV units he supervises. That productivity, in turn, is a reflection the effort and time he dedicates to his villages. This incentive system strives to promote highly dedicated coordinators who have an earning potential superior to any comparable urban employment.
Currently there are 10 coordinators serving six active SSVE villages and 20 new SSV units under development. Seventeen additional coordinators are now undergoing training at the Mirzapur Shobuj Shona training and research center. By mid-1993 at least 30 SSV Units are projected to be up and running in preparation for the new monsoon season. In the future, one coordinator will be expected to handle 2-3 village units with the help of an assistant for each unit. However, at the moment each coordinator handles only one village.
With the expansion of the franchise network, the SSV coordinators will be equipped with a specially-programmed portable microcomputer system to maintain daily records of yields and sales, and to calculate incentive bonuses and daily salaries for on-the-spot disbursement. In addition the computer will permit the coordinator to keep accurate business accounts, maintain process quality control on production systems, and monitor environmental parameters for later analysis.
The SSV Unit receives outside supervision from quarterly on-site 2-day visits from a SSC quality assurance team which conducts in-service monitoring and training. At least once a week coordinators participate in Focus/Informant Groups that the SSC uses to obtain feedback, assess trends and do operations planning. Also, coordinators will occasionally attend formal 1-2 day refresher training sessions at the SSC Center which they then replicate for their SSV units.
Shobuj Shona Center Each SSC will eventually serve as the management, training and technical support center for each group of up to 100 SSV Units. The SS centers (SSCs) in Mirzapur and Shibaloy occupy approximately 10 hectares of land and contain: a) a 4 hectare duckweed farm, b) a 4 hectare fish farm and hatchery, c) duckweed drying and storage facilities, d) simple fish processing, handling storage and shipping facilities, e) a fertilizer and supplies center, f) a training center, g) a central administrative office block, h) a library, I) a small laboratory, and j) simple accommodations for up to 20 trainees.
Current practice requires that each Shobuj Shona Center sustains itself initially through grants and then through the sale of products produced on the demonstration farm. As SSV enterprises are developed and begin full-scale operations, primary support will be increasingly derived from the 15% shareholding in each SSV Unit. Once expansion has reached the full support capacity of each SS center, the "surplus income" will be contributed to PRISM's central Shobuj Shona fund for eventual investment in new Shobuj Shona centers throughout Bangladesh.
The two functioning Shobuj Shona Centers now depend heavily on grant money from the Catholic Relief Services, The United Nations Development Programme, The United Nations Capital Development Fund, USAID, UNICEF and various US foundations for operations support - although farm operations at each site are already completely self-supporting.
Figure 2. describes the components and responsibilities of the SS Center. (PRISM, 1992. Shobuj Shona (SSV) Village Enterprises)
Shobuj Shona Village Enterprises INC. Ultimately the goal of the SSVE project is to create a national corporation, SSV Enterprises, which would take over the management of all Shobuj Shona Centers and their franchisees. This will take place once the SSVE project reaches a critical mass and has achieved financial self-sufficiency. PRISM will oversee the creation and registration of the national corporation. Upon its creation, a limited number of shares now held by PRISM Bangladesh will be offered to private investors in order to raise capital for expansion.
Shobuj Shona Research and Development Center Currently all research and development is carried out at PRISM Bangladesh's research station at the Kumudini Welfare Trust Complex in Mirzapur. Eventually, with promised funding from the Government of the Netherlands and the World Bank, this facility will be greatly expanded to form a Shobuj Shona R&D Center. The center will carry out basic and applied research on Lemnaceae, Lemnaceae cultivation and Lemnaceae-based fish and livestock production. This center will also work to develop information, training and management systems for the expanding SSVE project. The R&D center will remain a non-profit institute supported by research grants, contracted services and sales of improved seed stock.
It is important to point out that the SSVE project introduces various innovative concepts, several of which if successful, would be considered revolutionary in the field of international development. The evaluation will focus primarily on the role of women in the project but it will also seek to measure to what degree these concepts are actually being implemented and succeeding. Evaluation results should hold value for the SSVE project and its participants, as well as for the larger NGO and donor communities in Bangladesh. There is now significant interest in the SSVE concept throughout the country. Five key innovative aspects of the project are described as follows:
The concept of landed and landless people working together in mutual self-interest to generate profits which benefits both is a revolutionary concept in development. Traditional efforts to distribute benefits to the poor often involved land reform, where land resources are expropriated from land owners and redistributed among the landless. This redistributive model has had at best mixed results and has often resulted in an overall reduction in production and a gradual evolution back to inequalities inherent in the pre-land reform era - albeit this time with a rearranged land owning class.
Even benign efforts at redressing the inequalities between the landless and the landed, by singling out and benefiting "landless groups" to the exclusion of "others," usually achieve little more than defining and reinforcing new divisions in society - creating government of development "brahmins" and actually increasing conflict at the village level.
The SSVE project, if successful, could provide an alternative to the land reform and "landless group" models for distributing wealth among the poor. The SSVE concept is to: a) value "labor and the availability of labor" as a surrogate capital asset capable of increasing the total stock of capital; and b) recognize the inherent synergy of the harmonious union of land and labor assets. The stock corporation is a mechanism which enables this "harmonious union of land and labor," with both parties, having invested their respective land or labor assets, then retaining a common "stock" of value - corporate shares. Landed and landless thus become "business equals" - partners working for a common good, rather than antagonists seeking to leverage some advantage from the other party. They can work to "build a larger pie together, rather than fighting each other for a larger slice of the existing pie." The SSVE project takes the view that the landed, as an identifiable group, are the best educated, the most adept at business and storehouse of the largest pool of entrepreneurial talent among all rural villagers. Tapping that talent and seducing their enthusiastic assistance is an important project objective.
This concept also breaks with the tradition of landed people exploiting the landless. Within an SSVE context the landed have more earning power working with landless partners than they could by exploiting them. Productivity levels are substantially higher when laborers are well paid, highly motivated, and working for their own "business" - as opposed to laboring reluctantly under an exploitive feudal regime.
Several questions are raised regarding the ability of this model to succeed. Even within the project there exists an internal debate as to what "level" of landedness should disqualify participation. There is a concern that people with large holdings - over 10 ha. in a village setting, - will take over and somehow limit the participation of the landless by leveraging their more powerful and privileged position with the community (Skillicorn, 1993). This "inefficient" result is, in part, mitigated by the strong involvement of the external "modern" partner - in this case PRISM.
Access to land and property in Bangladesh comes primarily through the Law of Inheritance. Under the Muslim Law of Inheritance women are limited in their ability to inherit land or property. The Koran establishes that the wife of a deceased husband is to receive one-eighth of his property and daughters inherit half of the share of their brothers (Hijab, 1988; Quddus, 1985). In Bangladesh, however, despite having legitimate legal rights to the property inheritance, women rarely claim this right - or receive the property should to do so (Quddus, 1985). This effectively limits land ownership by women to the upper classes, and ensures that women, in Bangladesh, occupy the bottom of the poverty spectrum.
External employment opportunities for rural women are extremely limited in Islamic Bangladesh where exposure of women is generally frowned upon. SSV Enterprises, by creating select jobs for Lemnaceae farming, fish culture, post processing and marketing will provide employment opportunities for both professional and working class women close to their homes. The SSVE is actively recruiting women to work as coordinators and managers in addition to incorporating a target of 50% female SSVE shareholders.
Under the SSVE network women accumulate assets in the form of stocks in their respective village corporations. This introduces a new form of asset accumulation which has not yet been encountered in traditional rural Bangladeshi society. Women are able to inherit and pass down shares to their daughters if they so desire. Several questions are raised as to the effect women's participation in the SSVE project has on women's empowerment, economic condition, social status, the family structure, domestic conflict, inheritance patterns, and patriarchal family patterns.
Several of the incentive systems introduced by the SSVE project are new to rural development projects. The use of rising slope performance based payment, lotteries, shareholdings and coordinator/supervisors' commission are all new concepts aimed at raising and maintaining high levels of productivity among project workers and SSVE shareholders. The basic question raised is to what extent these incentives and modes of payment are effective in motivating participants to maintain acceptably high levels of productivity.
The SSVE model mobilizes landed, marginal and landless farmers through a modern shareholding corporate structure in order to form a competitive highly productive rural business. This structure enables the use of modern management techniques and opens up access to capital and technology normally not available to rural farmers. A major innovation of this approach is that it enables "external capital, technology and entrepreneurial talent" to work in partnership with rural villagers - for mutual benefit.
Hitherto, three seriously flawed models of rural development have been dominant:
The Plantation Model, where external capital and management have "taken over," exploiting inexpensive local land and labor resources to maximize their own profits.
The Benevolent NGO Model where jaded ("The glass is always half empty"), highly paid external "specialists"prescribe and apply low-level subsidies to activities in which they have a) little belief and b) no stake;
The Five Year Plan State Intervention Model, where underpaid and essentially unmotivated government workers go through the motions to implement plans either prescribed, or greatly influenced, by the World Bank - using resources that were a) inadequate when planned, and b) are largely depleted in transit.
The SSVE model makes claim to add a fourth.
The SSVE Model, where villagers and "external capital and entrepreneurship" combine their respective comparative advantage through franchised stock corporations to maximize mutual self-interest.
It should be noted that there is no presumption, within the SSVE model, that the external interest will withdraw from the village. As with any long term corporate investment, the intention is to continue growing with respect to both geography and business domain.
The concept of work teams performing agricultural tasks is not, in itself, a new concept in rural development. However, the high degree of autonomy practiced by the SSVE work groups is not common for normal agricultural wage laborers. Each village unit assigns work tasks, rotations and schedules to work teams. They are also responsible for holding weekly and bi-weekly planning and decision making meetings, and enforcing attendance. The teams then assume internal responsibility for deployment of team members.
This work team structure is aimed at empowering workers and giving them more input into the enterprise's productive processes. Nevertheless, many questions need to be answered as to the true efficiency and effectiveness of this work team approach.
Identifying project stakeholders is an essential initial step when conducting a project evaluation. Stakeholders may be defined as people or organizations who are involved with the project, who derive some income from the project, whose future status or career might be effected by the quality of the project, or who are investors, clients, or recipients of project services (Bryke, 1983; Posavac and Carey, 1992). The SSVE project evaluation has a number of identifiable stakeholders, in addition to several potential stakeholders. The following are SSVE project stakeholders:
Funding Agencies The principal sponsors of the SSVE project are Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). As agencies providing financing to the project these institutions are interested in receiving regular information on the progress of the project, the level of local support and acceptance, and indicators of future performance. Also, as institutions that seek to promote WID activities, the participation of women in the project is of particular interest to these agencies.
PRISM As the executing agency of the SSVE project PRISM has a strong interest in monitoring the progress of the project. An evaluation will provide valuable information which PRISM may utilize for planning, developing management strategies, early problem detection and attracting further grants and private investment. PRISM seeks the incorporation of women as 50% shareholders in the future, therefor information on women's role in the project may prove useful in implementing actions to achieve this objective.
SS Center Management The SS management team is largely responsible for the actual implementation of the SSVE project. This groups is interested in obtaining information useful for planning, early problem detection, training, and improving project performance.
The SSVE project seeks to continually incorporate new villages into the franchise. Information obtained through an evaluation will not only be used to improve existing center services and corporation performance, but also in implementing new aspects of the project. Information on women's participation in particular may assist the center in better reaching this target group.
SSVE Coordinators SSVE coordinators have a strong vested interest in a SSVE project evaluation as they are largely responsible for the success of the corporations they serve. As individuals, their livelihood depends directly upon the performance of the village corporations they supervise. An evaluation will focus heavily on the coordinator as the intermediary between the SSC and the village corporations. Information obtained through an evaluation will provide insights for improving SSC support services, coordinator performance, women's participation and needs, and village corporation productivity - all of which translate into potentially increased earnings for coordinators.
SSVE Corporations SSV corporation members are the primary beneficiaries of the SSVE project. As shareholders who have committed labor and land to the corporation they have a strong vested interest in the project. An evaluation could provide them with information on their unit's performance in comparison to other corporations, as well as provide them with insights for improving productivity, corporate village level management and organization.
In addition to the stakeholders mentioned above, there exist groups that are potential stakeholders. An evaluation will shed light onto what degree these groups actually are stakeholders and have an interest in participating in the project. They include the following:
Immediately Neighboring Households Within a village, the majority of households are not participants in the SSVE. This creates a circumstance where 20 or more members of the neighborhood suddenly achieve a significantly higher standard of living. It is possible that these neighboring groups are also stakeholders as they may have strong negative or positive feelings towards the SSVE project and its members - or have a desire to participate. An evaluation will identify whether these groups are stakeholders, measure interest in participation, assess outside impressions of the project and detect any potential conflicts.
Neighboring Communities In addition to neighbors within a village, surrounding villages with no SSVE corporation must also be considered as possible stakeholders. These communities have contact with their neighboring SS villages and are influenced by the introduction of SSVE products into the local economy. It is also possible that these neighboring villages have an interest in future participation and have impressions of the SSVE project and its participants.
Land Lessors It is important to note that not all the land used by corporations is contributed by SSVE members. In certain cases the corporations have elected to rent land on long term leases (or licenses) from land owners in their villages. Beyond receipt of the monthly lease or rental fee, this group does not benefit from direct participation in the corporation. It should be noted that lease prices reflect the "pre-SSVE" low productivity of land, and will increasingly come to be seen as "too low" by lessors as SSVE profitability becomes apparent to them.
The proposed evaluation seeks to achieve the following:
To document and describe the SSVE model, with a particular focus on women's role and participation in the project.
To determine the effects participation in the SSVE project has had on the economic condition of female members. This involves determining whether participation in the project as improved the quality of life of female members in terms of basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, children's education and nutrition.
To evaluate the effects participation in the SSVE project has had on female participants social status within the family and community. This involves measuring women's decision-making power, family and community attitudes towards women's participation, and the perceptions of the women themselves.
To determine the effects participation in the project has on female members households in terms of family income, the sexual division of labor and family relations.
To examine the effects participation in the project has had on female member's reproductive responsibilities and time management.
To evaluate the effect women's participation has had on project productivity, unit performance, communications and relations.
To provide feedback to the SSVE project so that this information may be used by decision-makers and the unit's themselves to detect problems early on, implement corrective action or utilize information in future expansion.
Given the fact that this thesis is a project evaluation it has a practical use for a variety of stakeholders. It is important to identify these interests and take them into consideration when developing the evaluation. While the limited scope of this thesis cannot fulfill all objectives for all stakeholders, an evaluation should take into account project information needs. Also an awareness of these objectives and potential benefits can help shed light upon interests which may influence or bias the evaluation.
The SSVE project has various objectives and benefits according to the perspective of the stakeholder. Several of these objectives and benefits are shared by various stakeholder groups, however for the sake of this review they will be presented according to stakeholder group.
Receive feedback on overall progress of the SSVE project with particular emphasis on women's participation.
Obtain insights into the level of local acceptance and support for the SSVE project.
Obtain indicators of future project performance and prospects for continued expansion.
Monitor the degree to which the five "innovative concepts" mentioned earlier have been implemented and assess their preliminary results.
The opportunity to monitor the preliminary results of their investment.
The potential to use evaluation information in order to recruit the additional financial support of other funding agencies and private investors.
The opportunity to utilize evaluation information for informed future decision making regarding the project.
The opportunity to safely make similar grants elsewhere.
Receive feedback on overall progress of the SSVE project with emphasis on women's participation.
Obtain insights into the level of local acceptance and support for the SSVE project.
Obtain indicators of future project performance and prospects for continued expansion.
Monitor the degree to which the five "innovative concepts" mentioned earlier have been implemented and assess their preliminary results.
Obtain information useful in operations planning and strategic management to assist decision-making for the near- and mid-term.
The potential to use evaluation information in order to recruit the additional financial support of other funding agencies and private investors.
The opportunity to utilize evaluation information for informed future decision making regarding the project.
The opportunity to detect problems early on and implement immediate corrective action.
The opportunity to use evaluation information in order to plan and implement improvements in project performance and future expansion.
The potential to gather information which justifies the need and community-level desire for expansion of the SSVE franchise to other interested villages.
Receive feedback on overall progress of the SSVE project, particularly with respect to women's participation, SSC service delivery, coordinator and village corporation performance.
Obtain insights into the level of local acceptance and support for the SSVE project.
Obtain indicators of future project performance and prospects for continued expansion.
Monitor the degree to which the five "innovative concepts" mentioned earlier have been implemented and assess their preliminary results.
Obtain information useful in SS Center operations planning, management and strategic decision-making for the near- and mid-term.
The potential to use evaluation information in order to recruit the additional financial support of other funding agencies and private investors.
The opportunity to utilize evaluation information for informed future decision making regarding the project.
The opportunity to detect problems early and implement immediate corrective action.
The opportunity to use evaluation information to plan and implement improvements in project performance and future expansion.
The opportunity to obtain information useful in designing future training programs for SSC Center employees, coordinators and village corporations.
The potential to gather information which justifies the need and community-level desire for expansion of the SSVE franchise to other interested villages.
Receive feedback on overall progress of the SSVE project with emphasis on women's participation, and with respect to their own performance as coordinators and their SSV unit performance in comparison to the other corporations.
Obtain insights into the level of local acceptance and support for the SSVE project in general with particular emphasis on their own village corporations and neighboring communities.
Obtain indicators of future project performance, particularly within the villages they serve, and prospects for continued expansion in neighboring communities.
Monitor the degree to which the five "innovative concepts" mentioned earlier have been implemented and assess their preliminary results in their specific villages.
Obtain information useful in operations planning, management and strategic decision-making at the corporate village level for the near- and mid-term.
The opportunity to utilize evaluation information for informed future village-level decision making.
The opportunity to detect village-level problems early and implement immediate corrective action.
The opportunity to use evaluation information to plan and implement improvement in their own performance and their own village's performance, thereby increasing their own earning potential.
The opportunity to obtain information useful in designing future training programs for village corporations.
The potential to gather information which justifies the need and community-level desire for expansion of the SSVE franchise to other interested villages.
The opportunity to provide the project with feedback based on their own opinions, experiences, and attitudes as a coordinator.
Receive feedback on overall progress of the SSVE project, particularly with respect to their own SSV unit performance in comparison to the other corporations.
Obtain insights into the level of local acceptance and support for the SSVE project in general with particular emphasis on their own village corporation and neighboring communities.
Obtain indicators of future village-level performance.
Obtain information useful in village-level operations planning, management and strategic decision-making for the near- and mid-term.
The opportunity to utilize evaluation information for informed future village-level decision making.
The opportunity to detect village-level problems early on and implement immediate corrective action.
The opportunity to use evaluation information in order to plan and implement improvements in their own village corporation performance, thereby increasing their own earning potential.
The opportunity to provide the SSC Center and their coordinator with information useful in designing future training programs for village corporations.
The opportunity to provide the project with feedback based on their own opinions, experiences, and attitudes as corporate members.
To provide the SSVE project with their opinions and attitudes towards the project activities in their village or neighboring villages.
The opportunity to express an interest in participating in future SSVE corporations and bring the project to their village or household.
The opportunity to express any reservations or grievances concerning the project in their village or neighboring villages.
This project evaluation differs from many others in that the project will be at various stages of implementation when the evaluation is conducted. While the SSC will have been fully operational for over a year, village corporations will be in various stages of implementation. Also, women's participation, a principal interest of this evaluation, is currently only at 15%. Therefore, the evaluation will focus not only on preliminary project outcomes but also project structures, processes and attitudes.
For the purposes of this evaluation, project structures refer to organizational functional structures and support service structures. These are relatively stable characteristics of the SSC and SSVE corporations, the tools and resources at their disposal, and the physical and organizational structures which they have formed and work within. Some examples of structure include village-level corporate organization and SSC management characteristics. An analysis of structures will vital to documenting and describing the SSVE model.
Process can be defined as the set of ongoing activities occurring between staff, managers, coordinators, village enterprise members and the community as a whole. These activities are usually manifest as services and everyday operations. Typical examples of processes in the SSVE project include service delivery logistics, training practices, and unit relation. An analysis of process will be important in describing SSVE operations and relations.
Outcome can be defined as the changes in the beneficiaries and communities that can be attributed to the projects activities. This can also be interpreted as project impact. Examples of outcome in the SSVE project include changes in beneficiary income and changes in local availability of protein sources. An analysis of outcome will be crucial to determining the effect of project participation has had on female SSVE members.
In addition to structure, process and outcomes, the evaluation will focus heavily on attitude assessment. Attitudes towards women's participation will be measured in the project, the community and participant's families
The list which follows describes some general questions the SSVE evaluations seek to answer. They involve all aspects mentioned earlier: structure, process, outcome and attitudes.
Does the project match the values of the stakeholders?
Does the project match the needs of the people being served?
Does the project as it is implemented currently function? Does it meet planned and stated objectives?
Do the preliminary project outcomes match goals? Are there any unexpected outcomes?
Is there local support for and acceptance of the project?
Do the project outcomes justify the resources spent?
Some example of more specific issues with respect to women include:
How has participation in the project affected women's economic well being and social status? Are women empowered through participation in the project? Have women suffered from a loss of status due to their participation? Has participation in the project created a double burden for women?
How has women's participation affected the project?. Has the project benefitted through female involvement?
Has women's participation in the project effected the households division of labor? Who is taking up the slack with reproductive activities? Has the family powered structure been altered by women's participation in the project? Are there domestic conflicts as a result of women's participation? Do women have greater control over household income now that they contribute with their SSVE earnings? Do women control these earning?
How are women participating in the corporate structure? To what degree do women have input into the corporate structure? To what degree are women involved in planning and decision making? To what degree is women's participation affected by outside factors such as reproductive responsibilities and family obligations?
How satisfied are female members with their level of participation? How comfortable are female members working with males? How satisfied are female members with their income earnings through the project?
Is female productivity up to unit standards? Are women more effective workers than men - or is the opposite true? Does a lack of previous agricultural experience affect women's work performance? If women are deficient in some areas of performance what are the causes? If necessary, how may the SSVE project assist women in improving their levels of productivity or work performance?
What are the attitudes of family members towards women's participation in the project? What are the attitudes of outside community members towards women's participation in the project? How do male share holders feel about women's participation? What are the attitudes of SSVE staff members towards female participants?
Do the SSC and unit coordinators meet women's needs? Does the project address the issue of double burden?
Other specific issues not related exclusively to only women include:
How are landed and landless people working together in village corporations? What is the social dynamic between these two groups? What level of input do each of these groups have in decision making? To what degree are these groups satisfied with their participation in the SSVE project? Are they achieving their expected outcomes? What have been the social consequences of landed and landless working on a mutual venture?Has participation affected their economic well-being and social status?
Are incentives successful in motivating workers to achieve and maintain high levels of productivity?Are incentives now in place appropriate and sufficient? Which incentives are most powerful? Are the payment and shareholding system considered fair and beneficial? Are people satisfied with the incentive systems?
How are the village level corporations organized? How do they function? Are they efficient in their operations? How is this corporate structure fit into rural Bangladeshi culture? To what extent do participants understand and accept the corporate concept? How does the corporation relate to the SSC, the coordinator, immediate neighbors within the village and nearby communities? How do corporations compare to one another in terms of productivity?
How do the work teams organize themselves and operate?
How much input do workers have in decision making?
Are they efficient and consistent in their productivity levels?
How do they manage conflicts and changing conditions?
Does this model empower workers and increase worker satisfaction?
Is there a division of labor based on sex, land ownership or some other participant attribute?
In what areas can work teams improve their productivity?
How do work teams compare to one another in terms of productivity?
What further support do they need, either from the SSC services or the coordinator?
What is the level of quality of SSC service delivery? Where can the SSC improve service delivery? What are coordinator, share holder and neighboring community perceptions of the SSC and their service delivery performance? In what areas can the SSC offer further training or improve existing training programs?
How do coordinators organize their work? What is the level of quality of coordinator performance? Are coordinator incentives sufficient and successful? What is the relationship between coordinators, the SSC and villagers? What are corporation members perceptions of coordinator service delivery? Where can the coordinators improve service delivery? What further support do they need from the SSC? Can coordinators handle more SSV units, or should they cut back the scope of their work?
Do immediate neighbors and people from neighboring villages know about the SSVE project?What attitudes and impressions do non-participants in SS villages and neighboring villages have towards the project? Is there sufficient interest on the part of these groups to justify expansion of the SSVE project?
Have there been any positive or negative unintended effects on participants or the community as a result of the project?
Have participants suffered form any health problem as a result of working in the project?
Have female participants experience any violence or abuse as a result of participation?
Have any family or community conflicts arisen as a result of the project?
The proposed thesis seeks to describe and evaluate the SSVE model, focusing primarily on women's role in the project. It will concentrate on examining the effects participation has had on female members with respect to their economic condition, social status, and family/household relations. It will also explore the effects women have had on the project with respect to productivity, profitability and intra- and extra-unit relations.
The thesis will be carried out primarily as a project evaluation. In addition to the review of internal Shobuj Shona data and documentation, and interviews with SS personnel and management, four methods will be utilized in the evaluation. They includes surveys, technical knowledge assessment checklists, time use studies and case studies.
Surveys will cover all 7 existing SSVE villages, including 15 female participants, 60 male participants, 6 project coordinators, 15 spouses of female participants, 15 children of female participants, 15 females of neighboring para households (non-SSVE), and 10 females of neighboring non-SSVE village households. The 136 total surveys will utilize 7 different survey instruments.
Technical knowledge assessments will be employed to observe the technical ability, with respect to Lemnaceae-based aquaculture, of 20 (10 male and 10 female) randomly selected SSVE participants - 4 from each of the 5 existing SSVE village corporations.
Time use studies will be conducted on 8 randomly selected women, 4 SSVE project participants and 4 non-participants. Case studies of women's lives will be developed based on selected time use studies and supplemental interviews.
Data obtained through the evaluation will be
screened visually for physical transcription errors - with corrections made immediately at the source as appropriate;
entered into a Paradox database using range-checked double-entry input,
subjected to statistical analysis using the SPSS statistical program for microcomputers:
simple descriptive statistics
univariate statistical analysis
multivariate statistical analysis
Selected statistical results will be presented, as appropriate, in the final thesis paper. All data and analytical results will be presented to PRISM, Bangladesh, and, upon PRISM's approval, to project sponsors (UNCDF and foundations). PRISM will also be presented with a copy of the final thesis, upon its acceptance by the UCD faculty.
The four different methodologies to be applied in the evaluation enable both both quantitative and qualitative investigation. The principal quantitative measure to be utilized in this evaluation is a survey. A separate specific survey questionnaire form will be designed for each distinct group targeted by the evaluation. These seven questionnaires will be prepared for the following target groups: 1) SSVE female shareholders, 2) SSVE male shareholder, 3) SSVE coordinators, 4) spouses of SSVE female shareholders, 5) children of SSVE shareholders, 6) non-SSVE females from neighboring para households, and 7) non-SSVE females from non-SSVE communities.
Another quantitative methodology will include a technical knowledge assessment of SSVE shareholders. This will involve field level duckweed farming performance observation of SSVE shareholders, using a standardized technical checklist. The checklist will evaluate all key performance indicators considered by duckweed production experts to be required elements of "good duckweed and duckweed-fish aquaculture" practice.
The third methodology, also quantitative in nature, is a time use study of women's activities. Women from outside and within the project will be randomly selected and approached to participate in this portion of the study. Respondents will be accompanied by an observer for several days, documenting all of their activities. The observer will record data utilizing a standardized list of activities normally performed by rural Bangladeshi females.
The fourth methodology is qualitative in nature. Case studies will be developed from data collected from the more open and amenable time use study respondents. Information obtained through the time use studies will be supplemented by conversations and informal interviews to construct an accurate and detailed picture of the women's lives.
The use of both quantitative and qualitative methods enables collection of a wide variety of different types of information. In addition, comparison of information obtained through different methods provides a useful control for biases and error.
The following section briefly explains the process of developing and applying the technical knowledge assessment, the time use study and the case studies. The remainder of the proposal will then focus on a description of the survey methodology as it demands the highest degree of preparation, personnel and resources.
The technical knowledge assessment checklist will be designed by a scientist, expert in duckweed, to facilitate the observation and documentation of shareholder technical knowledge and ability. The checklist will measure shareholder technical knowledge, efficiency and productive ability. Both male and female shareholders will be observed to enable a comparison by gender.
A duckweed technical expert from the project, who does not function as a coordinator, will be asked to assist in establishing standardized "norms" reflecting "good practice" in duckweed/duckweed-fish aquaculture. These norms must, by necessity, draw heavily on the formal PRISM duckweed/duckweed-fish aquaculture training manual and curriculum, because workers cannot be held to a higher standard than that which they were taught. These norms, or prescribed farming protocols, will be organized into a technical check list with a lickert-type scale to allow the observer to assign degrees of accuracy and intensity to his observations. The observer must also be a duckweed technical expert and, depending on the availability of personnel, may possibly be the same person involved in developing the form.
The forms will be designed to permit the observation of one shareholder working in the field for an entire work day. The observer will attempt to be as unobtrusive as possible in his observations and be discrete as to the object of his attention (from among a common work team). If expert personnel are available, it is possible that two observers will be assigned to observe the same person at the same time, but without exchanging notes on their observations. (See footnote 10) This will then allow a check for any significant statistical observer differences. Checking the data for observer bias is important given the subjective nature of observation. Also, the technical nature of the observation requires experts in duckweed which can only be found locally within the SSVE project itself. By using internal observers the possibility must be considered to be high.
[Footnote 10: This will, of course, be a requirement for field testing the instrument, in order to determine its internal and external validity.]
The checklist will be pilot tested in the field before final application. Five shareholders, two male and three female, will be randomly selected from 3 of the 5 villages for pilot testing. The two observers will observe one person each day, for three days. Given the requirement that pilot study shareholders will be withdrawn from the final sample, only one female will be pilot tested as there are only 15 in.
After pilot testing, any necessary adjustments will be made to refine the final checklist. Four shareholders, two males and two females, will be randomly selected from each of the five villages. As mentioned earlier, shareholders involved in the pilot test will be excluded. Two duckweed technical experts/observers will spend once entire work day each shareholder, observing them in a discrete manner while using the technical knowledge assessment checklist to evaluate their performance of specific agricultural tasks. Since each worker is normally assigned a particular task for the day, one observation will not cover all of the tasks included in the technical checklist. However, with a random sample, there should be a cross section of all agricultural tasks represented in the sample. If there is a sexual division of labor of agricultural tasks in the fields, the technical checklist will reflect this situation. However, since both males and females are covered in the sample, this should not effect the agricultural tasks observed.
Data will be collected on the sample of 20 SSVE shareholders (10 males, 10 females) in the 5 project villages over the course of 1 month. Although the observers will attempt to be discrete in their observations, the SSVE members will be informed that an evaluation for a thesis is taking place. SSVE shareholders will be informed of the evaluation objectives and assured that the evaluation is not on an individual basis so they do not need to fear personal reprisal. Although specific individuals will be selected for observation, their names will not be recorded as the objective is not to evaluate individuals but rather units, and males and females as a group. Nevertheless, the shareholders will be aware of the evaluation and the presence of observers. It is necessary, therefore, to point out that the data collected will be considered indicative of maximum (not average) performance, on the assumption that shareholders will try their best when being observed. As this portion of the evaluation seeks to measure technical knowledge and ability, obtaining information concerning maximum performance is appropriate to the requirements of the evaluation.
After the data is collected, the checklists will be entered into a database for subsequent statistical analysis. The forms of both observers will be compared for any statistical difference in the observations to check for observer bias.
Personnel requirements for this portion of the evaluation will be two duckweed experts for 1.5 months. These experts will spend 2 weeks developing and testing technical checklists and 1 month recording observations. Data entry will be performed by experienced tabulators and use standard double entry data protocols established specifically for the project.
The time use studies will involve direct observation utilizing a standardized checklist of activities normally performed by rural Bangladeshi women. Women SSVE shareholders and non-SSVE women will be observed in order to compare their daily activities and time usage. This information is important in establishing whether SSVE female participants are taking on a double burden by participating in the project and how their time usage compares to female non-participants. This data is important in assessing the effects of the project on women's lives, for refining SSVE policies and planning future project implementations.
A female Bangladeshi social scientist, preferably a graduate student from Dhaka University, will be hired to assist in the development of the time use studies checklist and data collection. A draft form will be developed using the assistance of SSC project management and staff, and informal interviews with local non-SSVE women. Final forms will include precoded activities in a standardized format requiring only a check for every 15 minute interval.
Forms will be pilot tested. One female SSVE shareholder and one non-SSVE female from the neighboring para will be randomly selected for pre-testing. Due to time limitations, each woman will be observed for 3 consecutive days to pre-test the checklist. Any necessary adjustment will be made to the forms based on the pilot test results. Women participants in the pilot test will be excluded from the final sample.
The time use study will involve continuous direct observation, with the social scientist accompanying women subjects throughout the entire course of a day, documenting her activities and time usage. Following people around is clearly intrusive and will require a great deal of patience and cooperation on the part of both subject and observer. There is a strong possibility of observer-induced bias. Ruth Dixon-Mueller suggests that to control for this possibility, the first day or two of observation may be dropped, on the assumption that people quickly become accustomed to outsiders in their midst (Dixon-Mueller, 1985).
The advantages of using a direct observation method are numerous. First, observing time usage is generally more accurate then asking about time usage. Respondents are often unaware of time on the clock and have problems recalling and estimating time usage. This leads to difficulty in assessing time when activities are performed simultaneously. (Dixon-Mueller, 1985; Dixon-Mueller and Anker, 1988). The proposed direct observation method also allows the observer to record joint and simultaneous activities - as is common with reproductive work. It also allows the opportunity to note both the nature and extent of social interaction. Finally, during slow periods the observer can alternate unobtrusive observation from a distance with conversations that provide further insights (Peluso, 1975; Dixon-Mueller, 1985). This method will allow the observer to later build case studies around women who were particularly open to sharing detailed experiences about their lives.
To document the routines of female traders in rural Java, Peluso (Peluso, 1979; Dixon-Mueller, 1975) accompanied 8 women for 5 consecutive days each. Observation began hour after rising (between 4 and 6 a.m.) until evening (9 or 10). Peluso noted that after the first day or two the women ignored the extra attention and carried out their routines as they normally would (Peluso, 1975; Dixon-Mueller, 1985).
This pattern of 5 days of consecutive observation will be followed. The first day or two will be dropped from analysis as suggested by Dixon-Mueller in order to control for behavioral changes due to observer presence (Dixon-Mueller, 1985). A total of 8 randomly selected women will be observed, 4 SSVE female participants and 4 non-SSVE women from neighboring para.
One bilingual female social scientist will be required to conduct the time use study. She will be recruited from the anthropology or sociology departments of the Dhaka University. Strong preference will be given to persons having direct rural development experience. The study will require approximately 12 weeks to complete. Two weeks will be spent developing checklist drafts, 1 week on pilot testing, 1 week on revisions and 8 weeks on observation. Forms will then be entered into a data base by tabulators for later statistical analysis.
Case studies can provide valuable insights into women's daily lives. The case study methodology offers the opportunity to document information and experiences often not captured through surveys another quantitative methods.
The considerable time invested in the time use study will provide the social scientist with the opportunity to become familiar with some female subjects. Women who appear particularly open to sharing their experiences will be encouraged to discuss their lives during slow periods of during additional interview. Specific candidates for case studies will not be preselected as not all people are willing to discuss their life experiences with a stranger. The selection of case studies subjects will, therefore, be made at the discretion of the social scientist based upon her rapport with the respondents. Ideally, case studies should be developed for women both within and outside the SSVE project.
The case studies will provide a qualitative method that can may be compared to the results obtained through the other quantitative methods. There is strong agreement in the social science literature that the best approach to evaluation is to mix qualitative and quantitative methods (Campbell, 1987; Cook and Reichardt, 1979; Maxwell, 1985; Rossman and Wilson, 1985; Silverman, Ricci and Gunter, 1990; Posavac and Carey, 1992).
Question formulation for the final evaluation measures involves a series of iterative steps. It is important that stakeholders are involved in the question formulation process in order to ensure that questions are valid, relevant and consistent with the "reality" of the project. The questions presented earlier were merely a sketch of general questions the evaluation may attempt to answer.
The first step in question formulation will be to interview key stakeholders - specifically PRISM management, SSC management and staff. It is important that through these interviews the evaluators obtain a clear vision of what expectations these groups have, the information they desire, how this information will be utilized, and whether they have plans for operationalizing results.
Based on these inputs, questionnaire drafts will be developed. (See footnote 11) These drafts will then be presented to key project staff and management for their feedback and commentary. After making any necessary revisions based on feedback, the instruments will be pilot tested for content, format, comprehension, and interviewer protocols.
A small, representative sample for each target group will be randomly selected for pilot testing instruments. Given the small number of coordinators, their evaluation instruments will not be tested on actual coordinators but rather SSVE staff. Small numbers for the pilot testing are necessary since individuals who participated in the pilot testing must be excluded from the final sample. In addition PRISM, SSC management and staff will be asked to assess the instruments as part of the pilot. On one level the pilot surveys will seek opinions and information concerning survey content, format clarity, and validity. On the other hand the pilot will seek to simulate the real evaluation conditions and develop a series of protocols which interviewers will follow. The approximate numbers of the pilot testing are as follows:
Coordinator Survey Applied to SSC Staff 3
Male SSVE Survey 3
Female SSVE Survey 2
Spouse of SSVE Female 2
Child of SSVE Female 2
Neighboring Para Household (Non-SSVE) 2
Non-SSVE Neighboring Village Household 2
After obtaining feedback through pilot testing survey will be revised and refined. Final instruments will be presented to key PRISM and SSC management for final comments along with a detailed interviewer training agenda and interviewer survey protocols.
The SSVE project evaluation will employ seven distinct survey instruments. All instruments will be administered by trained surveyors who will use the questionnaires to guide their interviews. The surveys will be administered orally to: a) overcome the problem of illiteracy, and to b) provide subjects with the opportunity to request further clarification from the surveyor when necessary.
Each of the seven instruments will have a specific target group. These include: SSVE coordinators, male SSVE shareholders, female SSVE shareholders, spouses of female SSVE shareholders, children of female SSVE shareholders, females of neighboring para households (non-SSVE), and females of non-SSVE village households.
The first instrument will be exclusively for coordinators who have been actively serving a SSVE for at least 6 months. As they represent arguably the most important identifiable group within the SSVE system, it is crucial that coordinators be given the opportunity to make significant input into the evaluation. Since SSVE expansion is ongoing, new coordinators are continually being trained and assigned to village corporations. It is for this reason that only coordinators who have served fully operational corporation for at least six months will be included in the evaluation. Coordinators who have worked less time with village corporations may not have sufficient experience to answer the evaluation questions.
The SSVE instrument geared at male SSVE shareholders will be applied to a 100% sample of all SSVE shareholders from all 5 villages. Although the primary focus of this evaluation is on women, male perspectives provide important insights into the attitudes towards female participation, the effects of the project on women and the effects of women's participation on the project. Also, surveying men provides a group against which to compare female performance and attitudes. As principal beneficiaries, it is vital that both men and women members of this group be included in the evaluation. The male and female instruments have been made distinct on the assumption that a) their experiences prior to beginning participation in the project have been very different and b) their roles within the enterprise may also differ. Also, this permits the introduction of gender specific questions.
Female SSVE shareholder surveys are necessary to obtain women participants' views, attitudes and opinions. They will provide insights into the effects of the project on women's lives and their role in the project. Both the male and female surveys will help paint an accurate overall picture of project operations and its effects on its target populations.
In the event that new units have been implemented, only the shareholders with at least six months in the project will be surveyed. The six month requirement is also to ensure that the shareholders have had sufficient experience in the corporate venture to provide meaningful responses.
A fourth instrument will focus on the spouses of female SSVE participants. This group is important to survey as spouses will offer insights into family attitudes towards female participation. Also, spouses will provide information on the effects of participation on the family's economic condition, internal relations, the household division of labor and decision-making authority within the household.
A fifth instrument will be oriented at children of female SSVE participants. Children, as with spouses, can offer unique insights into family attitudes towards female participation on family home life and attitudes towards female participation. Children's perspectives are invaluable as they often offer even more uninhibited and outward answers to questions the adults. While great care will be exercised when dealing with sensitive subjects, such as family conflicts or domestic relations, children are expected to provide more frank insights into the home environment.
The sixth instrument will concentrate on females of neighboring para households in SSVE villages who are non-participants. Households will randomly selected from paras neighboring SSVE villages that have functioned for at least 6 months. This group is important as it will: a) provide valuable information concerning external impressions of the project and its participants, and b) monitor future interest in participation. Under the assumption that most Bangladeshi villages share a similar socio-economic profile, this group will serve as a comparison group for many of the indicators included in the female SSVE shareholders survey. This also provides a rationale for interviewing females from these households as opposed to males. It is relatively safe to assume that females, as a group, are similar with respect to socio-economic status, to the SSVE female shareholders before they participated in the project. Again, those few villagers owning more than 10 ha. will be excluded from this survey in order to ensure sample uniformity and comparability.
The seventh instrument will measure a sample of females from households in non-SSVE communities neighboring SS villages which have operated for at least 6 months. This group will provide insight into the real dimensions of the project's influence outside the project. As the neighboring para survey, this group will serve as a control group for certain indicators on the female SSVE shareholder measure. Also, this group will serve as a comparison for neighboring para households who are not direct SSVE participants but may, nevertheless may be affected by the presence of the project in their village.
Each of these instruments will include a set of indicators designed to describe service as well as productive activities, the structural and organizational context for these activities, outcomes and attitudes. Many of the indicators will be categorized as either "descriptive indicators" or "experimental indicators."
For the purposes of this evaluation descriptive indicators are defined as indicators whose questions do not have an equivalent comparison or control group. They serve descriptive purposes, but they will not be compared, in analysis, to a control group. This is due to the fact that the comparison to a control group would be inappropriate for certain indicators and/or questions. For example, indicators involving coordinator assessment of SSVE performance do not have a comparison group since the sample for coordinators is 100% and there is no comparable group to serve as a control group outside or within the program.
Experimental indicators, for the purposes of this evaluation, do contain some questions that have an equivalent control group permitting comparison between the test group (female SSVE shareholders) and other (control) groups possessing similar characteristics - namely the females of neighboring para households (non-SSVE participants), and females of non-SSVE neighboring villages households. For example, income trends is an indicator which can be compared between the female SSVE beneficiaries, females of neighboring para households (non-SSVE participants), and the females of non-SSVE neighboring village households of a similar socioeconomic class. It is possible, nevertheless, that some of the questions included under certain experimental indicators will be descriptive in nature and will not be presented in control group instruments.
The following is a brief discussion of some of the most important indicators, categorized as descriptive or experimental, which possibly will be included in the measures. In addition, for each indicator at least one sample question is presented.
1. Shobuj Shona Center service delivery and performance refers to the quality of SSC services. This indicator will focus specifically on services offered to SSV units and support services for coordinators. These services include credit, technical assistance, supplies, information, management and training. This indicator will be included on both the coordinator instrument and the SSVE shareholder instrument, and will concentrate heavily on their perceptions of SSC service delivery. A sample question may be as follows:
example #1. How satisfied are you the following aspects of the SSC credit service?
|VERY UNSATISFIED||QUITE UNSATISFIED||SOMEWHAT SATISFIED||QUITE SATISFIED||VERY SATISFIED|
|a. Loan amount?||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. Interest rate?||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. Timeliness of installments?||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Payback terms?||1||2||3||4||5|
|e. Savings prerequisite?||1||2||3||4||5|
|f. Financial guidance?||1||2||3||4||5|
2. Coordinator Performance refers to the quality of coordinators' work and the factors which affect their ability to perform. This includes issues such as the relationship between the SSC and coordinators, the level of training received by coordinators, and the clarity with which their responsibilities have been described. These indicators will examine the relationship between coordinators and shareholders; the shareholders perceptions of coordinator performance; and coordinators' assessment of their own work. This indicator will be included in both the coordinator instrument and the SSVE instrument. Sample questions may include:
example #1. How clearly do you know what level of work performance is expected of you (in terms of amount, quality, and timeliness of output)?
|VERY UNCLEAR||QUITE UNCLEAR||SOMEWHAT CLEAR||QUITE CLEAR||VERY CLEAR|
example #2. During the past 3 months, how often did you receive suggestions or feedback from your coordinator on your work?
|NOT ONCE||ABOUT ONCE A MONTH||ABOUT ONCE A WEEK||ABOUT EVERY DAY OR SO||SEVERAL TIMES A DAY|
(SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
3. Possibility of Female Coordinators refers to attitudes towards the incorporation of females as coordinators on the part of shareholders and coordinators. This indicator examines how people would feel with women working as their supervisor or co-work and the perception of women's competence to be coordinators. This indicator also measures whether there is a gender preference for coordinators on the part of shareholders. This indicator will be included on the male and female SSVE shareholder instruments and the coordinator instrument.
example #1. How comfortable would you feel working with a female coordinator?
|VERY UN- COMFORTABLE||UNCOMFORT- ABLE||NEUTRAL||COMFORTABLE||VERY COMFORTABLE|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, AND COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
example #2. Do you feel a female coordinator could be as effective as a male coordinator?
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, AND COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
4. Work performance refers to the overall quality, quantity and efficiency of work performed by SSVE shareholders. This indicator includes such issues as a self-appraisal of work performance, attitudes towards performance based on gender, sexual division of labour in fieldwork, and factors effecting shareholders ability to perform. This indicator also attempts to determine areas where SSVE shareholders or coordinators require more preparation or training. Many of the questions in this indicator will not only provide descriptive information but also allow for a comparison between male and female shareholders work performance.
example #1. The following is a listing of specific work tasks performed regularly in your SSVE unit. Indicate the frequency with which you normally perform these tasks:
|NEVER||SELDOM||SOME- TIMES||OFTEN||VERY OFTEN||MUCH BETTER|
|a. Pond preparation?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|b. Seeding duckweed?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|c. Stocking fish ponds?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|d. Fertilizer preparation?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|e. Fertilizer application?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|f. Maintaining barriers?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|g. Water maintenance?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|h. Maintaining duckweed coverage?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|I. Weighing duckweed?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|j. Weighing fish?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|k. Cooling ponds?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|l. Spraying ponds?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|m. Mixing ponds?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|n. Harvesting duckweed?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|o. Harvesting fish?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|p. Transporting duckweed?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|q. Transporting fish?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|r. Drying Duckweed?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|s. Emergent growth?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|t. Local marketing?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
example #2. How do you rate the work performance of the women in your unit compared to that of the men, with respect to the following aspects?
|FAR BELOW||SOME- WHAT BELOW||ABOUT SAME||SOME- WHAT ABOVE||FAR ABOVE|
|a. The quantity or amount of work produced?||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. The quality or accuracy of work produced?||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. The number of innovations or new ideas introduced?||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Attainment of production goals?||1||2||3||4||5|
|f. Work morale?||1||2||3||4||5|
|g. Work motivation?||1||2||3||4||5|
|h. Participation in decision-making?||1||2||3||4||5|
|i. Work attendance?||1||2||3||4||5|
|j. SSVE meeting attendance?||1||2||3||4||5|
|k. Timeliness in completing work tasks?||1||2||3||4||5|
|l. Arriving to work on time?||1||2||3||4||5|
5. Women's Work Performance is similar to the work performance indicator however it focuses on perceptions of female's work performance. This will provide insights into male attitudes towards working with women as co-workers, female's perceptions of their own work performance, and coordinators; assessment of women's performance. It also attempts to pin point any areas where women require any extra preparation or training. This indicator will be included on the male SSVE shareholder instrument, the female SSVE shareholder instrument and the coordinator instrument.
example #1. To what extent are the women in your unit able to complete the work expected of them?
|NO EXTENT||LITTLE EXTENT||SOME EXTENT||GREAT EXTENT||VERY GREAT EXTENT|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, AND COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
example #2. To what degree do you feel the women in your unit "pull their own weight"?
|TO NO DEGREE||TO A VERY SMALL DEGREE||TO A SMALL DEGREE||TO A CONSIDERABLE DEGREE||TO A VERY HIGH DEGREE|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, AND COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
6. Job/Corporate Satisfaction refers to a reaction or feeling by the coordinator or corporate shareholders on how satisfied he/she is with his job, work conditions, SSC supervisor or SSVE coordinator, co-workers, pay, shareholdings, benefits and current or future career progress and potential. Questions to measure this indicator will be included in both the survey for coordinators and for SSVE Shareholders. Sample questions include:
example #1. How satisfied are you with each of the following?
|VERY UNSATISFIED||QUITE UNSATISFIED||SOMEWHAT SATISFIED||QUITE SATISFIED||VERY SATISFIED|
|a. Your job?||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. Your supervisor?||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. Your pay?||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. The career progress you have made in this organization up to now?||1||2||3||4||5|
|e. Your chances for career advancementin this organization in the near future?||1||2||3||4||5|
|AMOUNT OF AUTHORITY I HAVE IN EACH DECISION|
|NONE||LITTLE||SOME||QUITE A BIT||VERY MUCH|
|a. Determining what tasks I will perform from day to day?||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. Setting quotas on how much work I have to complete?||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. Establishing rules and procedures about how my work is to be done?||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Determining how work exceptions are to be handled?||1||2||3||4||5|
(COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT and SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENTS)
example #2. How much say or influence do you think each of the following has over the internal operations of your work unit (e.g. determining work tasks, setting unit production goals, allocating work among unit members, and reviewing the performance of unit members)?
|AMOUNT OF AUTHORITY I HAVE IN EACH DECISION|
|NONE||LITTLE||SOME||QUITE A BIT||VERY MUCH|
|c. Male SSVE Members||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Female SSVE Members||1||2||3||4||5|
|e. SSC Director||1||2||3||4||5|
|f. SSC Personnel||1||2||3||4||5|
|g. Outside Community||1||2||3||4||5|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT and FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
9. Job Feedback refers to the degree to which a coordinator and shareholders receive information on procedures and the results of his/her work effort. Feedback serves as an indicator of job incentives since it provides the individual or team with information for learning, error detection and expected job standards. This indicator will appear on both the coordinator instrument and the SSVE shareholder instrument. The following is a possible sample questions:
example #1. When your work performance was discussed with you, how often did you receive practical suggestions for improving your work?
|NEVER||SELDOM||ABOUT HALF THE TIME||OFTEN||EVERY TIME|
10. Communications With Male SSVE Members refers to the frequency and quality of communications between male and female SSVE members. Issues such ease of communications among male and female shareholders will be included in this indicator. This indicator will appear on male and female instruments in addition to the coordinator instrument.
example #1. To what degree do you feel comfortable communicating with men in your unit?
|VERY UN- COMFORTABLE||UNCOMFORT- ABLE||NEUTRAL||COMFORTABLE||VERY COMFORTABLE|
(FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER)
example #2. To what degree do you actively participate in SSVE meetings by:
|ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN SSVE MEETINGS BY:|
|NONE||LITTLE||SOME||QUITE A BIT||VERY MUCH|
|a. Addressing group directly?||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. Responding to questions?||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. Offering innovative ideas?||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Offering opinions?||1||2||3||4||5|
|e. Making decisions?||1||2||3||4||5|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT and FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
11. Unit Standardization refers to the degree to which village corporate units have implemented and formalized rules, standard operating procedures, and performance expectations in order to coordinate, control and monitor unit activities. This indicator will be presented in both the coordinator instrument and the SSVE shareholder instruments.
example #1. Overall, how clearly have specific performance targets been set for your corporate unit?
|NO TARGETS WERE SET||TARGETS ARE VERY UNCLEAR||TARGETS ARE SOMEWHAT CLEAR||TARGETS ARE QUITE CLEAR||TARGETS ARE VERY CLEAR|
example #2 How specific or general are the rules, policies and procedures in your unit for coordinating and controlling work activities?
|THERE ARE NO SET RULES, POLICIES OR PROCEDURES||VERY GENERAL||SOMEWHAT SPECIFIC||QUITE SPECIFIC||VERY SPECIFIC|
(COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT and SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENTS)
12. Unit Conflict refers to the frequency of disputes or disagreements among SSVE village unit shareholders, among units and outside neighbors, units and coordinators, and the extent to which these conflicts hinder performance. This indicator will be included in the coordinator instrument, both the male and female SSVE shareholder instruments, the neighbor para household instrument and the neighboring non-SSVE village household instrument.
example #1. During the past 3 months how often did disagreements or arguments occur:
|AMOUNT OF DISAGREEMENTS OR ARGUMENTS THAT OCCURRED|
|NOT ONCE||ABOUT ONCE A MONTH||ABOUT EVERY 2 WEEKS||ABOUT ONCE A WEEK||SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK||EVERY DAY|
|a. Between unit members and coordinator?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|b. Among unit members?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|c. Between people in your unit and land lessors?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|d. Between people in yourunit and immediate neighbors?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|e. Between people in your unit and members of surrounding villages?||1||2||3||4||5||6|
(SSVE MALE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT and FEMALE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
13. Male/Female Conflict concentrates on any conflicts that may exist between SSVE members based on gender. This indicator examines the frequency of conflicts and the manner in which disputes are resolved. It also, looks at the ability of SSVE to offer each other constructive criticism with our conflict. This indicator will appear on both male and female shareholder instruments and the coordinator instrument.
example #1. How frequently are there disagreements or disputes between the male and female members of your unit?
example #2. When disagreements or disputes occur among male and female members of your unit, how frequently are they resolved in each of the following ways?
|N/A||ALMOST NEVER||SELDOM||SOMETIMES||OFTEN||VERY OFTEN|
|a. By ignoring or avoiding the issues?||0||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. By smoothing over the issues?||0||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. By bringing the issues out in the open and working them out among the parties involved?||0||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. By bringing the issues out in the open in unit meetings?||0||1||2||3||4||5|
|e. By having the unit coordinator resolve the issues between unit members?||0||1||2||3||4||5|
14. Relationship With SSVE Unit Members refers to the working relationship between male and females SSVE shareholders. Issues such as ease working with the opposite sex, treatment at work trust in co-workers will be included. This indicator will appear on male and female shareholder instruments and the coordinator instrument.
example #1. To what extent do you feel comfortable depending upon other women in your work group to achieve assigned tasks and performance standards?
|N/A||VERY UN- COMFORTABLE||UNCOMFORT- ABLE||NEUTRAL||COMFORTABLE||VERY COMFORTABLE|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
example #2. How would you describe your treatment at work by the following people:
|N/A||VERY POOR||POOR||AVERAGE||GOOD||VERY GOOD|
|b. Male SSVE Members||0||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. Female SSVE Members||0||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. SSC Director||0||1||2||3||4||5|
|e. SSC Personnel||0||1||2||3||4||5|
|f. Outside Community||0||1||2||3||4||5|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT AND FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
15. Unit Incentives is an indicator which includes a) degree to which incentives have been operational; b) degree to which the work teams pressure members to achieve high or low outputs; and c) degree to which incentives stimulate members to achieve high levels of output. This indicator will be included on both the coordinator and shareholder instruments.
example #1. To what degree do the following incentives motivate your unit to produce higher outputs?
|STRENGTH OF INCENTIVE|
|NONE||LITTLE||SOME||QUITE A BIT||VERY MUCH|
|a. Daily wage based on productivity||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. Shareholding returns||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. Lottery tickets||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Individual bonuses||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Work Team bonuses||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Unit bonuses||1||2||3||4||5|
(COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT and SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENTS)
16. Incentives for Women SSVE Members is an indicator which analyzes the attitudes towards incentives for female participants. This indicator will also provide insights into attitudes towards women's participation in the project as equal partners. Questions from this indicator will be included on the male SSVE shareholder instrument, the female SSVE shareholder instrument and the coordinator instrument.
example #1. Do you feel the women in your unit deserve equal returns as the men in your unit with respect to the following?
|Work Team bonuses||1||2|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, and COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
17. Perceived Unit Performance refers to the extent to which the corporate unit has achieved its performance targets, self-evaluation of performance and the relative rating of the unit in comparison to other units. This indicator will be included on the coordinator and SSVE shareholder instruments.
example #1. In relation to other SSVE corporations how did your unit rate on each of the following factors during the past year?
|FAR BELOW AVERAGE||SOME- WHAT BELOW AVERAGE||ABOUT AVERAGE||SOME- WHAT ABOVE AVERAGE||FAR ABOVE AVERAGE|
|a. The quantity or amount of work produced?||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. The quantity or accuracy of work produced?||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. The number of innovations or new ideas introduced by the unit?||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. Reputation for work excellence?||1||2||3||4||5|
|e. Attainment of unit production goals?||1||2||3||4||5|
|f. Efficiency of unit operations?||1||2||3||4||5|
|h. Morale of unit members?||1||2||3||4||5|
18. Health Problems refers to any possible health problems shareholders or coordinators attribute top their participation in the project. Since the project involves working with waste water, potential health hazards are a source of concern. This indicator will appear on male and female shareholder instruments, coordinator instruments, and neighboring para household instruments.
example #1. Do you attribute any of the following diseases that you may have contracted to your SSVE related work?
|a. Skin problems?||N/A||NO||YES|
|b. Respiratory problems?||N/A||NO||YES|
|d. Vaginal infections?||N/A||NO||YES|
example #2. Describe your health (i.e.,. sick or well) in comparison to your neighbors who do not work in the project?
|MUCH SICKER||SOMEWHAT SICKER||NO DIFFERENT||SOMEWHAT HEALTHIER||MUCH HEALTHIER|
example #2. If the SSVE project provided child care while you work, would you use this service?
If you answered yes, how many children would you enroll in child care? _____Children
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT AND FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
20. Transportation seeks to determine whether spatial distance from work or a lack of transportation are problems for shareholders and coordinators. It also examines the spatial distance from shareholder homes and the work area, an important facto for women in Bangladesh who normally have spatial barriers imposed on them given cultural beliefs. This indicator will be included in both male and female shareholder instruments and the coordinator instrument.
example #1. How far is your SSVE work-site from your home?
|LESS THAN 100M||100M TO 500M||500M TO 1000M||1KM TO 2KM||OVER 2KM|
example #2. How do you normally arrive to work at your SSVE unit?
|ON FOOT||BICYCLE||RICKSHAW||BUS||MOTOR CYCLE||BOAT|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, AND COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
1. Income Trends examines earnings during the past three years through wages, shareholdings, commissions, bonuses, lottery, rentals, sale of crops and inheritance. This indicator will be included on all instruments. Also included in this indicator is the degree of control women have over their earnings and decision making on spending. The immediate neighboring para households and non-SSVE neighboring village households will serve as the control group for the SSVE shareholders for this particular indicator. This indicator will document income trends and demonstrate whether there has been an impact on the income of project participants - particularly women and landless people.
example #1 Approximately what were your earnings during the last three years?
|Wages||SSVE Wages||SSVE Shares||Crops||Live- stock||Rentals||Bonus||Lot.||Comis.||Inher.||Other|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT, NEIGHBORING PARA HOUSEHOLD INSTRUMENT, AND NON-SSVE NEIGHBORING VILLAGE HOUSEHOLD INSTRUMENT)
example #2. On average, how has your household changed its spending in the following areas since you began working in the SSVE project.
|N/A||MUCH LESS||LESS||SAME||SOMEWHAT MORE||MUCH MORE|
|i.e.,. agricultural supplies)|
(FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, and SPOUSE OF FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
example #3. Who decides how your SSVE earnings are spent?
|a. Me alone||1||2||3||4||5|
|b. Me and my spouse||1||2||3||4||5|
|c. Me, my spouse and my family||1||2||3||4||5|
|d. My spouse alone||1||2||3||4||5|
|e. My spouse and my family (without me)||1||2||3||4||5|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, SOUSE OF FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
2. Work Motivation refers to the degree of self-motivation and effort an individual exercises to effectively perform his/her work. This indicator looks at items such as effort put into work, attempts to improve performance, and feelings experienced when a job is done well or poorly. This indicator will allow a comparison of work motivation levels between SSVE participants in comparison to individuals not participating in the project. Also, it will contrast male and female SSVE shareholders work motivation levels. This can provide insights into whether the SSVE project is truly achieving its goal of providing incentives and motivating people to reach high levels of productivity.
example #1. How much effort do you put into your work?
|NONE||LITTLE||SOME||QUITE A BIT||VERY MUCH|
(SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, NEIGHBORING PARA HOUSEHOLD INSTRUMENTS, NEIGHBORING NON-SSVE VILLAGE HOUSEHOLDS INSTRUMENT & COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
example #2. How much effort do you feel the women in your unit put into their work compared to the men in your unit?
|FAR LESS||SOMEWHAT LESS||SAME AMOUNT||SOMEWHAT MORE||MUCH MORE|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT & COORDINATOR SSVE INSTRUMENT)
3. Time usage outside of SSVE work looks at women's activities and use of time outside of a project context. This indicator focuses on female reproductive activities and time spent on such activities. Also the contribution of family member's before and after female participation in the project will also be examined within this indication. This will serve to assess to what degree women have taken on a double burden or households have restructured their division of labour. This indicator will be included on the females from neighboring para households and females of neighboring non-SSVE village households instrument in addition to the female SSVE shareholder instruments in order to allow a comparison between the three groups.
|Your activities and use of time may have changed since you began participating in the SSVE project. In addition to your project related activities, your outside work may vary a great deal week to week. First, indicate during the past 3 months, on average how many hours per week did you normally spend in each of the following activities. Then indicate on average how many hours per week did you normally spend in each of the following activities before working in the SSVE project.||Hours per week I normally spend on average doing this in the past 3 months||Hours per week I normally spent on average doing this activity before participating in SSVE project|
|Unpaid Domestic Labor|
|a. Daily food preparation||a. _____HR/WK||a. _____HR/WK|
|b. House cleaning||b. _____HR/WK||b. _____HR/WK|
|c. Washing||c. _____HR/WK||c. _____HR/WK|
|d. Child care||d. _____HR/WK||d. _____HR/WK|
|e. Animal care||e. _____HR/WK||e. _____HR/WK|
|f. Shopping||f. _____HR/WK||f. _____HR/WK|
|g. Gathering firewood||g. _____HR/WK||g. _____HR/WK|
|h. Gathering water||h. _____HR/WK||h. _____HR/WK|
|i. Collecting clay/cow dung||i. _____HR/WK||i. _____HR/WK|
|j. Collecting grass/roof repair||j. _____HR/WK||j. _____HR/WK|
|k. Housework for extended family||k. _____HR/WK||k. _____HR/WK|
|l. Selling products at market||l. _____HR/WK||l. _____HR/WK|
|m. Sewing, crafts for home use||m. _____HR/WK||m. _____HR/WK|
|n. Other_____________________||n. _____HR/WK||n. _____HR/WK|
|Unpaid Agricultural Labour|
|o. Processing crops (husking, cleaning, drying preserving)||o. _____HR/WK||o. _____HR/WK|
|p. Family garden||p. _____HR/WK||p. _____HR/WK|
|q. Unpaid fieldwork/agricultural activities for family subsistence crops||q. _____HR/WK||q. _____HR/WK|
|r. Unpaid fieldwork/agricultural activities for family cash crops||r. _____HR/WK||r. _____HR/WK|
|s. Other_____________________||s. _____HR/WK||s. _____HR/WK|
|t. Sewing, handicrafts, for outside sale||t. _____HR/WK||t. _____HR/WK|
|u. Fieldwork/agricultural work for wages on an outside farm||u. _____HR/WK||u. _____HR/WK|
|v. Other outside non-agricultural wage labor||v. _____HR/WK||v. _____HR/WK|
|w. SSVE activities||w. _____HR/WK||w. _____HR/WK|
|x. Other_____________________||x. _____HR/WK||x. _____HR/WK|
(FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE OF NEIGHBORING PARA HOUSEHOLD INSTRUMENT, FEMALE OF NON-SSVE NEIGHBORING VILLAGE HOUSEHOLD INSTRUMENT, SPOUSE OF FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, and CHILD OF FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
4. Agricultural knowledge measures the degree of agricultural knowledge and experience the respondents possess. In the case of shareholders, this indicator seeks to measure to what degree participants feel a lack of agricultural knowledge or experience has effected their ability to achieve performance and productivity standards. This indicator will appear on both male and female shareholder instruments, coordinator instruments and non-SSVE household instruments.
example #1. How would you rate your level of agricultural knowledge and experience?
|NONE||LITTLE||SOME||QUITE A BIT||VERY MUCH|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE OF NEIGHBORING PARA HOUSEHOLD, FEMALE OF NEIGHBORING NON-SSVE VILLAGE HOUSEHOLD INSTRUMENT, and COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
example #2. To what extent do you feel a lack of agricultural knowledge and expertise effect your ability to achieve performance standards?
|NO EXTENT||LITTLE EXTENT||SOME EXTENT||GREAT EXTENT||VERY GREAT EXTENT|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT, and COORDINATOR INSTRUMENT)
5. Social Acceptability of Women's Participation examines attitudes towards women's participation in the project on the part of the women themselves, male SSVE shareholders, coordinators family members, neighboring para households and non-SSVE village households. This indicator provides insight into how participation in the project has effects the social status of female participants within their families and communities. This indicator will appear on all surveys.
example #1. Do you personally feel it is socially acceptable for women to participate in the SSVE project?
example #2. In general, how would you describe the attitude of your family members towards your participation in the SSVE project?
|N/A||VERY NEGATIVE||NEGATIVE||NEUTRAL||POSITIVE||VERY POSITIVE|
|g. Other extended family||0||1||2||3||4||5|
(MALE SSVE SHAREHOLDERS INSTRUMENT and FEMALE SSVE SHAREHOLDER INSTRUMENT)
6. Landholdings refers to land ownership, the form of ownership, land use and the contribution of land to the project. This indicator will address the issue if whether other crops have been illuminated for duckweed production and if so which crops. This indicator will be important in documenting land owning status, which is important to know in the interpretation of other indicator results and in analyzing the landed/landless relationship and dynamic within the unit. This indicator will be included on all surveys in order to provide an economic reference as to the respondents condition. For a broader evaluation then the scope of this thesis permits, several other indicators focusing specifically on the landed/landless dynamic could be included. Such indicators could be Land Lessor Information, Landless/Landed Job Authority, Landless/Landed Work Performance, Communications Between Landless and Landed SSVE Members, Landless/Landed Conflict, Incentives for Landless SSVE Members, and Landless/Landed Work Motivation. However, for the scope of this thesis the landholdings indicator will be sufficient.
example #1. Of your personal landholdings, indicate the number of bighas dedicated to each of the following?
|a) Contributed to SSVE project in exchange for shares.||_____Bighas|
|b) Leased to SSVE for an annual rent (no SSVE shares)||_____Bighas|
|c) Planted with subsistence crops||_____Bighas|
|d) Planted with subsistence crops.||_____Bighas|
|f) Fish ponds||_____Bighas|
|g) Derelict ponds||_____Bighas|
|i) Derelict land||_____Bighas|
|j) Rented to others||_____Bighas|
example #2. If you have contributed or leased land to the SSVE project, how many bighas of the following crops did you normally grow on that land each year before the project?
|h) Sugar Cane||_____Bighas|
|Females of Neighboring Para||15|
|Females of Non-SSVE Villages||10|
|Spouses of SSVE Females||15|
|Children of SSVE Females||15|
It is important to note that sampling in a developing country carries some limitations. Villages are often remote, populations are transient, maps are often unavailable and, if so, are often outdated or inaccurate. (Bulmer, 1983) All of these factors must be considered when planning the logistics and detailed operations of the evaluation. Much of this information will not be available until evaluators are working on-site in the country. However, preliminary information indicates that this basic sampling plan is feasible within the areas of SSVE coverage. The main town in the project area, Shibaloy, is 2 hours west of Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital city. It is readily accessible from Dhaka by bus. Three of the 5 SSVE villages surround Shibaloy and lie a half hour away by rickshaw, bicycle or (slightly more) on foot. Reasonably accurate maps of the villages are available at Shibaloy's Upazila (local government) headquarters. The maps will include paras, baris and individual landowners. (Skillicorn -personal communications, 1992) Although not 100% precise, the maps are updated fairly frequently. Two of the project villages lie outside Mirzapur, also 2 hours from Dhaka by bus. Both villages are easily accessible from Mirzapur by bus.
Another consideration is seasonal monsoon rains which inundate the country between July and October. The actual data collection is scheduled for late August. However, since the area is easily accessible by either boat or car this probably will not be a major problem although it must be taken into account. In some respects it is advantageous to survey during this period since most research is done during the dry season. The argument has been made that most research efforts avoid the monsoon period, thus ensuring that the poorest people are seen most often when they are least deprived and least seen when things are at their worst. (Chambers, 1983)
A bilingual Bangladeshi university student will be hired to serve as a translator and research assistant throughout the evaluation. He will assist in all aspects of the evaluation, including preliminary meetings and interviews, translating instruments, pilot testing, organizing logistics, hiring surveyors, training surveyors, and over seeing tabulation. Throughout the duration of the evaluation close coordination will be maintained with PRISM and SSC management and staff. The research assistant, along with the social scientist and two technical experts will be essential in providing insights into local customs and norms and mores.
Six surveyors will be hired for 6 days. Due to the large number of surveys that have been conducted in Bangladesh it is reasonable to recruit people with previous surveying experience in Dhaka. Also, people familiar with the Shibaloy area will be given priority in order to facilitate the surveying process. While interviewer training sessions will take place at the PRISM office in Dhaka, interviewers will require accommodation in Shibaloy and Mirzapur for the 6-day survey duration. Data will be collected in 5 days, however 1 extra day will be added for travel between Mirzapur and Shibaloy.
It is estimated that each survey will take approximately 1 hour to complete. Three surveyors will be assigned to the SSVE shareholder surveys. Each surveyor should be able to cover 5 surveys a day since, as a group, the surveyors will work the entire day in only one village. Also, selected SSVE shareholders will be scheduled in advance during their weekly SS meetings so that they are available in their homes at an appointed time. If possible child and spouse surveys will also attempt to pre-schedule interviews for the same day. T
The groups of five surveyors will cover an entire village each day. This is important to avoid any exchanging of answers or commentary on the material before the surveys can cover the entire village. Surveyors will interview the selected 3 female shareholders, the 12 male shareholders, the 3 spouses, the 3 children and the 3 females of neighboring para selected through the random walk. The five surveyors will complete their 120 questionnaires in 5 days (plus 1 additional travel day). At the end of each day all survey forms will be double checked by a person other then a surveyor for a) completeness, b) clarity and c) accuracy.
One additional surveyor will be assigned to conduct the neighboring non-SSVE village household surveys. The respondents for this survey will be selected through a random walk in each of the villages. Two days will be spent surveying 10 households in 2 villages. During the remaining 4 days, the surveyor will conduct the coordinator interviews and serve as a backup. The coordinator interviews should take only one day as they may be pre-scheduled and conducted at the Shobuj Shona Center.
A two-day training session will be prepared for the interviewers and carried out at the PRISM office in Dhaka. During the morning of the first day all interviewers will be trained in basic surveying methods and project-specific protocols. During the second half of the first day and the next day surveyors will be divided into groups according to their surveys and asked to comprehensively examine questionnaires and coding systems specific to their assignments.
Interviewers will be housed in Shibaloy and Mirzapur for the 6-day duration. They will use rickshaws, local buses, and SSC bicycles in order to reach their survey locations, all of which lie within hour of Shibaloy or Mirzapur SSC locations.
It is important to note that in the surveying process maintenance of anonymity will be given the highest priority. All individuals to be surveyed will be instructed that all of the surveys are anonymous. Their names will not be placed on the forms. This point will be strongly emphasized so that people may answer with complete honesty without fear of reprisal. In the case of coordinators, who are a small group, this is particularly important. Surveyors will ask each individual surveyed to choose a slip of paper with a number. They will then write the number on the survey and give the slip to the individual. This exercise is to demonstrate the anonymity of the survey to the individual and also for tabulating purposes.
Surveyed individuals will also be instructed that the evaluation will focus most heavily on group results as opposed to individual results. Therefore no single coordinator or shareholder will be singled out and compared to others. Only group results will be documented and presented. This is also to insure that individuals feel comfortable to answer all questions honestly and freely.
All questionnaires will comprise (almost entirely) close-ended questions that can easily be coded for quick computer data entry. Three tabulators will be hired to enter results into microcomputer Paradox databases. They will receive one half day of training on project specific data entry protocols before the evaluation and they will begin tabulation on the second day of the survey. Tabulators will work at the PRISM office in Dhaka since electricity is more reliable than in the Shibaloy SSC. If battery operated portable computers are available, they will be used in preference to desk top units lacking UPS backup. It is estimated that it takes a good tabulator 5 minutes to enter 1 page of survey data. The average instrument will be approximately 5 pages. Therefore, adding time for revision, correction and picking up forms, 45 minutes will be considered the average time to enter and double check a questionnaire. Including a 15 minute break and 1 hour for lunch, in an 8 hour day 3 tabulators should complete 27 questionnaires (9 per tabulator per day). In addition to the 136 survey forms, the tabulators must enter 40 time use studies checklists (8 subjects, 5 days each) and 20 technical knowledge assessment checklists. Tabulation should, by this reasoning, take about 8 days. Data entry will be double checked and supervised to ensure accuracy.
After all data have been collected and entered into a database it will be subjected to rigorous statistical analyses. Initial analyses will rely heavily on basic graphical presentation and analysis, accompanied by simple basic descriptive statistics, cross tabulations, and correlations. A second iteration will include simple bivariate tests, including T-tests, F-tests and Chi-Squared and non-parametric tests for significance of differences between groups. A third iteration will include use of multivariate techniques, primarily ANOVA and multivariate least squares analysis. Principal components analysis and canonical correlation will also be employed were appropriate and meaningful. Further appropriate statistical tests will be determined during the analysis.
Results will be summarized in a simple, easily understood form utilizing basic tables and graphs. Text describing thesis results and a more in depth analysis will accompany the tables and graphs. The final thesis, a copy of all data collected and a suggested plan for communicating and operationalizing results will be turned into the main PRISM-Bangladesh office and the funding sponsor (UNCDF).
All evaluations must make choices with respect to evaluation design, methodology, and goals, etc.. With these choices come trade-offs, and consequently, strengths and weaknesses. Although the evaluation attempts to minimize potential problem areas, it is important to openly recognize and foresee these limitations, constraints and potentially weak areas. This awareness allows evaluators to take measures to minimize the effects of these drawbacks. The following are categories of areas which are limitations, or constraints and merit caution in the SSVE evaluation:
Outside Evaluation Although the SSVE evaluation relies heavily on the participation of the SSVE project management, workers and beneficiaries, it remains primarily an outside evaluation in that it is administered by evaluators from outside the project. The main advantage of an outside evaluation is enhanced objectivity. It does, however, have its draw backs. An outside evaluator necessarily lacks familiarity with the project structure and its operations. This means that time and significant effort must be invested in simply learning the operations of the project. Also, as an outsider it will require more time to gain the trust and cooperation of project workers who may at first feel threatened by an evaluation.
Survey Methodology While questionnaires and surveys can provide valuable information to researchers, they also have their drawbacks. The costs and inefficiencies of rural surveys are often high, including opportunity costs for research capacity and the human costs for researchers themselves. The duration and demands of surveys are often underestimated and exceed what was planned. Often, after data has been collected surveys go unprocessed, unanalyzed and not read or acted upon. (Chambers, 1983). It is with these failings in mind that the SSVE evaluation places great emphasis on the immediate tabulation, analysis and direct feedback of results.
Another criticism of surveys is that they can produce misleading findings. The accuracy of results is highly sensitive to respondents' comprehension of survey questions. For the survey to be understood it must be developed in a language that is appropriate to the audience being surveyed. Also, it is useful if the methodology employed is not completely alien to the respondents. (Bulmer, 1983) Mindful of this, the SSVE evaluation will incorporate the opinion of target group members in the instrument development process through careful pilot testing. All persons involved in the evaluation will be Bangladeshi nationals with the exception of the primary evaluator. The instruments will be administered orally by trained interviewers to ensure that questions are properly understood and to allow respondents to ask questions. It is also probable that many respondents will have had prior exposure to similar survey methodology since Bangladesh has been the focus of much international aid - with its various attendant surveys, evaluations, assessments and censuses. (ICDDR,B personal communications, 1993)
The accuracy of survey findings also depends upon the respondents answering questions honestly. This may be difficult in the case of sensitive questions involving income and landholdings (Bulmer, 1983). In other cases, respondents with good intentions may have a "courtesy bias" in answering questions. This occurs when respondents provide information they feel will please the interviewer. (Chambers, 1983 and Bulmer, 1983) The SSVE evaluation will attempt to preempt these problems by taking great lengths to a) ensuring anonymity to respondents and b) training interviewers concerning the importance of obtaining accurate feedback for the project.
International evaluation International evaluations encounter a unique set of problems and limitations. First, international evaluations often must deal with two languages. This presents the challenge of obtaining conceptual and linguistic equivalence when developing and translating instruments. Doing so requires good knowledge of the local culture and language. The SSVE evaluation will initially prepare drafts of instruments in English because it is common to the evaluator , evaluation personnel and both the local and international project management. The drafts will then be translated to Bengali for pilot testing. The translation will be done by the research assistant with the support of any additional available project staff who are fluent in English and Bengali as well has having some familiarity with local rural dialects. Conceptual equivalence will take priority over lexical comparability.
International evaluations must not only deal with two different languages - they must come to understand two different cultures. This is perhaps even more difficult to control than linguistic barriers. Certain questions may lose relevance and meaning when transferred to another culture. The SSVE evaluation plans to use feedback from local target groups when developing instruments - and in this manner hopes to minimize the effects of this type of problem.
Interviewer bias Under circumstances where surveys will be applied in areas where illiteracy rates are high, the use of interviewers is unavoidable. This introduces the possibility of interviewer bias into the evaluation. Inevitably, interviewers exhibit very different background characteristics then the respondents. For example, college students are often used as interviewers in surveys. Normally these students are of a higher socio-economic class and much younger then the typical respondent. Other differing characteristic include education, race, religion, sex, and caste among others. These differences can create severe communication obstacles between interviewer and respondent (Bulmer, 1983).
In addition, respondents may be suspicious and distrust interviewers who appear to be intruding without any immediate visible benefit. The SSVE evaluation will seek interviewers with previous experience who possess a sensitivity to these issues. When recruiting interviewers, priority will be given to persons with a manner and background characteristics thought to have high potential for facilitating easy communication with respondents and reducing perceived cultural and status differences.
Other interviewer bias problems may include recording errors, changing questions in an attempt to "clarify or simplify," and implying a "correct" answer. The most effective way to avoid these types of errors is through thorough concerning such issues.
This individual will be a social science graduate student from the Dhaka university specializing in anthropology, sociology or another relevant area. It is important that this person be female as she will need to rapidly gain the trust and confidence of her female subjects. This person will spend an intensive amount of time with her subjects. If a male observer were used, women may be inhibited or may not participate given cultural taboos which limit women's contact with male from outside the family. Preference will be given to a person with experience working in the Bangladeshi rural sector or with a rural background themselves. Fluency in written and spoken English is a requirement for this position.
The social scientist will share responsibility for all aspects of the time use studies and case studies. In addition, she will be expected to provide local perspective and insights to the evaluation to ensure that it remains "in touch" with the cultural reality of rural Bangladesh.
This position will be filled by a Bangladeshi college student fluent in english with research experience. Fluency in English is a requirement for this position. The assistant will serve as a support person in interpreting, translating materials, assisting in pilot testing, organizing survey logistics, and helping in supervising surveyors and tabulators.
The technical duckweed experts are individuals with an advanced agricultural degree who have training and experience in duckweed aquaculture. These individuals must be fluent in English. They will be drawn from internal PRISM Bangladesh staff as there are no other duckweed experts available locally from outside the project. These individuals will also help to develop forms and collect data for the technical knowledge assessment portion of the evaluation. Depending on time and personnel constraints they may also continue after completing their assigned tasks to assist with the primary survey itself.
Interviewers will be individuals with prior experience conducting rural surveys. Preference will be given to individuals from the immediate area or with a rural background. Individuals with good communication skills and a level of understanding of social science research will be sought. The interviewers will be responsible for attending an intensive 2-day paid training session in order to prepare for 6 days of interviewing.
Tabulators will be individuals with data entry experience. Preference will be given to individuals who have worked tabulating surveys in the past. Applicants will be submitted to a data entry test using sample surveys to ensure that they are able to enter a full page of survey data in less then 5 minutes. Tabulators will be responsible for attending a paid half day training session and tabulating data for 8 days.
|Familiarize w/ project||.|
|Review SSC Internal Documents||.||Prepare Personnel||.|
|Develop time use draft||.|
|Develop draft surveys||.|
|Develop tech. knowledge draft||.|
|Receive management feedback||.|
|Pilot test instruments||.|
|Revise final instruments||.|
TRAINING July August September
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Surveyor training session
July August September
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Time use study
Technical knowledge assessment
February March April May
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Final thesis preparation
Turn in thesis to committee
Give thesis & plan to PRISM B.
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1. The name of the Company is Shobuj Shona Matsho Khamar Limited.
2. The registered office of the Company will be situated in Bangladesh.
3. The objects for which the Company is established are:
I) To establish aquaculture and pisciculture business in Bangladesh and to undertake all other businesses in connection therewith.
ii) To carry on the business of fish farming of all varieties of fish including tilapia and carp based on Lemnaceae technology.
iii) To promote and undertake intensive and semi-intensive pisciculture based on Lemnaceae technology.
iv) To involve individual peasant households, and in particular female produces, proportionately from all strata of rural society in the production process of Lemnaceae and Lemnaceae based pisciculture.
v) To promote efficient modern management system in rural enterprises.
vi) To encourage capital formation in the agricultural sector through aquaculture development.
vii) To encourage savings among landless and marginal farmers from higher productivity.
ix) To increase fish production and enhance market supply situation.
x) To establish small scale Agri-business in rural Bangladesh.
xi) To excavate and re-excavate ponds and low lying lands and erect, maintain, alter, extend production facilities for the purposes of aquaculture and pisciculture and Lemnaceae production on any land purchased, leased, licensed or otherwise acquired by the Company or for any of the purposes connected with the business of the Company.
xii) To sell or dispose of machinery, materials and all articles and things belonging to the Company and also all the products thereof either for cash or on credit and either for immediate or future delivery and to send the same for sale to any place that may be deemed expedient.
xiii) To enter into any arrangement with the Govt. of Bangladesh or any local authority public or municipal, railway or otherwise or with any person/persons, firm/firms, company/companies, etc. that may seem conducive to the company's business/objects/ or any of them and to obtain from any such Govt. or authorities or persons, firms, companies, etc. any rights, privileges and concessions which the company may think desirable to obtain and to carry out, exercise and comply with any such arrangements, rights, privileges and concessions and dispose of or turn to account the same.
xiv) To carry on any other business which may appear to the company capable of being conveniently carried on in connection with its business or calculated directly or indirectly to enhance the value of or render profitable any of the Company's property or rights.
xv) To purchase or otherwise acquire all or any part of the business, property and liabilities of any company, society, partnership or persons formed for all or any part of the purposes within the objects of the Company and to conduct or carry on or liquidate and wind up any such business.
xvi) To establish branches in any part of Bangladesh or abroad and to regulate or discontinue the same.
xvii) To enter into and carry into effect any arrangement for joint working in business, or for sharing of profits or for amalgamation with any other company or any partnership or person carrying on any business within the objects of the Company.
xviii) To sell, dispose, or transfer the business, property and undertakings of the Company or any part thereof for the consideration which the Company may see fit to accept.
xix) To purchase, lease, hire, exchange by way of investment or with a view to resell, invest in or otherwise acquire property of every kind and description and to develop and turn to account, mortgage, sell or otherwise dispose of the same.
xx) To borrow or receive money on debenture, debenture stock, bonds, mortgage, bills of exchange promissory note, or other obligations, or securities founded or based upon all or any of the property including uncalled capital and rights of the Company.
xxi) To make donation for charitable purposes.
xxii) To do all other things as are incidental or conducive or in the opinion of the Company incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them which may be conveniently carried on and done in connection therewith, or which may be calculated directly or indirectly to enhance the value of, or render profitable any business or property of the Company.
And IT IS HEREBY EXPRESSLY DECLARED that the objects specified in each sub-clause or paragraph of this clause shall be, except where otherwise expressed in such subclause or paragraph, in no wise limited or restricted by reference from the terms of any other sub-clause or paragraph or the name of the Company but may be carried out in as full and ample a manner and construed in as wide a sense as if each of the said sub-clauses or paragraphs define the objects of a separate distinct and independent company.
4. The liability of the members is limited.
5. The share capital of the Company is Tk. l5,00,000/- (Taka fifteen lakhs) divided into 1,500 ordinary shares of Tk. 1000/- (Taka one thousand) only with power to the Company to increase or reduce the capital and divide the shares forming the capital for the time being into several classes and to attach thereto respectively preferential, qualified, deferred or special rights or privileges or conditions as may be determined by or in accordance with the Articles of the Company and modify or abrogate any such rights, privileges and conditions as may for the time being be provided by the Articles of the company.
We, the several persons whose names, and addresses, are hereunder subscribed below, are desirous of being formed into a Company in pursuance of the Memorandum of Association and we respectively agree to take the number of shares in the Capital of the Company, set opposite to our respective names:
|Name, address and description of the subscribers||Number of shares taken by each share holder||Signature of the subscriber||Name and address of the witness|
|Total Nos. of share|
1. In these presents, unless there be something in the subject or context inconsistent therewith:-
"Act" means the Companies Act, 1913.
"Board" means the Board of Directors for the time being appointed in accordance with these Articles.
"Company" means Shobuj Shona Matsho Khamar Limited.
"Directors" means the Board of Directors of the Company for the time being.
"Dividend" includes bonus.
"Month" means calendar month according to the English calendar.
"Office" means the registered office for the time being of the Company.
"Proxy" include attorney duly constituted under a power of attorney.
"Register" means the register of members to be kept pursuance to section 31 of the Act.
"Special resolution" and "extraordinary resolution" have the meanings assigned thereto respectively by section 81 of the Act.
"Written" and "in writing" including printing, lithography, typewriting and other modes of representing or reproducing words in a visible form.
Words importing the singular number include the plural number and vice-versa.
Words importing the masculine gender include the feminine gender.
Words importing persons include Corporations.
Save as reproduced herein, the regulations contained in Table "A" in the First Schedule to the Act shall not apply to the Company.
2. The Company is a private company and accordingly:
a) No invitation shall be issued to the public to subscribe for any shares or debentures of the Company.
b) The number of members of the Company shall be limited to fifty. This, however, shall not include persons who are in the employ of the Company.
c) The right to transfer the shares of the Company shall be limited in the manner hereinafter appearing.
3. The capital of the Company is Taka 15,00,000/- (Taka fifteen lakhs) divided into 1,500 shares of Taka 1000/- (one thousand) each.
4. The first issue shares shall be decided by the Board of Directors. The Directors shall as regards any allotment of shares duly comply with such of the provisions of the Act as may be applicable thereto.
5. Shares shall be held by the share holders in their own names or in the names of their nominees who may be any person, including a company incorporated under the Act or any financial institution.
6. Subject to the provisions of these Articles the shares shall be under the control of the Directors who may allot the same at such time as they think fit, with full powers to make such calls on any shares during such time and for such consideration as the Directors may decide.
7. The Directors shall have full powers to issue and allot fully paid up ordinary shares either on payment of the entire nominal value thereof in cash or in satisfaction of any outstanding debt, liability or obligation of the Company.
8. If by the condition of allotment of any shares the whole or part of the amount or issued price thereof is payable by instalment, every such instalment shall when due be paid to the Company by the registered holder of the shares.
9. Except as otherwise provided in these Articles no share holder may transfer any share, or any right or interest therein, either by way of sale, mortgage, pledge or otherwise, without the written consent of the other shareholders of the Company.
10. If any member intends to sell all or any portion of his shares then these shall be offered first jointly to the existing share-holders who shall have the option to purchase the shares at a price to be agreed upon mutually or at their fair value as determined and certified by the Company's auditors. In case the existing shareholders do not all agree to jointly purchase the shares offered to them or does not exercise the said option to purchase the shares within 180 days from the date of the offer, the intending seller shall be entitled to sell such shares or part thereof to any willing buyer, who need not be an existing shareholder.
11. A certificate of title to shares, shall be issued under the Common Seal of the Company and signed by the Directors appointed for the purpose by resolution of the Board, specifying the share or shares held by a member and the amount paid up thereon. A Certificate of title to shares shall be issued to every person whose name is entered as a member in the register of members. If any share certificate shall be lost or defaced, the Directors may issue a duplicate thereof at a fee not exceeding Taka five for each further certificate, and on such terms as to evidence and indemnity as the Directors think fit.
12. A call shall be deemed to have been made at the time when the resolution of the Directors authorizing such call was passed calling upon the members to make such instalment payment of all moneys unpaid on the shares, and not by the conditions of allotment thereof made payable at fixed time, and on the receipt of such call each member shall pay the amount of every call so made and at the time and place appointed by the Directors.
13. Every call shall give at least 60 days notice for payment specifying the time and place of payment; provided that before the time for payment of such call the Directors may by notice in writing revoke the same or extend the time for payment.
14. If the sum payable in respect of any call or instalment be not paid on the day appointed for payment thereof, the Company may call upon the person from whom the money was due to pay the Company the costs incurred as a result of the default.
15. If by the terms of issue of any share or otherwise, any amount is made payable at a fixed time or by installments at fixed time or by instalment at fixed times on account of the shares, every such amount or instalment shall be payable as if it were a call duly made by the Directors and of which due notice has been given and all the provisions herein contained in respect of calls shall be applicable to such amount or instalment.
16. A transfer of shares shall be effected by the execution of a proper instrument of transfer signed by both the transferor and the transferee. Each transfer of shares shall be duly stamped.
17. On receipt of the instrument of transfer duly stamped and executed, the Company shall enter in the register the name of the transferee in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as if the application for registration was made by the transferor.
18. The instrument of transfer of any share shall be in the usual common form or in the following form or as near thereto as the circumstances shall admit:
Shobuj Shona Matsho Khamar Limited
In consideration of the sum of Tk. .......... Paid to ..............
hereinafter called the said transferor do hereby transfer to the said transferee share/shares numbered .............. to ................ in Shobuj Shona Matsho Khamar Limited to hold unto the said transferee and his assigns subject to the several conditions on which I/we hold the same immediately before the execution hereof and I/we the said transferee do hereby agree to take the said shares subject to the conditions aforesaid.
As witness our hands the .............. day of .................
Signature of Transferor
Signature of Transferee
19. Every instrument of transfer for registration shall be accompanied by the certificate of shares to be transferred and upon payment of a fee of Tk.20.00 the transferee shall be registered as a member in respect of such shares.
20. The Directors may with the sanction of the Company in general meeting increase the share capital by such sum to be divided into shares of such amount and of such kind as the resolution shall prescribe.
21. The Company may by special resolution in general meeting:
a) increase its share capital by the issue of new shares of such amount as it thinks expedient.
b) consolidate and divide all or any of its share capital into shares of larger amount than its existing shares.
c) sub-divide its shares into shares of smaller amount than is fixed by the Memorandum, so, however, that in the sub-division the proportion between the amount paid and the amount if any, unpaid on each reduced share shall be the same as it was in the case of the share from which the reduced share is derived.
d) cancel shares which at the date of passing of the resolution have not been taken or agreed to be taken for any reason whatsoever by the members of the Company. Such cancellation of shares shall not be deemed to be a reduction of share capital within the meaning of section 55 of the Act.
23. The Directors may from time to time before recommending any dividend set apart any portion of profits of the Company as they think fit as a Reserve fund to meet contingencies or for the liquidation of any debenture, debts or other liabilities of the Company, for equalization of the dividend or for repairing, improving, rebuilding, restoring, replacing or altering or maintaining any of the properties of the Company and for such other purposes of the Company as the Directors in their discretion think fit and from time to time deal with and vary such investments and dispose of all or any part thereof for the benefit of the Company and may divide the Reserve Fund into such special funds as they think fit with full power to employ the Reserve Fund or any part thereof in the business of the Company without being bound to keep the same separate from the other assets.
24. All money carried to the Reserve Fund shall nevertheless remain and be profits of the Company applicable, subject to due provisions being made for actual loss or depreciation, for the payment of dividend, and such money may be invested in or upon such investments or securities as the Directors may select and may also be used working capital.
25. The first general meeting of the Company shall be held within eighteen months from the date of incorporation and thereafter once at least in every calendar year at such time not being more than fifteen months after the last preceding general meeting and at such place as may be determined by the Directors.
26. The general meeting referred to in the last preceding Article shall be called Ordinary Meeting. All other meetings of the Company shall be called Extraordinary Meeting.
27. The business of an ordinary meeting shall be to receive and consider the balance sheet, the profit and loss account and the reports of the Directors and of the Auditors, to declare dividend, to make calls if and as deemed desirable, and transact any other business which ought to be transacted at an ordinary meeting.
28. The Board of Directors shall in addition to the ordinary (annual) general meeting, convene an extraordinary general meeting at least once a month to report on the business of the Company and take approval of the decisions of the Board of Directors.
29. At least fifty per cent of the shareholders in person as are entitled to vote, present in person or proxy, shall be the quorum for general meeting for all purposes and no business shall be transacted any general meeting unless the quorum shall be present at the commencement of business.
30. The Chairman of the Board of Directors shall be entitled to take the Chair at every general meeting and if at any such meeting he shall not be present within thirty minutes after the time appointed for holding such meeting, the members present shall choose another Director of the Company and if no such Director be present or if all the Directors present decline to take the Chair then the members present shall choose one of their members to be the Chairman.
31. If within half-an-hour of the time for the meeting the quorum be not present, the meeting shall stand adjourned to the same day three weeks later at the same time and place and if at such adjourned meeting a quorum be not present the members present shall constitute the quorum.
32. At any general meeting a resolution put to the vote of the meeting shall be decided on the basis of consensus and failing such consensus on the basis of one vote to be exercised by each shareholder.
33. The Chairman of a general meeting may with the consent of the meeting, adjourn the same from time to time and from place to place but no business shall be transacted at any adjourned meeting other than business left unfinished at the meeting for which the adjournment took place.
34. A member may vote at any general meeting in person or by his authorized representative or by proxy.
35. Individual shareholders may appoint proxy under instrument as nearly as circumstances will admit in the form or to the effect as follows:
I/we [name] of [address] being a member of Shobuj Shona Matsho Khamar Limited hereby appoint ................. of .............. as my proxy in my absence to attend for me and on my behalf at the ordinary/extraordinary general meeting of the Company to be held on ............. day of ..................... and at any adjournment thereof.
AS WITNESS my hand this the ....day of .................
36. An instrument appointing a proxy may be deposited at the Registered office of the Company or produced at the meeting before its commencement. The instrument of proxy shall be under the hand of the appointee.
37. a) The company shall have not less than three Directors and not more than seven Directors.
b) The Managing Director shall be elected by the members at the first general meeting (ordinary or extraordinary) of the Company.
38. A Director shall not be entitled to receive fees for meetings attended by him.
39. The Directors of the Company shall not be required to hold any share qualification in the share capital of the Company.
40. The office of the Director shall be ipso facto vacated:
a) if he is found to be of unsound mind by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
b) If he is adjudged as insolvent.
c) if he or the firm of which he is a partner or any private company of which he is a Director enters into a contract with the Company for sale, purchase or supply of goods and materials without the knowledge the Board of Directors;
d) if he is found guilty of any offence involving moral turpitude;
e) if by notice in writing to the company he resigns from the Board;
f) if he is removed by an extraordinary resolution of the company.
41. Notwithstanding any vacancy in their body the continuing Directors may act but if the number falls below the minimum fixed above, the Directors shall not act so long as the number is below the minimum.
42. The Directors may meet together for the despatch of business and otherwise regulate their meetings and proceedings as they may think fit.
43. The quorum necessary for the transaction of business shall be two Directors.
44. The general direction and management of the affairs of the Company shall vest in the members and the Directors may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things as are authorized by the members in general meeting.
45. The Directors shall have the power to take all decisions necessary for the day to day operation of the Company subject to the control and direction of the general meeting.
46. The Board of Directors may meet upon 24 hours notice being given to all members of the Board.
47. The Directors shall cause minutes, containing the undernoted information, to be duly entered in books provided for the purpose:
a) All the names of Directors present at each meeting of the Directors or any Committee of the Directors.
b) Of all decisions and orders made by the Committee of the Directors.
c) All resolutions and proceedings of general meeting and meetings of the Directors and Committee of Directors.
48. Any such minutes of any meeting of the Directors or of any such Committee of Directors of the Company if purported to be signed by the Chairman of such meeting or by the Chairman of the next succeeding meeting shall be prima facie evidence of the matters stated in such meetings.
49. The Director shall provide for safe custody of the seal of the Company which shall be used only by the authority of the Directors. At least two Directors shall sign every instrument to which the seal is affixed.
50. The Directors shall cause to be kept proper books of accounts with respect to:
a) all sums of money received and expended by the Company and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place;
b) the sales and purchases of goods by the Company.
c) the assets and liabilities of the Company.
51. The books of accounts be kept at the registered office of the Company or at such other place as the Directors think fit and shall be open to inspection by the Directors during business hours.
52. The Directors shall cause to be prepared and be laid before the Company general meeting such profit and loss account balance sheet and reports as are referred to in section 131 and 131A of the Act.
53. The first Auditor or Auditors shall be appointed by the Board and shall hold office until the ordinary general meeting held in the following year. Thereafter the auditors shall be appointed by the Company in general meeting.
54. The Auditors shall be entitled to receive notice of and attend any general meeting of the Company at which any accounts which have been examined and reported on by them are to be laid before the members and may make any statement or explanation they desire with respect to the accounts.
55. The remuneration of the Auditors shall be fixed by the Company in general meeting.
56. Every account when audited and approved by the general meeting of the Company shall be conclusive except as regards any error discovered therein within 3 months next after such approval. Whenever any such error is discovered within the period stated above the account shall forthwith be corrected and thereafter shall be conclusive.
57. All notices may be given by the Company to the members either personally by sending it by hand or by sending it by registered post to the member.
58. When notice is sent by post, service of the notice shall be deemed to be effected by properly addressing, prepaying and posting the letter containing the notice and unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the latter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.
59. All Directors, officers or servants (even though a shareholder) shall observe secrecy with respect to the transactions of the Company and any matter which may come to his knowledge in the discharge of his duties, and shall be liable to compensate, reimburse and make good any loss or damage sustained by the Company on account of his default under this Article.
We, the several persons whose names, and addresses, are hereunder subscribed below, are desirous of being formed into a Company in pursuance of the Articles of Association and we respectively agree to take the number of shares in the Capital of the Company, set opposite to our respective names:
|Name, address and description of the subscribers||Number of shares taken by each share holder||Signature of the subscriber||Name and address of the witness|
|Total Nos. of share|
THIS DEED OF LICENSE
is made the ................................... day of ............................................... 1992
Each of the individual signatories whose signatures appear in the second schedule hereinbelow (hereinafter called "the Licensor", which term shall include his/her heirs, representatives, successors and assigns) of the one part
.............................................................................. Limited, (hereinafter called "the Licensee") of the other part
the parties hereto wish to undertake integrated aquaculture/ pisciculture based on Lemnaceae.
the Licensor has land suitable for the purpose of such aquaculture/pisciculture and is willing to grant a license to the Licensee for such purpose.
the Licensee Company is able and willing to undertake the entire management, production and marketing responsibilities involved in the task of such pisciculture and lemnaceae production.
PRISM Bangladesh. a registered NGO, with its head office at House No.67, Road No.5A, Dhanmondi Residential Area, Dhaka represented by its branch Shobuj Shona Center, Shibaloy is prepared to provide loan, credit and other facilities for the purpose of such aquaculture,
NOW THEREFORE THE PARTIES HEREBY AGREE AS FOLLOWS :
1. In pursuance of the said Agreement the Licensor hereby grants to the Licensee LEAVE AND LICENSE to enter upon and utilize that plot(s) of land more particularly described in the second schedule below for the purpose of semi-intensive pisciculture based on Lemnaceae, and to all things incidental to such pisciculture.
2. The Licensor hereby covenants with the Licensee as follows:
2.1 That the Licensor will permit the Licensee Company to do all the acts and things specified in the first schedule hereto over all the land described in the second schedule hereto.
2.2 That this License will not be revoked inasmuch as the Licensee will be undertaking work of a permanent nature in the scheduled land.
2.3 That the Licensor will grant a power of attorney to the Licensee Company and PRISM appointing them jointly and severally as the Licensor's attorney(s) for the purpose of sale of the Licensor's land as security for repayment of the loan granted by said PRISM to the Company.
2.4 That the Licensee Company may at any time, without reference to the Licensor, assign all its rights as Licensee under this License to PRISM.
3. The Licensee Company hereby covenants with the Licensor as follows:
3.1 That the Licensee Company will undertake improvement works on the land of the Licensor for which the license is granted.
[[ Where the license Agreement is not with a shareholder of the Company the following clause may be inserted as para 3.2, modified to take into account whatever scheme of payment is desired :
That the Licensee will pay the Licensor an annual license fee of Taka ...................... payable upon execution of this License Agreement and thereafter at the end of every 12 months. ]]
4. The duration of this License shall be 7 years from the commencement of the License. After the expiry of the License, the Licensee shall hand over the scheduled property to the Licensor.
The Licensee is permitted to do any and all of the following things and also all things incidental thereto.
1. Enter upon the land
2. Excavate/re-excavate the land
3. Construct embankments and other earth works
4. Use the slopes as necessary
5. Cultivate and harvest lemnaceae and all varieties of fishes
6. Restrict water use detrimental to either lemnaceae or pisciculture.
This Power of Attorney is made this the .................................................................... day of .............................................................................. 1992
I ........................................................................................., son of .............................................. ......................................................, resident of .................................................................................., am the owner of the property described in the schedule below and am also a shareholder of ............. ....................................................................................................... Company Limited; AND WHEREAS I have granted a license to the said Company for the purposes of aquaculture and pisciculture on the scheduled property; AND WHEREAS for the purpose of undertaking such aquaculture/ pisciculture the said Company has received a loan of Tk ............................... ............................................................................................. from PRISM, Bangladesh, a registered NGO, with its head office at House No.67, Road No.5A, Dhanmondi Residential Area, Dhaka; AND WHEREAS I wish to stand security for repayment of the said loan by appointing the Company and PRISM as my attorney/s to sell the scheduled property in the event of non-repayment of the said loan.
I, the aforesaid ............................................................................................... hereby do irrevocably constitute, nominate and appoint the said Company and PRISM jointly and severally as my true and lawful attorney/s to do any act and thing on my behalf and in my name for the purpose of selling the whole or any part of my property described in the schedule hereinbelow, to receive the price thereof and to grant receipt or effective discharge for the same and to execute and sign and get registered the sale deeds and other deeds necessary to complete the same and to generally do all lawful acts necessary for the aforesaid purposes.
And it is further stated to avoid any doubt that the grant of this power of attorney being coupled with an interest, the power shall be irrevocable.
And I hereby agree that all acts, deeds and things lawfully done by my said attorney/s under the powers hereby given shall be construed as acts, deeds and things done by me and I undertake to ratify and confirm whatsoever the said attorney/s shall lawfully do or caused to be done by virtue of this powers given by this deed.
[Details of property to be given - which need not necessarily be identical to the property for which the license is granted]
1. (Name and address) (Executant/donor)
2. (Name and address)
This Agreement is made this the .................................................. day of ................................................ 1992
................................................................................. a company proposed to be incorporated as a private limited company under the Companies Act, 1913 of the first part
PRISM Bangladesh, a registered NGO, with its head office at House No.67, Road No.5A, Dhanmondi Residential Area, Dhaka represented by its branch Shobuj Shona Center, Shibaloy of the second part
Each of the individual signatories whose signatures appear below (hereinafter referred to as "the shareholder") of the third part
A. The parties hereto wish to undertake integrated aquaculture/ pisciculture based on Lemnaceae.
B. PRISM is prepared to provide funds, credit, technical and managerial services for the excavation, renovation and utilization of fish and lemnaceae ponds for the purpose of such aquaculture,
C. The landowner has land suitable for the purpose of such aquaculture and is willing to grant a license to the Company for such aquaculture.
D. The Company is able and willing to undertake the entire production and marketing responsibilities involved in such aquaculture.
NOW THEREFORE THE PARTIES HERETO AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
1. Licensing arrangements between the landowner and Company
1.1 The landowner shall give to the Company a license to utilize his land for the purpose of aquaculture/pisciculture, which shall be assignable by the Company to PRISM.
1.2 The Company shall issue shares to the shareholder for the utilization of his/her land for aquaculture/pisciculture as spelt out below.
2. Obligations of PRISM
2.1 PRISM shall advance the sum of Tk ........................................... by way of loan to the Company.
2.2 The aforesaid loan by PRISM shall be utilized by the Company for the purpose of the Company's capital expenditure and operation in connection with lemnaceae based pisciculture, including the renovation and excavation of tanks and ponds.
2.3 The shareholder shall mortgage land to PRISM as collateral security for the loan granted by PRISM to the Company. Such land mortgaged shall not be limited only to land for which the license is granted.
3. Issue of shares by the Company
3.1 The Company shall upon incorporation issue shares of Tk. 1,000/- each to the shareholder in proportion to the land for which license is granted to the Company. One share shall be issued for each decimal of land for which a license is granted to the Company.
3.2 The Company shall upon incorporation issue shares to PRISM to the extent of ...................... ................ shares of Tk. 1,000/- each in consideration of the technical and managerial services to be provided by PRISM.
4. Obligations of the shareholders
4.1 The shareholder agrees to stand as surety for the repayment of the loan advanced by PRISM to the Company.
4.2 For effecting the purpose stated in preceding paragraph the shareholder shall in writing appoint the Company and PRISM to act jointly and severally as his/her attorney(s) for the purpose of selling the land (in case of default) described in the said power of attorney.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF
the parties hereto have signed this Agreement on the day, month and year first above mentioned.
Picture 1: Spirodela oligorrhiza or "giant duckweed" shown approximately 4 times life size. This plant is more robust in hot weather than other species, and has a maximum protein content of approximately 40% - 45%. It is characterized by multiple short roots per frond and a distinctly fleshy leaf. Note how duckweed plants clone themselves, with each "mother" frond having daughter fronds.
Picture 2: Lemna minor, or "common duckweed" shown approximately 4 times life size. This plant is more robust in cool weather than other species, and has a maximum protein content of approximately 35% - 40%. It is characterized by a single long root on each frond and a flat, oblong leaf. Note how duckweed plants clone themselves, with each mother frond having several daughter fronds. Small plants visible in open space within the "duckweed mat" are duckweed plants of the Wolffia genus (see below).
Picture 3: Wolffia Species (see Footnote 14), or "water meal" shown approximately 4 times life size. This plant is the world's smallest flowering plant, and is typically more difficult to grow than species of the other two genera. It is quite sensitive to water chemistry and temperature. When conditions are ideal, however, Wolffia species have the highest growth rates, demonstrating growth in excess of 1.5 tonnes per hectare per day for short intervals.
[Footnote 14: This is one of several species of the Wolffia genus - species undetermined.]
Picture 4: A typical Bangladeshi duckweed production scenario showing the intensity of intercropping. The lighter shade of green characterizes the crop as predominantly Lemna minor, but Wolffia and Spirodela species will also likely be present. The pond is intercropped with "Kalmi," a robust plant now being considered for its use in paper manufacturing. The "elephant eared" plants in the foreground are taro, a particularly useful plant, because its leaves are used as a "spinach-like" vegetable, and its long round starchy tuber provides an adequate substitute for potato or rice in village diets. The large bushes on the left are "arhar dal" a high-protein staple lentil in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Bananas (hardly visible) make up the green background at the end of the pond.
Picture 5: A duckweed worker preparing for harvesting in the early morning. The 0.25 m2 screen is used to determine the density of the standing Lemna minor crop. The crop will be "harvested" back to a standing density of approximately 600 gms/m2. A daily increment of 100 gms/m2 (17%), for instance, is equivalent to a harvest of 1 tonne per hectare per day. The plant is capable of growth rates exceeding 40% per day.
Picture 6: Duckweed workers performing the daily harvest of Spirodela plants from a reach of the Mirzapur wastewater treatment plant. This was, at one time, the only profitable wastewater treatment plant in the world. (See footnote 15) Note, as with all duckweed aquaculture facilities, the wastewater treatment plant is also intensively co-cropped. The large bushes on the far bank are "arhar dal" (see above), backed by banana plants to the rear. This 2.5 acre wastewater treatment plant makes a net profit of approximately $10,000 per year - without charging anything to the client for treatment costs.
[Footnote 15: A larger, 22 hectare, wastewater treatment plant in Ferreñafe, Peru now shares that distinction.]
Picture 7: Shows the treatment efficiency of the wastewaster treatment plant depicted in 2 (above). The bottle to the right (S-1) contains primary treated effluent. Subsequent bottles have been taken at points down-stream, and show increasing treatment efficiency. The forth bottle was taken at the plant's discharge point and contains perfectly clear deionized water. This water typically contains less than 0.01 ppm of total Nitrogen and Phosphorus, and BOD as well as BOD and TSS of less than 3 ppm (mg/l). In other words, this is the highest quality discharge you will find from any system now operating, anywhere - worldwide. The final bottle (S-6) contains a sample of river waster taken immediately adjacent to the plant. This is the water any local drinking water plant would have to use for its intake.
SHOBUJ SHONA VILLAGE ENTERPRISE IMAGES
Picture 1: Shows the duckweed cropping area on the Mirzapur Shobuj Shona Center. Note the intensity of intercropping with kalmi, sugarcane, bananas, arhar dal and taro. The Mirzapur Shobuj Shona Center now has 4 hectares of land under duckweed cropping and an additional 5 hectare s of land under intensive carp, tilapia and catfish aquaculture. The Mirzapur Shobuj Shona Center also serves as the primary R&D center for Shobuj Shona.
Picture 2: Shows a simple configuration of a solar drying system utilizing inflated, 2-ply plastic piping (see footnote 16) as a heat collector and a simple tray batch drying chamber. PRISM has been able, using variations on this theme, to reduce total drying costs to less than 5% of the final product cost. This compares favorably with any existing commercially available systems utilizing fossil fuel (90% of final product value) (see footnote 17)
[Footnote 16: Black plastic film on the inside and clear plastic film on the outside}
[Footnote 17: Note that, for every tonne of fresh duckweed, 910 kgs of water have to be driven off to effect adequate drying]
Picture 3: Sign for one of the three Shibaloy Shobuj Shona Village Enterprise Corporations. This sign marks the SSVE meeting facility.
Picture 4: Shows a typical SSVE duckweed cultivation pond. Note that floating bamboo barriers are used to stabilize the floating crop. The small rectangular bamboo structure in the rear is a bari latrine. This is an improved, sanitary water-seal pout-flush toilet. The sewage runoff from the toilet is fed directly into an enclosed bamboo container through a 4" PVC pipe. There, solids are contained until they are broken down by bacterial action, releasing nutrients as feed for the surrounding duckweed crop. It is feasible, through use of toilets and anaerobic breakdown of other refuse introduced as fertilizer to the pond, to produce duckweed without any requirement for inorganic fertilizers.
Picture 5: SSVE female members undergoing training at the Shobuj Shona Center in daily crop maintenance. Here, workers learn to agitate the crop during times of stress - achieving water mixing, (cooling) separation of dead or infected plants, and even distribution of the standing crop.
Picture 6: SSVE female members undergoing training in daily harvest estimation at the Shobuj Shona Center. Here, workers learn how to make precise estimates of the standing crop, thus determining the amount of duckweed that can be harvested from a given plot that day.
Picture 7: SSVE female members undergoing training in daily harvest weighing. Here, workers learn how to measure the daily harvest from each plot. The harvested amount is recorded by the SS Coordinator and the amount used to immediately calculate the daily performance bonus for each worker.
Picture 8: SSVE female members undergoing training in daily harvest drying. Here, workers learn how to handle that portion of the crop that will be dried for use as poultry feed. The crop is loaded on trays and then placed into a drying chamber using either passive or active collection of solar heat.
Picture 9: Natural stand of duckweed growing in a SSVE village. Areas such as this have been used by villagers who are not SSVE members to produce supplementary duckweed for sale to the SSVE.
Picture 10: Side of a newly constructed SSVE duckweed-fed fish cultivation pond. Note the close proximity of the bari households and the pond depth. Excavation is carried out at the end of the dry season to enable maximum depth - thereby ensuring that the pond will retain water for as long as possible without need for frequent replenishment.
Picture 11: SSVE member operating a "treadle pump" which is used to supply water to the smaller duckweed of fish ponds. A single treadle pump is sufficient to provide water for a 1 bigha (one third of an acre) duckweed pond.
Picture 12: SSVE member removing drying trays from a simple forced air solar dryer. The dried duckweed can then be used as a component of balanced poultry feed.
Picture 13: SSVE members during a weekly SSVE members meeting. During such meetings, members review performance, suggest changes, review communications from the SS Center and ratify the weekly accounting.
Picture 14: Weekly harvest of duckweed-fed carp at the Mirzapur Shobuj Shona Center. This pond is somewhat larger than the normal fish ponds maintained by SSVE corporations. Nevertheless, harvesting is performed with equal frequency, and the harvested fish demonstrate equal vigor.
Picture 15: A 4 kilogram Common Carp (Mirror Carp of Korfu) taken from a SSVE fish pond 8 months after the pond was seeded with fingerlings. Four kg fish are rare for 8 months of growth, but both common and grass carp can, on occasion, achieve even higher growth. Common carp are omnivorous feeders, directly consuming fresh duckweed, as well as algae and the water mater sedimented on the pond bottom.
Picture 16: A market sized 250 gram Tilapia nilotica taken from a SS Center fish pond after 3 months of batch production. Tilapia, like common carp, are also omnivorous feeders, directly consuming fresh duckweed, as well as algae and bottom detritus. Tilapia should be grown only in monoculture - introduction into carp polyculture systems results in eventual overloading of systems with small Tilapia recruits.
Picture 17: A market-sized 700 gram African catfish taken from a SS Center experimental pond where catfish were grown in mixed culture with Tilapia - and the entire polyculture fed with a single input of duckweed.
Picture 18-20: Show fish typical of a weekly harvest. These picture were all taken on the same occasion. At the top (18) are Rohu (Labeo rohita), the best liked of all local carp species, next (19) is a drum full of 2.2 kg Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys moltrix), a species imported from China, and finally (20) a basket of Catla (Catla catla) a prized Indian carp species.
Currency Unit : Bangladesh Taka (Tk.)
Tk. 1.00 = US$ 0.026
US$ 1.00 = Tk. 43.54
1 kilometer (km) = 0.621 miles
1 square kilometer (km2) = 0.386 square miles
1 kilogram = 2.205 pounds
1 maund = 80.00 pounds
1 metric ton = 2,205 pounds
BARC Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
BUAL Bangladesh University of Agriculture and Livestock
CRS Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
DANIDA Danish International Development Agency
DGIS Directorate General for International Cooperation, The Netherlands
DPHE Department of Public Health Engineering, Bangladesh
DOF Department of Fisheries, Bangladesh
DWASA Dhaka Water and Sanitation Authority
EMTAG World Bank, Europe Middle East
FRI Fisheries Research Institute, Mymensingh, Bangladesh
GOB Government of Bangladesh
ICDDR,B International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh
ICLR International Center for Lemnaceae Research, a not-for-profit research institute belonging to The PRISM Group
IDA World Bank, International Development Assistance, Soft Loan Agency
IHE International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Delft, The Netherlands
INUWS UNDP/World Bank Water and Sanitation Program
KWT Kumudini Welfare Trust of Bengal
LGEB Local Government Engineering Bureau, Bangladesh
MFL Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Bangladesh
MT Metric Tonnes
MTA Technical Assistance for DOF Management, Third Fisheries Project, Bangladesh (UNDP Funded)
OPIC Overseas Private Investment Corporation - US Government Agency
PL-480 USAID, Public Law 480 - local currency funding from food-aid monetization
PRISM Projects in Agriculture, Rural Industry, Science and Medicine
RNE Royal Netherlands Embassy
SSVEP Shobuj Shona Village Enterprise Project
STA Technical Assistance for Technical and Social Support, Third Fisheries Project, Bangladesh (ODA Funded)
TA Technical Assistance
UNCDF United Nations Capital Development Fund
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
WAU Waginingen Agricultural University, The Netherlands
July 1 - June 30
Bari Bengali homestead for an extended family - often characterized by a cluster of elevated homes and attached ponds surrounded by lush growth of fruit trees, bamboos, vegetables and other vegetation.
BOD Biochemical oxygen demand - usually measured as BOD5 (5-day).
Carp, Silver Phytoplankton feeding carp, Hypophthalmichthys moltrix.
Carp, Common Bottom and macrophyte feeding carp, Cyprinus carpio
Catfish "Magur," indigenous predatory fish, Clarius batrachus
Catla Indigenous surface and mid-feeding carp, Catla
Grass Carp Macrophyte surface feeding carp, Ctenopharhyngodon idella
Helminths Wide range of small, egg-laying, often cyst-forming worms that live as parasites in human and animal hosts.
Lemna Genus of duckweed plant species characterized by mid-sized fronds (1-3 mm) and single, longer roots.
Lemnaceae The duckweed family.
Macrophyte Leafed, flowering plants.
Mrigal Indigenous bottom feeding carp, Cirrhinus mrigala
O&M Operation and Maintenance.
Pathogens Organisms which cause disease in man.
Rohu Indigenous bottom and mid-feeding carp, Labeo rohita
Shobuj Shona Bengali for "Green Gold" - a local name for duckweed
Spirodela Genus of duckweed plant species characterized by larger fronds (3-10 mm) and multiple short roots.
Tilapia African universal feeding fish, Sarotherodon nilotica
Upazila A largely autonomous administrative sub-district with an elected council and chairman; there are 464 in Bangladesh
Wolffia Genus of duckweed plant species characterized by lack of roots and extremely small size - the smallest flowering plants in the world.