Social assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh: Does faith-based approach matters?

This paper aimed to examine the role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in the distribution of social assistance (SA) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. The paper adopts a qualitative case-study approach to explore the best practices in the distribution of SA by five (5) organizations including FBOs, governmental organizations (GOs), Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), political groups, and private voluntary groups. In this study, 14 beneficiaries of SA were selected by stratified proportionate random sampling method, and five (5) key personnel were selected purposively based on their experiences in the management of SA distribution. The study found that “no-move, no touch” approach followed by FBOs is more likely to establish human rights and social justice and reduce the transmission of diseases. In contrast to the modern idea, which undermines the faith-based charity, the study proved that faith-based charity is gaining attraction as an effective approach combating global pandemic. The findings of this paper will be useful for policymakers, voluntary service workers, GO, and NGO workers to ensure the distribution of SA in a more productive and disciplined way during and after an emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic.