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PnP and VCB-N jointly present webinar on “Targeting Ultra Poor – Lessons Learnt and Way Forward”

Posted by Admin - September 12, 2021

In attempt to understand the future of  the targeted programmes for the ultra-poor in Asia and beyond , especially in the context of the poor getting pushed back into an abject poverty during and post pandemic ; Partners in Prosperity, New Delhi and Value Chain Capacity Building Network (VCB-N) have come together to host an online session on “Targeting Ultra Poor – Lessons Learnt and Way Forward” on Monday, 13th September, 2021 at 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm IST (3:30 pm – 5:00 pm GMT +6) Register here

The ultra-poor face unsurmountable social, cultural, economic and psychological barriers towards reaching their innate human potential and exceling in the chosen field of work. However, there still exist numerous challenges such as forced migration, impact of Covid -19, climate change, absence of social safety net, natural calamities etc.

The webinar will bring together professionals and academicians having in depth experience of working for/with Ultra poor, to share their learnings and their vision about the way forward for the programmes meant to eradicate extreme poverty. Join us in an insightful discussion featuring the following experts-

Moderator: Dr. Manab Chakraborty, CEO, Partners in Prosperity

Dr. Manab Chakraborty is an experienced development professional with experience in over 30 countries as a UN civil servant, consultant to international agencies, and national governments. He is the promoter and chief executive officer of Mimo Finance. Initially, his career focused on poverty eradication and natural resource management activities primarily in Asia and Africa. Manab is currently focusing on unleashing the economic potential of the billion people at the bottom of the pyramid and devising strategies and tools for newer institutional frameworks that are needed to address development problems. He received Ph.D. from University of Delhi for his thesis on Impact Investment and Transformation of Microfinance Institutions. He has postgraduate degrees in rural development from ISS, Holland; environmental economics, University College London, London; and MBA from Kellogg School of Management and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

Keynote Speaker: Mr.  Debasish Ray Choudhuri, Advisor, THP Programme, Bandhan Konnagar

Debasish Ray Choudhuri has about 35 years of experience in corporate and development sectors.  Currently as the Advisor in Bandhan-Konnagar (BK), Debasish is leading its ultra-poor graduation programme- “Targeting the Hardcore Poor Programme” (THP)- across 12 states of India. Started in 2006, Bandhan THP programme today has touched lives of 1,32,000 poorest and marginalised families with their direct implementation as well as another 100,000 most deprived families through technical assistance to Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society (JEEViKA). 

Prior to the engagement with Bandhan, Debasish has worked with MNCs, Start-ups, government autonomous bodies and Not for Profits, where he had been driving business operations, innovation & incubation, Fair Trade capacity building & value chain augmentation etc. He has the unique experience of working in the field of identifying, rewarding, IPR Protecting and augmenting grassroots innovations with the National Innovation Foundation (under DST, GoI) where he had association in its formative years. In his earlier role as CEO, Bandhan Konnagar, Debasish was instrumental in building unique programmes and institutions in skill development, market linkages, clean energy, education, health and sanitation at the last mile. 

Debasish is a Post Graduate in Business Management with additional professional trainings in IT, Quality, Foreign Trade and social practices. 

Special Guest Speaker: Rozina Haque, Programme Head, Ultra-Poor Graduation Programme, BRAC

Rozina Haque is the Programme Head of Ultra-Poor Graduation Programme at BRAC. She possess over 18 years of proven experience in international development, focusing on social protection and economic inclusion and built thematic expertise in the areas of climate change adaptation, disability inclusion, humanitarian response, urban and gender. At present, she is leading and providing advanced strategic direction to one of the flagship programmes of BRAC; that aims to eradicate extreme poverty from the country, currently being implemented in 39 high poverty prone and climate vulnerable areas with over 2700 staff. Since its inception, the programme has impacted the lives of approximately 9 million ultra-poor people in Bangladesh.  

She also plays a significant role in expanding the Graduation approach globally to address the poverty agenda and provided technical assistance to different governments, donors and non-government organisations on economic inclusion initiatives in Uganda, Liberia, Kenya, Egypt, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Yemen and Nepal in the areas of proposal development, assessment, programme designing, budgeting, implementation, M&E and capacity development of staff. Ms. Haque holds a Master’s in Development Studies from BRAC University, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from Asian University in Bangladesh.


  • Mr. Sushant Verma, Asia Regional Director, Trickle Up Inc.

Sushant Verma joined Trickle Up in 2019 as the Regional Director for the Asia office based in Kolkata, India. He has over twenty years of intensive experience in managing social development programs, within areas such as education, public health, livelihood promotion, community development, disaster management, relief and rehabilitation, CSR and women empowerment. Prior to joining Trickle Up, Sushant served at senior management levels in reputed Multilateral/bilateral, international and national humanitarian and funding agencies including British Council, The Open University UK, USAID, World Bank, Nobel Peace Laureate KS Children’s Foundation, Christian Children’s Fund Inc., Heifer International, Action Aid/Commonwealth Education Fund UK, and PHRN. Sushant holds a MBA (Rural Development) with specialization in Women and Child development. He also possess a master’s degree in Sustainable Development and certificate in International Perspective in Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation. He has also undertaken management courses from various international universities. Presently he is pursuing a master’s degree in Education Leadership from the Open University UK.

  • Mr. John Paul, Director, Centre for Rural Development, The/Nudge Foundation

John heads The/Nudge Centre for Rural Development. He previously headed the ‘Innovation and Action’ at The/Nudge Centre for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship designing a one-of-a-kind residential skill development program focused on foundational learning leading to a sustainable urban livelihood for underprivileged youth in India. John has 13 years of experience across market research, healthcare consulting, healthcare product management, campaigning for human rights and digital fundraising. Previously, he worked in product leadership roles at Amnesty International India, Reckitt Benckiser, GBI Research and Frost & Sullivan. John graduated from BITS, Pilani and did his post graduation at Indian School of Business (ISB).

  • Ms. Ruchika Singh, Associate Director – Policy, J-PAL, South Asia

Ruchika leads the scale-up of evidence-based programs at J-PAL South Asia. She works closely with government and non-government partners to embed and successfully scale-up programs that have proven to be effective in multiple contexts (such as the Targeting the Ultra-poor Program). In addition, she’s responsible for strategic planning, fundraising, identifying new partners and expanding the reach of J-PAL’s body of evidence. Prior to joining J-PAL, she worked with Evidence Action, where she managed a social protection program in Bangladesh, and Central Square Foundation, where she managed governance initiatives in India’s education system. Ruchika has a Masters in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Date: Monday, 13th September, 2021

Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm IST (3:30 pm – 5:00 pm GMT +6)

Registration link:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Free registration I Mandatory language – English I Platform – Zoom I Followed by Q/A

For any query, please contact Ms. Poulami Datta, Business Development Manager, PnP

M: +91 858500725 Email: bdm@pnpindia.org.in


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