Why did the project fail to achieve its objectives in some villages? The experience of the Upland Settlement Project (USP) in Bangladesh

Tapan Kumar Nath*, Makoto Inoue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


By sampling an upland settlement project (USP) village, this study examined why the project failed to achieve the planned objectives in some villages, and what livelihood strategies villagers (planters) have adopted to sustain their livelihoods. The paper uses data obtained by qualitative and quantitative methods. The USP was formulated with the objectives of settling 50 landless and marginal tribal families in a project village and introducing agroforestry and rubber plantations for short- and long-term socioeconomic development of planters, in a participatory manner. There are now only 15 planters in the project village and, although agroforestry has progressed well, only 30 to 40% of poor quality rubber trees remain. Planter participation in project activities was limited to wage labour, indicating that the USP failed to adequately achieve all its proposed objectives. In the face of project failure, planters have adopted diversified strategies to maintain their livelihoods. Several shortcomings caused failure of the project, such as the inability of project staff members to organize planters, failure to create awareness among planters about project benefits, lack of regular project money disbursement, sociocultural ignorance, and lack of social capital among planters. Recommendations are made for securing effective participation of local people to assure successful and sustainable project outcomes. Lessons learned will be helpful in formulating future development programmes in this country and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-169
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Chittagong hill tract
  • Livelihoods
  • Ngos
  • Planters
  • Social capital
  • Upland settlement project

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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