Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme

An initiative of the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh

Shock Responsive Social Protection Model in Urban Settings of Bangladesh

Bangladesh, one of the world’s most densely populated nations, has experienced rapid urbanization. This urban shift, while indicative of socio-economic transitions, has exposed a considerable portion of the population to diverse shocks, including natural calamities, economic downturns, and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Urban expansion, partly influenced by the decreasing reliance on agriculture, has resulted in mass migration to cities. This surge has strained city infrastructures, affecting inhabitants’ physical and psychological well-being. Despite policies that previously succeeded in alleviating rural poverty, the urban-rural divide has expanded, revealing increasing urban poverty. This widening gap threatens equitable growth, especially as Bangladesh aspires to become a middle-income nation.

The core objective is to study and propose a shock-responsive urban social protection model, aligning with the nation’s goals, that addresses the challenges facing the urban poor in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Primary and secondary data were utilized. Secondary data was sourced from various resources, while primary data was obtained from face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions with over a hundred households in Dhaka’s slums. The focus was on comprehending current urban social protection initiatives, discerning the needs of the urban marginalized, and identifying challenges in accessing social protection. Bangladesh has been progressing in fortifying its urban social protection mechanisms, as evidenced by initiatives like the Urban Community Resilience Building Project (UCRBP), supported by the World Bank. Despite these advancements, gaps and challenges persist.


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