News and Events

(78) Dr. Md. Muzaffar Ahmed on Save the Children Bangladesh' HEFS Program

16 March 2015 – Last March 9, MDM 1997 graduate Dr. Md. Muzaffar Ahmed visited AIM to talk about Save the Children’s Household Economic and Food Security (HEFS/Shiree) Program as part of AIM Zuellig School of Development Management’s Development@Work Series. The talk, entitled 'Can we really eradicate extreme poverty in south-west coastal region in Bangladesh using Save the Children’s Household Economic and Food Security (HEFS/Shiree) Model by 2015?' introduced the program’s background in Bangladesh, its model and achievements, the major challenges it faced, and the lessons and best practices learned from implementing the program.

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Program Background

Bangladesh is the third largest poor population in the world and has one of the highest child malnutrition rates. While the country has seen progress in terms of decreasing the percentage of the population below poverty line and while it is on track for attaining its MDG goal of halving poverty by 2015, it still faces the challenges of not meeting its hunger and nutrition-related targets and the still too-high percentage of children suffering from under-nutrition and being underweight, among other things.

Program Model and Achievements

The HEFS/Shiree model is under Save the Children’s Food Security & Livelihoods (FSL) Programs. This model, which assists the government of Bangladesh to achieve MDG-1 by reducing income poverty and hunger, has two main funds:

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The Scale Fund covers proven approaches to eradicate extreme poverty. It targets extreme poor households in the southwest coastal region with CODEC and Prodipan as their NGO partners.

The Innovation Fund covers innovative approaches to be tested and enhanced in implementation, involving three rounds of the Shiree model. These include (1) improving income and advancing the social identity of rural adolescent girls, (2) focus on access to social safety nets and protection scenes, as well as livelihood options, and (3) innovations in access to nutrition and nutrition education.

Major Challenges, Lessons and Best Practices

Geography affected the program through its uncertainties (communication and market access), source of livelihood (shrimp production), seasonal migration trends, and other vulnerabilities. Dr. Ahmed also mentioned the sustainable graduation of more than 10% of the dependent poor.

Due to these challenges, certain attempts did not work well, such as the creation of social linkages with dependent households, livestock-based IGAs, and the general progress of beneficiaries in the coastal area.

Dr. Ahmed’s presentation shows that most targets were met, or at least displayed significant success, by both funds 2015. 74% of the households covered achieved milestone 4 of the HES model, and 87% of Phase 1 beneficiaries have been graduated.



For mode details and statistics, you may refer to these resources:

To download materials from the event, click on the links below:

 A Case on Save the Children's Shiree Program in Bangladesh_Dr. Md. Muzaffar Ahmed_March 2015.doc

Dr. Muzaffar's Presentation on SCiBD Shiree Program_MDM_AIM_ 09032015

To watch a recording of the forum, click here.

To learn more about Save the Children in Bangladesh, click here.

To access photos from the event, click here.


About Dr. Md. Muzaffar Ahmed

Dr. Md. Muzaffar Ahmed studied Economics both at the Master's and PhD levels at the University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. He earned his second Master's Degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management in 1997.

He started his career in 1974 as a lecturer in Economics and then worked for the social science research studies at the ISRT Dhaka University, BIDS, Tropical Agro-Consult Ltd. Asian-American Free Labor Institute and Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom. He also worked as Assistant Director under the Program Planning Directorate of Rural Electrification Board (REB), CARE-International in Bangladesh, Worldfish Centre Bangladesh and South-Asia Regional Office, and DFID'/Shiree. Currently, he is the HEFS/Shiree Program Director for Save the Children International Bangladesh.

He has contributed several articles and papers in the social and community development field, which have been published at different national and international journals. His research works have covered Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management, Community-Based Fisheries Management, Extreme Poverty Research, Food Security, Livelihoods and Nutrition, and Social Protection.

About the Development@Work Seminar Series

The AIM Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management hosts numerous talks and public lectures on different aspects of development management. These seminars and lectures are free and open to the public, unless stated otherwise. For information on future seminars, visit the News and Events section of this website or like us on Facebook (


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