Productive Employment Programme

(Formerly Productive Employment Project-RD-5)

A Model Poverty  Alleviation Programme  of    BRDB

Bangladesh Rural  Development Board (BRDB)

Productive Employment Programme was launched as a project named Rural Development-5 (RD-5) Project (PEP) in 1986-87 as one of the project of Rural Employment Sector Programme (RESP) under by joint financial support of Sweden and Norway. Firstly the project stared with 6 Upazilas, two in each of Faridpur, Madaripur and Kurigram district and in 1988-89 the activities of the project expanded another 4 Upazilas of Madaripur and Kurigram district. Productive Employment Project (PEP) continued its activities in 27 Upazilas under greater Faridpur district only by the financial support of SIDA from July, 1996 and the project completed its activities successfully on 30th June, 2003. Now the Project activities are continuing as a programme of BRDB named Productive Employment Programme (PEP) on self-finance basis from July, 2003 to till now. The objective of Productive Employment Programme (PEP) is to improve the socio-economic position of the landless people organizing them in informal groups.

The  Productive  Employment  Programme  (PEP)  is  a   poverty   alleviation programmes of Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB).  It   has  been  in operation in  27  upazilas  of  5  districts  of  greater  Faridpur,  namely Faridpur,  Rajbari,  Madaripur,  Gopalgong   and   Shariatpur.   Framed   in
conformity with  strategy   for  rural  development  and  objective  of  the national plan and sector targets, the programme ensures  catering  of  well-
balanced social and economic elements for its beneficiaries. Besides,  given to be run with its own income, the  programme  displays  a  fair  degree  of
sustained  achievement  which  is  in  a  sense  a  pioneering  venture   in contemporary history of rural development.

Historical Background:

This unique achievement  of  the  programme  is  a  legacy  from  Productive Employment Project or RD-5 Project. Here a  brief  evolutionary  history  of
the ancestral project needs to be elucidated.   The   origin  of   ancestral project dates back to initiation of  Intensive Rural Works Programme  (IRWP)
implemented during 1981-86 by LGED. The principal objectives  of  IRWP  were to build physical infrastructure and  to  create  employment  opportunities.
Over  the  years  the     objective   of   developing   infrastructure   was significantly achieved by IRWP.But the  objective  related  to  creation  of sustained / long term employment opportunities for the rural poor could  not be  attained. During the Annual Review Mission for  IRWP   in  1983,    Sida and Norad , the donors from two Scandinavian  countries  Sweden  and  Norway generously supported GoB   to  launch  a  follow-up  programme  named  Rural Employment Sector  Programme(RESP) with two components namely i  .Infrastructure  Development  Project  and  ii.   Productive   Employment
Project. The project was initially launched in a low profile in  1986 / 87.  The  1stphase of the project continued up to June 1990  with  funding  from   Norway
and Sweden . July 1990 to June 1996 constitutes  2nd phase of  the  project. Norway withdrew from supporting the  programme  after  2nd  phase.  The  3rd
phase started in July 1996 in 27 upazilas of grater Faridpur district   with exclusive sida funding   and was initially  planned  to  last  up  to  2000.
However in order to consolidate on the achievements so far attained  and  to provide a solid foundation towards  transformation  in  to  a  self-financed
programme like the present one, the period of third phase  was  extended  up to June 2003.

In fact the period 2000/03 was the preparatory phase for the project  to  be launched as self-financed programme. Gradual  accumulation  of  experiences,
flexibility  in  planning   and   well   documented   subjects,   guidelines /instructions in the field led to further improvements  and  refinements  to the strategies and gave a clear sense of direction to transform the  project into a sustainable programme. In doing so  the  needs  and  demands  of  the
target groups and the possibility that the programme can  be  replicated  by other Rural Poverty Alleviation Projects /Programmes in BRDB were  taken  in
to consideration. Now the activities of PEP are continuing  as  a  Programme of BRDB named Productive Employment Programme (PEP)  on  self-finance  basis from July, 2003 to till date. The Programme (PEP) in gradually  strengthirly forming own surplus fund. After met up all expenditure,  PEP  is  earning  a
hand some amount of money at the end of every financial year.