Urban Extreme Poverty is one of the most challenging and pressing issues faced by Bangladesh. Intergenerational economic poverty, limited access to education and health services, entrenched negative socio-cultural attitudes towards the urban poor and hazardous living environments exacerbate poor health outcomes and social marginalization of the urban poor. Homeless populations as well as those living in marginalized squatter and slum settlements are typically excluded from mainstream poverty alleviation projects and services that tend to focus on larger, more well established slums. SAJIDA wishes to to build on and expand their long history of urban poverty focused work to reach even more urban extreme poor communities across Bangladesh.
SUDIN: Better Days
SUDIN is a new pilot program initiative of SAJIDA Foundation. The program provides a range of targeted solutions, services and linkages to support the urban poor to address the economic, social, gender, health, mental health and education issues they face.
The program directly provides livelihood and savings services, health & wellbeing and community building interventions. In addition, SUDIN equips communities and households with the information, skills, and opportunities required to access essential Government and NGO health, education, legal and social protection services.
Who is SUDIN working with?
SUDIN is working with some of the most vulnerable urban households in cities – including pavement dwellers, and smaller squatter settlements and slums that are typically outside the working areas of larger NGO and Government services.
The program adopts a unique targeting strategy – where household level ‘vulnerability’ is assessed across seven different dimensions of poverty.
What does SUDIN do?
-Develop IHAP Plans and Goals each household
-Monthly mentoring and review/update of IHAP
-Grant or interest free loans to support small business’ and business training
-Support youth and women to obtain vocational skills
-Micro health financing
-Nutrition packages for malnourished children
-Health literacy and health awareness community sessions
-Community mental health groups
-Provide tele-mental health counselling
-Referral to specialised mental health services and medication as required
-Pavement, Adolescent and Women’s Groups to develop social networks, rights awareness and community mobilisations skills
-Steering committee groups advocate for community and individual needs and link to supports as required
-Refer students to nearby schools
-Education package (Tution fees and books/stationary)
-Tutoring services for pre-primary and primary students
Refers eligible individuals to legal, emergency shelter, physics and mental health services, schools, livelihood services, government social safety net programs and formal documentation services
Tackling urban extreme poverty requires big thinking, multisectoral engagement and the use of data to ensure evidence-based decision making at every level. As such, SUDIN has a strong commitment towards utilizing evidence based, reflexive, inclusive and participatory processes within the approach taken.
A ‘caseworker’ approach is taken to ensure households are linked with the right intervention at the right time – to ensure services and referrals are targeted and responsive to individual household needs and goals.
Community members develop their own individualized short term goals that work towards achieving their long term vision – drawing from global best practices from homelessness, mental health and rehabilitation services.
Evidence and Data Driven
The pilot phase of this project captures a wide range of in-depth information about project participants in order to track impact and change of households over time. The program also aims to identify the gaps and barriers to accessing existing NGO and Government services to better support the urban poor to access these and advocate for their needs.
Caseworkers can see household and individual data within a smart-phone app, to support service delivery and engagement. Caseworkers then document project activities and interactions into the customized app, named Taroworks. This documentation also enables the program team to see real time program data – enabling data-driven decision making and support to be provided at the field level.