This book explores the qualities of relationship, behaviour and effectiveness that the poor of Bangladesh consider important in the institutions with which they interact during periods of crisis. It arose out of a perceived lack by the World Bank's Participatory Poverty Assessment (undertaken to contribute towards the World Development Report 2000/01) to look at the area of crisis and institutions. The main findings are: " Crisis is multi-dimensional, and related to exposure to mishaps, stresses and risks, as well as to dangers in the physical environment, in society and in the economy, and in administrative and legal systems. Events like floods, droughts, deaths, etc., which affect almost everyone in the community trigger community actions for coping with the situation; " The poor have developed a number of survival strategies to cope with crisis, which are linked with the way assets are pooled and managed to reduce vulnerability; " The poor interact with a range of formal and informal institutions during crisis. Local government, police and court systems are manipulated for political purposes by successive governments, making the poor most vulnerable since they lack political connections. Flaws in the health system have created the opportunity for corruption. Despite unanimous trust of NGOs by the poor, allegations of misuse of funds, gender discrimination, and nepotism have been made. The poor place much more of their trust in their local Community-Based Organisations for security and survival, and their inability to access state organisations". " A number of recommendations are made in the area of state institutions: pro-poor formal administration, anti-corruption, pro-poor health services, increasing women's security; in the area of pro poor policies: land reforms, safety nets; in strengthening NGO-state links; and the need for overall coherence in these initiatives".
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