Non Government Organisations (NGO) are a very significant delivery mechanism for rural development in India and Bangladesh. There is evidence that empowering women and marginalised poor opens new livelihood pathways. Some of these pathways are in agriculture (e.g. processing, new crops, access to new markets) and some are not (e.g. rural micro-enterprises). Having alternative pathways decreases the pressure agriculture is under for providing sustained rural livelihoods.
Interventions tend to focus on Self Help Groups (SHG) accessing skills and knowledge to better access social entitlements (i.e. mobilise alternative resources), in turn enabling vulnerable households to access more diverse livelihood and income sources.
The research focus is built around the generation and dissemination of best practice guidelines for NGOs and community based organisations. All three NGO partners in this project, Shushilan, PRADAN and CDHI, are well recognised for their ability to ensure social inclusivity and engage with, empower and mobilise marginalised community segments, in particular women, landless and tribal minorities. This will enable the SIAGI team to systematically map, review and generalise their practices in the form of guidelines and disseminating these to other NGOs and government extension services for adoption, with the aim of improving practices.