Dissertation Abstracts

The Role of Civil-Society Organisations in Poverty Alleviation: A Comparative Study of Faith-Based and Secular Global, National and Local Organisations in Pakistan and Bangladesh .

Author: Sheikh, Karim S, karimsajjad@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: Essex, United Kingdom
Supervisor: Professor Dr Ewa Morawska
Year of completion: 2012
Language of dissertation: English

Areas of Research: Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change , Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy , Religion


The study explores efforts aimed at poverty alleviation by local- national-, and global-level civil-society NGOs in two South Asian countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It opens with a review of literature on different meanings of poverty and poverty alleviation and the role in this process of non-governmental organizations, followed by a comparative examination of the meanings of civil society in Western (secular) and Islamic (faith-based) traditions. Having outlined the socioeconomic profiles of Pakistan and Bangladesh, the study then comparatively investigate in this context the purposes, organization and funding, types of activities and outcomes in terms of the alleviation of poverty of local-, national-, and global-level secular and faith-based civil-society organizations in these two countries. The study is based on face-to-face interviews conducted in situ by the author and the analysis of the available organizational records and relevant secondary sources. Having identified these features of non-governmental organizations operating at three different levels in the examined countries, the study comparatively assesses the overall cross-country and cross-sectional similarities and differences regarding goals, actual pursuits, and the outcomes of efforts undertaken by secular and faith-based agencies and, next, in a separate analysis, identifies the main commonalities and divergences in the operation of these civil-society organizations in Pakistan vs. Bangladesh. In each country two global, two national and two local - one (Islamic) faith-based and one secular organization has been selected as a case study.

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