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Social protection system in Bangladesh and the scope of social work: learning from lessons on the ground

Khan, Trisa and Hasan, Mohammad Monirul (2016): Social protection system in Bangladesh and the scope of social work: learning from lessons on the ground.

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Social protection is identified globally as the strategy for safeguarding the economic security of the vulnerable people including the poor. Social Safety Net Program (SSNP) is a component of social protection and a well-recognized instrument for economic wellbeing of the poor from the government and the non-government agencies. The objective of this paper is to explore the social protection system in Bangladesh from the demand side analysis and to identify the role of social work for better managing the system delivery of social protection. For this purpose, the strength and weakness of the SSNP in Bangladesh has been discussed and also identified the determinants of the participation of the program based on the national representative data of rural Bangladesh. Careful investigation and econometric analysis using the data from Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) 2011-12 show that the existing system is reasonably progressive but it has failed to achieve the main objective of serving the disadvantaged group for scaling up their living standard, enabling them better coping mechanism and capability development for the sustainable income support. The proximate reasons for this failure are firstly the aggregate amount of support being abysmally small compared to the needs and secondly there is mistargeting issue in the distribution. More focus should be given to employment generation and human capital development for sustainable development of the poor people. Health insurance program should be initiated as early as possible because the health related shock is one of the main driver of poverty. The delivery system of the SSNP is not effective and sustainable. Employing social work graduates for implementing the program based on the principles of social works could offer better delivery system which would be more sustainable in future.

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