Fighting Poverty and Exclusion Through Participatory Approaches


The Exposure and Dialogue Program (EDP) has been an integral part of Grameen Bank’s institutional framework since 1989. EDP was developed in Germany by Dr. H. C. Karl Osner, who promoted “self-help and participatory strategies” for the German decision-makers to bring about reforms in the government-to-government development co-operation, with the aim of combating poverty. EDP is perceived to be an instrument for shaping pro-poor policies and strategies through participation by exposure, reflection and dialogue. EDP offers the opportunity to get hands-on experience of the reality of a life in poverty, to meet poor people, mainly women, person to person, to understand from their perspective and to learn about their self-help potential, e.g. about the creditworthiness of poor self-employed women. The core elements of EDP as expounded by Dr. Osner are:

  • Meeting person to person, helps participants to overcome the abstract notion of poverty, to consider the poor as subjects of their developments, to personalise development co-operation.
  • Meeting person to person, helps participants to overcome the widespread attitude among decision-makers of looking at the poor as neutral onlookers from outside, leading to a change of mindset and to comprehend the core idea of any action-oriented EDP.
  • Linked with the change of mindset, meeting person to person, helps to change the behaviour of the bureaucrats towards pro-poor practices.

Grameen Trust has been using some of these methods at the international dialogue programs, where participants from around the world can meet and interact with the poor and have first hand experience of microcredit operations on the ground. Since 1989, Grameen Trust has successfully organised 47 international dialogue programs. These in turn have produced numerous pilot and action research based microfinance projects that follow the Grameen model.

  Vinod Khosla Visits Grameen Bank  

Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, a venture capital business, attended the 2004 Microcredit Summit held in Dhaka, last February. Leading microcredit practitioners, advocates, educational institutions, donor agencies, international financial institutions, non governmental institutions and others involved with microcredit, gathered at the Summit to promote the best practices in the field and to learn from each other. On 18th of February, Mr. Khosla, along with his wife Neeru Khosla, visited Grameen Bank’s field operations in Bashon, Gazipur, where they attended a center meeting. They met Bank members to learn first hand from their experiences. Mr. Khosla was particularly impressed by Nasima, who started her own poultry farm with a loan from Grameen Bank and now runs the successful business entirely by herself. The diligence and ambitions of these women intrigued the prominent venture financier and he spoke at length with them before taking part in a friendly discussion at the local branch office.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, Mr. Khosla said he intended to invest some of his own wealth as well as time in microfinance projects, though he declined to give specifics about how he will allocate his time and money. In his view, the microfinance initiatives he visited in Bangladesh ran more efficiently than most Silicon Valley organizations. “They have sophisticated algorithms,” he said. “Does the woman own a buffalo? Some chickens? Does she have a toilet in her home? What kind of roofing materials does her home have? Does she bring a shawl to the village meeting?” It was heartening, Mr. Khosla said, to see that the entrepreneurial principles of Silicon Valley applied just as well in rural Bangladesh. “Granted they are not as profitable as Google, but they have the same level of social impact.”

  Gold Cup for Grameen Bank's Dhaka Zone  

In 2003 Grameen bank initiated the Grameen Bank Gold Cup to be given to the best performing zone of Grameen Bank. The zone is judged on a number of criteria including the profitability of the zone, the amount of savings generated, the volume of micro-enterprise loans, the number of struggling members under their zone, the number of education loans disbursed, among others. The 2004 Gold Cup was won by Grameen Bank's Dhaka Zone. Chittagong and Noakhali Zones were runners up.
Congratulations, Dhaka Zone!

  Grameen Bank Member's daughter wins gold at SAF Games  

Celebrating the victory of sharp shooter Sharmin


Sixteen-year-old Sharmin Akhtar, daughter of Monwara Begum, a Grameen Bank member from Bogra, won Bangladesh a gold medal in the 10m air rifle event, at the SAF Games which took place in Pakistan in March, 2004. Grameen Bank honored Sharmin and her family at a grand reception held at the Grameen Bank head office recently. At the reception, Professor Yunus announced a two year scholarship for Sharmin. She was also presented with a mobile phone by Grameen Telecom.

  New Publications  

1. H. I. Latifee. Micro-finance Worldwide: Grameen Experiences. Presented at the International Workshop on “Global Experience and Prospects for Turkey”, organised by IFC held at CONRAD Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey October 2-3, 2003. The paper deals with the experience of Grameen Bank, Grameen Trust and Grameen partners in implementing Grameen Bank model for poverty alleviation.

2. H. I. Latifee. Micro-Credit and Poverty Reduction (Reprinted). Presented at the International Conference on “Poverty Reduction through Micro-credit” in Taksim-Istanbul, Turkey, June 09-10, 2003.

3. H. I. Latifee. Financing Micro-finance Programs (Reprinted). Presented at the International Workshop on “Micro-finance in Poverty Reduction and the challenges for MFIs” held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 21-24, 2003. The paper discusses sources of micro-finance funding, it’s transference to the poor, the need for diversification of funding sources and increase in funding.

4. H. I. Latifee. Grameen Trust Experience 1991-2003 (Revised and Updated Edition). The book draws together Grameen Trust’s decade long experience in implementing sustainable microcredit programs through Grameen Bank approach and supporting poverty focused research projects.

5. Grameen Trust Annual Report 2002. Containing information on activities of Grameen Trust and its support to Grameen replications worldwide. Grameen Trust, Dhaka.

6. Muhammad. Banker to the Poor (Bengali Version). This is an autobiographical account of the founder of the Grameen Bank, Muhammad. This work is a fundamental rethink on the economic relationship between the rich and the poor, their rights and obligations. Bengali Version is published by Mawla Brothers.

7. H. I. Latifee. Strategies for Reducing Costs and Improving Efficiency. Presented at the Asia/Pacific Region Microcredit Summit of Councils (APRMS) Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 16-19, 2004. The paper discusses strategies for reducing costs and improving efficiency in Microfinance Institutions.

8. Rosa Marie V. Rivera. Managing Risk and Sustainability in Microfinance: War and its Impact on Microfinance Clients and NGOs in the Philippines. The paper looks into the impact of war on the attainment of financial self-sufficiency of microfinance institutions and their members. It is published as part of the Working Paper Series by the Institute of Social Studies.


  Consultancy Services from Grameen Trust  

Grameen Trust offers consultancy services in any part of the world, to those organizations that work for setting up and implementing poverty focused microfinance programs. It also offers its services to directly implement microfinance programs in difficult situations and areas.

Organizations interested in receiving such consultancy or other technical services from Grameen Trust, should contact:

Managing Director
Grameen Trust
Grameen Bank Bhaban
Dhaka 1216, Bangladesh
Phone/Fax: 880-2-8016319
E-mail: [email protected]

  Training on Grameen Bank II  

Grameen Trust and Grameen Bank will offer a training program on Grameen Bank-II, known as the Grameen Generalized System in Bangladesh. The training program will cover the innovations introduced by Grameen Bank in recent past with rewarding results.
Organizations interested to participate in the training program, please contact for details:

Managing Director
Grameen Trust
E-mail: [email protected]


Grameen Trust Programs for 2004

Grameen Trust in collaboration with Grameen Bank and the Grameen network partners, will organize the following Grameen Dialogue Programs, International Training and Workshops programs for microcredit practitioners worldwide, during calendar year 2004. Interested organizations or individuals who wish to participate are requested to write immediately to Grameen Trust, Grameen Bank Bhaban, Mirpur - 2, Dhaka- 1216, Bangladesh; Fax & Telephone: 880-2-8016319; E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

Grameen International Dialogue Programs

48th Grameen International Dialogue
May 29 - June 10, 2004
  49th Grameen International Dialo  
September 4 -16, 2004
50th Grameen International Dialogue
December 4 -16, 2004

  Grameen National Dialogue

5th Grameen National Dialogue
November 22 - 25, 2004

Grameen International Training Program

Grameen Generalized System
May 16 - 20, 2004
  Grameen Basics  
August 14 - 16, 2004
  Grameen Basics  
October, 2004

Grameen International Workshop Program

Business Planning
September 19 - 23, 2004
  Internal Auditing  
October 10 - 14, 2004
  Grameen Generalized System  
December 9 - 13, 2004



back to Regular Features

 Editor : Muhammad
Executive Editor : Khalid Shams 
Editorial Assistance :
Nazneen Sultana
Lamiya Morshed 
Editorial Advisory Board: Argentina : Pablo Broder, Buenos Aires     Australia : Shan Ali, Sydney     Chile : Benardo Javalquinto, Santiago     Colombia : Mauricio Fernandez, Bogota     France : Maria Nowak, Paris     Germany : Nancy Wimmer, Munich     Malaysia : David S. Gibbons, Kuala Lumpur     Philippines : Dr. Cecilia D. Del Castillo, Bacolod City     USA : Alexander Counts, Washington DC
Grameen Communications Official Home Page