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STICERD Public Events and Lectures

COVID-19 vs. the Ultra-Poor Graduation Approach: Evidence from Bangladesh

Oriana Bandiera (LSE), joint with Imran Martin (BRAC)

Wednesday 10 November 2021 12:30 - 14:00

This event will take place online.

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars or as online and in person. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, current restrictions mean in-person seminars are only open to members of the LSE community (those with a valid LSE ID card).

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom.


About this event

This event will bring to light the latest findings by BIGD and LSE on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2007 cohort of beneficiaries of BRAC’s UPG programme in rural areas of Bangladesh.

The poorest and the most vulnerable households in low-income countries are hit hardest by COVID-19. In Bangladesh, an additional 22.9% of the population have fallen below the poverty line (Rahman et al. 2020).

In normal conditions, BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) programme has proven highly successful at giving the poorest women in some of the poorest areas of Bangladesh the tools to escape the poverty trap (Balboni et al. 2021; Bandiera et al. 2017).

Recent research by BIGD and LSE 2021 investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2007 cohort of beneficiaries of BRAC’s UPG programme in rural areas of Bangladesh. Using the findings of Balboni et al. (2020) to compare two groups—above the poverty threshold and below the poverty threshold—it appears that the groups benefited to a different extent. The study also compares the resilience of the younger participants to the older group.

Participants who fare better in the face of COVID-19 are more likely to have good jobs, including salaried, agricultural, and non-agricultural work, and productive assets at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also more likely to keep good jobs during these unprecedented times and suffer less from COVID-19 induced migration.

The speakers, alongside a selected panel will be live at the British Academy and attendees can join the event via zoom. A Q&A session will be open to all attendees.

Register here to join the event.


This event will take place online.