Message from the MD
PKSF has successfully completed another vibrant year and is entering into its silver jubilee year. This unique organization, which started its formal journey in 1990, has evolved into a dynamic development institution by translating its innovative strategies and policies into various types of demand driven continuous programs and specialized projects. As a result, PKSF has been successful in making significant positive dent on the lives of more than 10 million families of Bangladesh. It has also further consolidated its exemplary image as a transparent, efficient and progressive development institution at home and abroad.
As a second tier organization, the initial challenge before PKSF was two-fold. The first challenge pertained towards building pro-poor sustainable organizations. The other major challenge was to devise appropriate programs for contributing towards achieving the dual-goal of attaining institutional sustainability and poverty reduction through employment generation.
In this backdrop, at the beginning of its operations, PKSF adopted the strategy of providing impetus to build MFIs through promoting microcredit programs for generating self-employment opportunities in the rural off-farm sector. The outcome of this strategy was enormous and manifested today in the multidimensional poverty reduction programs of its 203 vibrant Partner Organizations (PO), which are working through a nationwide network of more than 6500 branches. The micro credit program of PKSF has eventually evolved into ‘inclusive financing program’ over the last two decades by including various segments of heterogeneous poor population of the country. PKSF has also played pioneering role in making significant paradigm shift in the design of the financial services offered by the conventional microfinance programs in the last 5 years.
Equipped with the newly approved rating system by the Governing Body, PKSF will further intensify its focus on enhancing institutional capacity of these POs with a view to enabling them in managing superior quality financial program both in terms of volume and diversity in future. PKSF has a vision to switch over to providing ICT based financial services from existing manual based system.
At the beginning of the new millennium, for accelerating the momentum of poverty reduction, PKSF started integrating technical services with its financing program under a number of specialized projects. PKSF has so far implemented many schemes for transferring agricultural technology under these projects. It has successfully integrated value chain development interventions in its core programs and decided to intervene in selected sub-sectors with special focus on microenterprise development at a much bigger scale in future to enhance economic growth and parity. PKSF has also decided to provide incubation and virtual marketing facilities to develop brands of micro entrepreneurs.
PKSF has crystallized its undivided focus on ultra poor through a core program and a special project. In order to reduce income erosion of ultra-poor stemming from health hazards, it has devised an effective preventive health care system and provided technical services to shift them to more productive occupations. PKSF will go ahead with creative programmatic interventions in future to help them in their efforts to come out of poverty with dignity.
A number of successful projects funded by the innovation fund of PKSF known as Learning and Innovation Fund to Test New Ideas (LIFT), have been mainstreamed. This fund will keep on supporting innovative solutions for expanding the horizon of economic opportunities for the enterprising poor in future.
PKSF has added new dimension to its mission and programs by redefining its core goal as “instituting human dignity” instead of limiting its efforts towards achieving economic freedom only. Structural changes have also been made in the organogram of PKSF to institutionalize its efforts in upholding the agendas for social and human capacity development, not as offshoot activities of microfinance program, but as interventions by dint of their individual merits. PKSF has initiated its agricultural and social development programs, which will gain momentum in future. It has started evaluating impacts of various programs in relation to the key dimensions of poverty with a view to making adjustments in its future policies and strategies for making more effective dent on poverty.
As part of its vulnerability reduction policy, PKSF has further strengthened pilot micro insurance activities by creating a covariant risk fund with the purpose of ensuring timely settlement of claims of poor clients in the backdrop of possible covariant risks. It has expanded the scope of disaster management policy for enhancing capacity of the poor to cope with man-made disasters. PKSF has also brought in its ambit a special project for enhancing resilience of the poor to the adverse impacts of climate change. PKSF with its various risk mitigation services, will support expansion of microinurance services in future for reducing vulnerability of its program participants.
This year ENRICH program has further strengthened its programmatic interventions with the core objective of establishing human dignity. In order to increase productive assets, each family is being provided with education, health, technical know how, skill development training, job placement and financial services in a coordinated manner under this program. This program is expected to emerge as a comprehensive development model for sustainable poverty alleviation.
PKSF will go ahead with evolving and creative programs in the coming days for sustainable poverty alleviation. The core objective of all its efforts will be instituting human dignity of the poor citizens of our country by making pathways out of poverty in a sustainable manner.
It has been possible for PKSF to reach its present state because of the continuous support of the Government and the development partners, sincere collaboration of the Partner Organizations (POs), relentless efforts of its committed staff, enlightened policy guidance of the Chairman and Governing Body and above all, the spontaneous participation of targeted poor citizens (of whom 90% are women) of its different projects and programs. With the firm belief of having their continuous support in future, I take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to all of them.
Md. Abdul Karim
Managing Director, PKSF