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18 Decisions for Poverty Alleviation

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.

Eighteen Decisions