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Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), an apex development organisation, was established by the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) in May 1990, for sustainable poverty reduction through employment generation.
Legally, PKSF is a “company not for profit” and is registered under the Companies Act of 1913/1994 with the registrar of Joint Stock Companies. The legal structure of PKSF allows flexibility and authority to undertake programmes in a dynamic environment, implementing them throughout the country and manage its affairs as an independent organisation.
In the beginning of its operations in 1990, PKSF set the goal of creating self-employment opportunities in the rural off-farm sector and adopted the strategy of promoting a credit programme for attaining this goal. This credit programme, launched for the rural moderate poor, has been diversified over time in accordance with the changing needs of heterogeneous poverty-stricken segments of society and has gradually evolved into an “inclusive financing programme”. PKSF’s present financing programme includes the moderate poor of both urban and rural areas, ultra-poor, micro entrepreneurs, marginal and small farmers; members of these poverty groups are offered customised services. Enabling the poor to come out from the low productivity trap, PKSF has integrated capacity building, technology transfer, value chain development and other technical services in its development programme.
PKSF, over the years, has gained in-depth understanding and valuable experience on the multi-dimensional aspects of poverty. Adding new dimension to its mission in 2010, PKSF reshaped its core goal as “establishing human dignity”, instead of limiting its efforts towards achieving economic freedom only and started undertaking new programmes for attaining this goal. With this core objective, PKSF undertook a special programme, titled Enhancing Resources and Increasing Capacities of Poor Households towards Elimination of their Poverty (ENRICH), to create productive and sustainable employment opportunities for the poor by ensuring optimum use of their existing resources and enhancing their human capacities. In order to increase productive assets and human capacities, each family is being provided with education, health, technical and financial services in a coordinated manner under this programme.
PKSF has adopted disaster management and micro insurance programme under the fold of its social protection programmes. PKSF has also started implementing a project aiming to enhance the capacities of the poor to increase their resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change. In addition, mapping of various rural business clusters has been completed to commence programmes for the development of rural industries.
Ensuring accountability and transparency at all levels of its activities is of utmost importance at PKSF. Proper utilization of its resources, both from policy and implementation perspectives, is crucial. PKSF compromises of two policy-making bodies as per its Articles of Association; the General Body and the Governing Body. These two bodies are responsible for providing overall policy guidance and strategic directions for the implementation of all PKSF activities. Members of these bodies are highly distinguished professionals of national and international repute, having demonstrated track records in the development sector.
The major objectives of PKSF are to:
- Provide financial assistance and institutional development support to appropriate organisations for implementing sustainable inclusive financial programmes for reduction of poverty through creating productive employment opportunities for the moderate and ultra poor, small and marginal farmers and micro-entrepreneurs.
- Support, promote, develop and identify sustainable employment opportunities for the moderate and ultra poor, small and marginal farmers and micro-entrepreneurs; and to provide them assistance including education, health, training and risk reduction services as may be necessary for enhancing their capacity.
- Build and strengthen the institutional capacity of the POs (partner organisations) and enhance their ability to provide various financial and non-financial services to the poor on a sustainable manner.
- Support, promote and sponsor innovative programmes and suitable projects for improving the quality of life of the poor and enabling them to lead a dignified life.
- Help the poor to diversify and strengthen their livelihood strategies, enhance their security, give them access to assets and rights, and augment their self-respect by providing them greater choices and independence.
PKSF will keep on moving forward to achieve its goal with the continuous support of the Government, partner organisations, development partners and above all, the spontaneous support of the enterprising people it serves.