Grameen Bank's activities will lead the marginalized poor people of Bangladesh towards a socio-economic transformation as reflected in "The Eighteen Decisions", which can be viewed as its Poverty Alleviation Program. These decisions encourage the borrower members to make necessary changes in their lives personally, economically, and socially, which on the one hand, disrupts traditional values and thinking, but on the other hand, prevents the poor from being deeply indebted to the middlemen.
By providing income-generating opportunities to women, the living standard of families is upgraded, and at the same time, the security aspect of women in their marital relationship and social status, in general, gets improved.
The borrowers of Grameen Bank were engaged in a series of week-long intensive dialogues at the village level to reflect on their lives for five years from 1980 to 1984. Some of those dialogues generated “decisions", which the bank later circulated among those who had not got a chance to participate in dialogues. The decisions covered many topics, but put a high priority on health (drinking water, fighting night-blindness by eating vegetables, housing, latrines, family planning, and cleanliness). Since 1984, the "Sixteen Decisions" became an integral part of Grameen Bank. Borrowers are required to make continuous strides to implement these decisions.
In light of the current socio-economic status of the country, the "Sixteen Decisions" have been revised to "Eighteen Decisions" through a workshop and approved by the Board of Directors at the initiative of Hon'ble Chairman Prof. Dr. AKM Saiful Majid.
We shall reflect on the following four principles of Grameen Bank in every sphere of life to make it a prosperous organization through the members of the Center: Discipline, Unity, Courage, Hard Work
We shall improve our quality of life by bringing prosperity to our families.
We shall arrange for safe accommodation. We shall build improved and durable houses at the earliest.
We shall cultivate vegetables throughout the year, meet our own nutrition needs by having plenty of them, and increase income by selling the same.
During the planting season, we shall plant as many seedlings as possible to protect the environment and create our own resources.
We shall plan to keep our families small by having maximum two children. If possible, one will be the priority. We shall ensure all types of vaccinations for our children.
We shall ensure education of all children of the members of the center and shall educate them in technical and higher studies.
We shall keep our environment clean and tidy and ensure health care for all members of our families.
We shall drink tube well water. We shall use pure water in every household work.
We shall avoid dowry in the marriage of our son and daughter, and shall not entertain child marriage. We shall confirm marriage registration.
We shall treat everyone well. We shall live together in family and in society.
We shall always help each other. If anyone in the center falls in any danger, we shall rescue him from the danger together.
We shall be careful in conducting the transaction; we shall not transact without the passbook and shall keep the passbook with our own.
We shall regularly attend the center meeting and we pay back our loan regularly.
We shall pay attention to the savings and we shall save in the bank regularly.