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Number of Microcredit Clients Crossing the US $1.25 a day Threshold during 1990-2008 Estimates from a nationwide survey in Bangladesh

Sajjad Zohir
Report Prepared for Microcredit Summit Campaign

Using poverty scorecards drawn up from three sets of HIES data, a nation-wide survey was carried out in 2009 to arrive at reasonable measure on net number of MFI clients crossing the threshold poverty level income. Lot of data analyses were involved – exercises on scorecards, compilation of sampling frame to allow a representative national sample survey of 3600+ households, and the analysis of the survey data. The estimates remain robust, though interpretations appear to vary across users!

At the Global Microcredit Summit in Halifax, Canada in 2006 the Microcredit Summit Campaign launched two new goals for 2015: 1) to reach 175 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services; and 2) to ensure that 100 million families rise above the US$1 a day threshold between 1990 and 2015. To assist in this second goal, a Movement above the $US1/Day Threshold Project (MDP) Advisory Committee was formed. At the suggestion of this Committee, the Microcredit Summit Campaign commissioned a Bangladesh Expert Panel in April 2008. The Panel’s task was to develop a plan that would allow them to estimate the number of microcredit clients in Bangladesh who were living below $US1 a day adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) at the time of their first loan and who crossed that threshold, between 1990 and 2008. Initial exercises drawing upon research findings on microcredit and poverty in Bangladesh were considered inadequate and thus, a nationwide survey was commissioned to estimate the figure. The study, undertaken by the Economic Research Group, was administered between February and August 2009. This report presents the survey findings and details on the undertaking.

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