The uniqueness of this research is that a new participatory research approach, known as “Merging of Knowledge (MoK)” introduced by ATD Fourth World, has been followed.
Merging of Knowledge is a technique to help people facing extreme poverty and social exclusion dialogue with policymakers, business leaders, social workers, and teachers.
In this method, different stakeholders are offered fair conditions to express their opinions freely on a specific topic/problem. Afterward, all of the information generated is merged, while taking care of all stakeholders’ opinions in their presence and coming up with a consensus.
The goal is to overcome differences in speaking and thinking, life experience, and perspective so that constructive discussions can occur. Merging Knowledge bridges gaps between people from different backgrounds by creating an environment of respect and patience. To identify the national “dimensions of poverty” in Bangladesh, three modules were completed; they are known as Module-1, Module-2 and Module-3 in this research.
We completed three modules to identify the dimensions of poverty where Module-1 was performed by the NRT. This module was just for learning the total procedures of the MoK and we didn’t include the findings of Module-1 with our final dimensions. For Module-2 (rural peer groups), nine peer groups were selected from three different categories of people. Five (5) peer groups from people with direct experience of poverty (PIP), two (2) peer groups from practitioners (PR) working for poor people (development organizations, NGOs etc.) and two (2) academic (AC) peer groups from different educational institutions who are researching poor people in rural areas. All four algorithms (picture, snake, body map, and the good and bad sides of life) were performed with all of the peer groups one by one to uncover the characteristics and dimensions of poverty.
At least 8 days were required to form a peer group and to explain the whole procedure to them. Afterwards, we started two days of activities for each peer group. After completing all of the algorithms, each group identified their poverty characteristics and dimensions. Then, two representatives were selected from each peer group to merge the characteristics and dimensions of each category of person (PIP, PR and AC).
Again, a one and a half day-long meeting was arranged for merging each category’s (PIP, PR and AC) characteristics and dimensions. PIP representatives merged the characteristics and dimensions we found from 5 peer groups of PIP. In the same way, PR and AC representatives merged the characteristics and dimensions that were found from the peer groups of PR and AC, respectively. At this stage, we found three sets of dimensions from three categories (PIP, PR and AC).
Next, the NRT arranged a day-long meeting with all of the representatives of these three categories for merging these three sets of dimensions along with the relevant characteristics. Gathering opinions from all of the representatives of all of the categories, we were able to merge all of the characteristics and dimensions and found a total of nine dimensions in rural areas (Appendix-II). In the same way, we identified the urban dimensions of poverty from nine peer groups in urban areas of Bangladesh and found nine dimensions from urban areas.
At this stage, we, therefore, had nine dimensions from rural areas and nine dimensions from urban areas. To identify the national dimensions, the NRT arranged a one and a half-day meeting with all of the representatives from the rural and urban peer groups. Finally, after a thoughtful discussion, we merged all these 18 dimensions (9 rural + 9 urban) into 9 dimensions which are known as the national dimensions of poverty in Bangladesh.
"If you would like to work for an organisation making a real impact non mauris vitae erat consequat auctor eu in."Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty."
– Joseph Wresinski