Polly-Shomaj : problems in mobilizing public local resources and overcoming steps, an in-depth look

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Abdoul Diallo


After the independence of Bangladesh on 1971, many Non – Government Organizations (NGOs) came forward to do different kinds of development activities with the poor people. In 1972, BRAC started working in villages with relief and rehabilitation programs. In the late 1970s, BRAC began to organize landless poor people at the village level. In the1980s, BRAC started different kinds of development activities such as micro-credit, non-formal primary education and primary health care with the women’s village organizations (VOs) at the village level. BRAC also gave importance to making the village organizations strong so that they could be able to establish their rights in society. All the government resources will then be channeled directly to the poor women through village organizations. In the late 1990s, BRAC felt that, to establish poor people’s rights and mobilize local government resources, greater unity of these poor people is necessary. Accordingly, BRAC started to form Polly-Shomaj (federation) in late 1998 at the ward level taking all village organizations in a ward consisting of two to nine villages. This paper includes an in-depth study of local resources mobilization by Polly-Shomaj formed by BRAC. On the basis of the data, it appears that poor people are becoming more organized and taking different kinds of steps for their empowerment. To strengthen the program, this capstone paper makes recommendations in various areas, especially about the steps taken by PS for mobilizing resources.

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