Inclusive Trade

What is the project about?

The objective of this Initiation Plan (IP) project is to create an evidence base that combines perspectives from existing project documents with analysis of current constraints and opportunities relating to trade and poverty reduction in Bangladesh. The project is revisiting the knowledge that UNDP currently has regarding needs and capabilities in lagging sectors and districts, and strengthening them through micro-narratives, research and cross sector consultations.

The project has collected over 200 micro-narratives from poor producers, traders and other market actors in some of the poorest districts of Bangladesh. After analyzing the narrative accounts, the project is preparing a report titled “Stories from the Market: Inclusive Trade from the Bottom-Up.”

The Inclusive Trade Project began its work in August, 2014 in coordination with its institutional Partner Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka.

What have we accomplished so far?

The Inclusive Trade project used the micro-narrative methodology in order to shed light on constraints faced by the poorest market actors in Bangladesh.  This project collected and analyzed 158 narrative accounts from poor producers, traders and other market actors in some of the poorest districts of Bangladesh across 10 broad sectors and a wide range of products. The 19 Districts (other than Chittagong), were selected from a list of 20 Districts that the UN system prioritized based on their poor performance across a range of MDG-based parameters.

The narrative research sheds light into the barriers and bottlenecks that the poorest market actors face, the factors that constrain their growth and limit the benefits they can derive from the markets in which they participate. This rich qualitative research provides strong evidence for conducting further macro-level research on sectors in Bangladesh which demonstrate high potential for growth in domestic or international markets, includes high participation of poor, micro-entrepreneurs, primarily in the informal sector, and a favorable social and environmental impact.

Who finances it?

Donor Amount
UNDP $ 155,000

Delivery in previous fiscal years

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