Baseline Survey of Improving the Lives of Urban Extreme Poor (ILUEP) Program
The baseline study was carried out in 2017 to analyze the findings on existing scenario of urban extreme poor households living in slums, pavements and squatter settlements of Dhaka and Chittagong. A wide range of data collection tools and analysis methods have applied to collect and analyze both quantitative and qualitative data. The study developed and used 23 indicators to evaluate the overall condition of the urban poor. In order to understand the livelihood situation of the poor people, the study computed household asset index based on the house or land ownership, household basic assets, medium value assets and high value assets. The findings of this study reveal a very distressing situation of the urban poor in Dhaka and Chittagong. The study reveals a dismal picture of fragile livelihood, precarious living conditions and miserable state of human and women rights of the urban poor living in the cities of Dhaka and Chittagong. An overwhelming majority of these people tend to be deprived of access to basic needs like health and education and other services. 72 percent of the respondents were found to have the coping capacity to deal with any kind of livelihood shocks. Others were found to lack such capacity and were forced to sale assets, property, reproductive livestock, mortgaged land or property to survive through the crisis. With regard to water and sanitation, the overall scenario was quite precarious. The study also found a sorry state regarding respondents’ ability to enjoy balanced diet. The report observes that a series of interconnected issues are at play that hinders the improvement of living condition of the urban poor. Thus, the study recommended that intervention in multiple sectors can only improve the lives of these people who are living in acute poverty. Ensuring communities’ access to basic education should be a priority for the program in both Dhaka and Chittagong. It will also be a priority for the program to focus on raising awareness among the respondents regarding HIV transmission and prevention measures to stop future epidemics that may result from such low level of community’s awareness. At the same time, the government needs to ensure safe rehabilitation by allocating low cost living space for the existing slum dwellers before taking over the land. Advocacy will be required to ensure women access to the law enforcement agencies.