About SHOUHARDO II Program
SHOUHARDO II’s earlier Program, SHOUHARDO, over the period October 2004 to May 2010, proved to be one of the most successful food and nutrition security programs globally. Funded by USAID, with a 10% contribution from the Government of Bangladesh, this USD 126 million Program demonstrated that SHOUHARDO had been extraordinarily successful in reducing the prevalence of “stunting”, as well as impacting significantly in a number of other areas. This level of impact was especially important as SHOUHARDO employed a model delivering at scale, reaching over 400,000 households in 18 of the poorest and hardest to reach areas in Bangladesh.
As quoted in the Final Evaluation report of SHOUHARDO, it stated "SHOUHARDO is attempting to address not only the availability, access and utilization issues that lead to food insecurity, but also the underlying issues that contribute to vulnerabilities such as a lack of participation, social injustice, and discrimination that prevent people from realizing their full potential in leading healthy and productive lives."
The report went on to say "SHOUHARDO uses a bottom-up method of empowering some of the poorest and most marginalized populations of Bangladesh to attain their basic rights. By coupling this approach with the Household Livelihood Security framework (The Unifying Framework), CARE Bangladesh has proposed a model that truly tries to break the vicious cycle of poverty. Within this model, SHOUHARDO also addresses factors for which there is a well-documented relationship with improved nutritional status and survival of children, including education of women and girls, and women’s empowerment and control of resources. The inclusion of more traditional interventions of health and hygiene promotion, water and sanitation, growth promotion, and increased food production along with distribution of food rations has created a synergy which has resulted in significant and sustainable impact."
Further, the report quotes "The quantitative analysis for this report reveals striking improvements in key SHOUHARDO outcome indicators over the life of the program, where the prevalence of stunting has reduced by 30 percent and the prevalence of underweight by 21 percent. The analysis confirms these changes are a direct result of SHOUHARDO interventions, including food assistance, core occupational group activities, and health, hygiene, nutrition interventions."
SHOUHARDO’s achievements in reducing stunting are impressive when interpreted in the context of similar programs. A paper produced by FANTAcompared stunting data for 16 different Title II programs ending in 2000 or 2001. These programs reduced stunting by an average of 2.4 percentage points per year. The average stunting at the baseline for these programs was 53 percent, which is comparable to the level found in the SHOUHARDO baseline. When comparing the global average reduction of 2.4 percentage points per year against SHOUHARDO’s reduction of 4.3 percentage points per year, it is clear that SHOUHARDO had achieved far greater impact.
Achieving such results was only possible through the active collaboration of the communities SHOUHARDO worked with, as well as the collaboration of the Government of Bangladesh, USAID, CARE Bangladesh's 44 national partner NGOs partnering with SHOUHARDO, and technical counterparts such as the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The current Program, SHOUHARDO II program, picks up from the proven models employed in SHOUHARDO, and continues to be one of USAID’s largest non-emergency food security programs worldwide. As with its predecessor, the Program is funded by USAID and the Government of Bangladesh, and operates in the North Char, the Mid Char, the Haor belt, and the Cox’s Bazaar coastal area, covering 11 districts, 30 upazilas, and 172 unions.
SHOUHARDO II program continues to be an important contributor to Bangladesh’s poverty reduction initiative where 13 Ministries of the Government of Bangladesh are members of the National Program Advisory Coordination Committee (PACC), with similar PACCs cascading all the way down to the Divisional, District, and Upazila levels. SHOUHARDO II partners with a variety of institutions including 16 national NGOs responsible for 90% of overall implementation coverage, and technical partners such as IUCN.
SHOUHARDO II program works with the targeted communities to not only help them towards food self sufficiency, but also to broadly impact on a range of their livelihood needs including health, hygiene, nutrition, women empowerment, institutional strengthening and linking, and disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation.
Given the impressive results of SHOUHARDO, CARE is confident SHOUHARDO II program will deliver similar, if not even better results, as the current Program has been able to learn from its successful predecessor of best practices and approaches, as well as from the challenges it faced.