National programs create materials for and interest in health and development, but the benefits of such programs are not equally distributed across geographic territories or across sub-populations. The poor, minorities, women and those living in rural areas tend to receive fewer benefits and experience large differentials in terms of overall development and health outcomes. Non-governmental organizations , civil society, and parastatal organizations can address the gaps in services and resources. They do this through small-scale enterprises and locally-based investment in individuals and households. One such community-based program is the Grameen Bank , an NGO that provides microcredit to poor, rural, women. It has been successful in raising household income and improving human capital in Bangladesh , but it has had mixed results in terms of scaling up for broader-scale poverty alleviation and social impact. Gonoshasthaya Kendra is an NGO that provides community-based health care in Bangladesh using allopathic and traditional means. It has been successful in reducing maternal mortality in the regions it serves by understanding and using resources at the local level. Although this NGO provides evidence that community-based health programs can be successful in delivering appropriate and acceptable health care to select communities, difficulty remains in scaling to national levels. A final example of community development is found in the Millennium Villages Project which addresses multi-faceted poverty through coordinated efforts by local, national and international actors to address development across economic, health and social sectors. The Project proved successful in improving livelihoods and health at the community level but has yet to prove either scalable or sustainable.
KeywordsGini Coefficient Microfinance Institution National Poverty Line Household Health Repayment Rate
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