BRAC

BRAC

Thursday, 08 December 2016 00:00

7 day donation drive for Korail starts today

X10B6214

KorailFireLarge

2000 people are homeless after Dhaka’s biggest slum caught fire on Sunday, 4 December. 495 households were destroyed in less than two hours.

BRAC has started a donation drive to raise BDT12,375,000 (BDT25,000 per family)  for helping them to rebuild their lives. UNDP has contributed BDT 65, 000, 00 from their emergency fund. The remaining  BDT 5,875,000 needs to be raised.

BRAC is working with Dhaka North City Corporation and various NGOs and community organisations in Korail in this effort.

225 children and eight pregnant mothers no longer have a place to sleep. Winter has just started, and the people who lost their homes in the fire have lost everything.

Interested people can donate directly to BRAC via a BRAC bank account,

Account name: BRAC, BRAC Centre, 75 Mohakhali
Account number: 150120-2316474001 

Or Bkash number: 01730321765 (instruction).

BRAC has been supporting families since the fire started. BRAC staff were on the ground during the fire, shepherding children and young people through the chaos into a safe space nearby. The space was kept open, with food and water provided until everyone was connected to their families in the evening. Two pregnant mothers were evacuated.

In the two days following the fire, utensils and cookware, 500 blankets and hygiene soaps were distributed. Sir John Wilson School’s donated 758 pieces of clothing. Eight pregnant mothers received BDT 1,000 each in cash and will continue to receive free maternal health care for the next one month. BRAC will continue to provide treatment through a temporary medical camp.

To find more updates about the donation drive please visit:  http://response.brac.net

 

 

BRAC launches the Urban Innovation Challenge

BRAC launches Urban Innovation Challenge 2016

BRAC launched a competition today to find solutions to the growing challenges faced by people living in cities across Bangladesh. The Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Mr Annisul Huq, launched the Urban Innovation Challenge at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre. The Mayor hailed the initiative as a major milestone in Bangladesh’s progress in urban development, saying “Compared to other countries, Dhaka is more densely populated. 140000 people live per square kilometer. We are struggling to find a better solution for managing the street hawkers and transport problem of the city. So I would urge the urban innovators of our country to come up with innovative and inclusive solutions for these. Mayor’s office will be happy to take those ideas.”

Urbanisation in Bangladesh has accelerated rapidly in the past few decades. This is having drastically negative effects on health, transport and employment. Dhaka is the 9th most densely populated city in the world, and around1100 migrants arrive in the city every day.

BRAC has initiated the year-long challenge to create a platform to work with innovators, young entrepreneurs and university students to improve life in cities across the country. The goal is to find the best ideas in Bangladesh and support innovators to build them into sustainable social enterprise models. The challenge will focus on three specific problem areas: health, transportation and informal sector employment.

Potential challengers must submit their applications by November 30. Shortlisted applicants will then be asked to submit full proposals, and a high-profile jury will select 4-5 winners. Winners will build their prototypes and test them in the field with BRAC from April- August 2017. They will receive mentoring, skills development and support, as well as a grant amount up to BDT 5 lac and linkage to potential investors.

Executive Chairman of PPRC Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman praised the initiative at the panel discussion, saying, “The solutions have to be specific from the user’s perspective. But at the same time it has to be comprehensive keeping both the megacity and the towns in mind.”

The panel also included Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, founder and chairperson of Bishwo Shahitto Kendro. He said, “Dhaka is a city of immense possibilities. We need to think about our cities by ourselves. Our youth have possibilities, talent and ideas, we can guide them making those into reality.”

Young entrepreneurs speaking at the event included the founder of 10 Minute School, Ayman Sadiq, and founder of Identity Inclusion, Shamsin Ahmed, who spoke on entrepreneurship in a session titled “Udbhaboner Golpo.”

Partnering for the Urban Innovation Challenge are Shout-Daily Star for youth engagement, Radio Shadhin for radio engagement, Beatnik for digital engagement and IDEO.ORG for knowledge management.

This initiative is a part of BRAC’s newly launched urban development programme which focuses on improved service delivery, mobilisation and governance.

 

 

BMDIA


BRAC Manthan digital Innovation award announced 14 winners for 2016 on 8 October,at the Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden. The award was given to promote and recognise the contributions of individuals and organisations in the field of ICT for development.

The programme started with a fair exhibiting the innovations of 29 finalists. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister, Minister of State for Information and Communication, Technology (ICT) attended the event as chief guest. Appreciating this initiative he said, “Current internet user in our country is 60 million and this is increasing by 10 million per year. With the increase of internet users, interest of youth in technology is also amplifying. This award will certainly inspire the youth to innovate in technology. The government is ready to cooperate in taking this initiative forward. “

BRAC launched this award, an off-shoot of the Manthan Awards in India, on 10 April in partnership with Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF). The winners from Bangladesh will get direct entry to the final round of prestigious Manthan Award South Asia 2016.  

The nine categories of the competition are: e-business and financial inclusion, e-education, learning and employment, e-agriculture and ecology, e-governance and institutions, e-health, e-women, inclusion and empowerment, e-news, journalism and entertainment, e-culture, heritage and tourism, and m-content.

BRAC received more than 100 nominations from all over the country, across different sectors. Based on 90 applications went for the jury evaluation process. A jury of 10 eminent experts assessed them on the quality of their content, impact of the solution, functionality of the product/service and benefits to people. 29 were selected for the final phase.

Notable jury board members included Anir Chowdhury, policy advisor, Prime Minister’s office, Luna Shamsuddoha, Chairman, Dohatec New Media, Munir Hasan
Coordinator, Youth Programme -Prothom Alo, KAM Morshed, Director, ICT and Advocacy, BRAC etc.

Present at the award ceremony, founder and director of Digital Empowerment Foundation Osama Manzar said, “Internet and technology are the connecting tools now, if we dont use these we will become the consumers of someone else. So Bangladesh should plan for the next 100 years not 100 days and try to build the network combining internet and technology”. Executive director of BRAC Dr Muhammad Musa, representatives from development agencies, government and corporate sector also attended the programme.

Prothom Alo supported this initiative as the associate partner. Also on board were Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom as exhibition partner, Webable as digital media partner and Channel 24 as TV media partner.

 

 

Winners list


Category: E-AGRICULTURE AND ECOLOGY

Department of Agriculture Extension project name is
KRISHOKER JANALA-APNAR FOSHOLER SOMOSSAR SOMADHAN EKHANEI

Category: E-EDUCATION, LEARNING & EMPLOYMENT

Repto education Center

10 MINUTE SCHOOL

 Youth Opportunities.

Category: E-BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Humac Lab Limited and their project name is SELLISCOPE

Cloud Solution Limited and their project name is CSL MOBILE ACCOUNTS


Category: E-CULTURE, HERITAGE AND TOURISM

Vromon

Dhaka Electronica Scene/Akaliko Records their project name is TRANSLATIONS – AN ELECTRONIC MUSIC COMPILATION BY AKALIKO RECORDS.

Category: E-NEWS, JOURNALISM AND ENTERTAINMENT

Software Shop Limited (SSL Wireless) their project name is e-Tunes

PAVILION and their project name is PAVILION.
 
 
Category: E-GOVERNANCE & INSTITUTIONS

EnamelBD and their project name is VAT CHECKER

Mathiura Union Parishad and their project name is Mathiura Union Parishad Digitalization Project.

Category: E-HEALTH

Rx71 Limited and their project name is RX71

Department of Biomedical and their project name is Dhaka University Telemedicine Programme – rural healthcare using indigenously developed technology.
Special mention and runners up


Category: E-AGRICULTURE AND ECOLOGY

Special mentions

Grameen Intel Social Business Ltd and their project name is MRITTIKĀ
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and their project name is BARI Application.
Runner up
Training in a Tab

Category: E-EDUCATION, LEARNING & EMPLOYMENT
Special mention
Durbin Labs and their project name is Durbin App
Clickntech.com and their project name is e-learning door to door

Category: E-BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION
Runners up
eSheba Organization a company of Curtex Group and their project name is  eSheba.

Category: E-CULTURE, HERITAGE AND TOURISM
Runners Up
KOTHOWAIN and their project name is Marginalized and Ethnic Children and Youth Development and Empowerment Project.

Category: E-NEWS, JOURNALISM AND ENTERTAINMENT
Special Mention
QUIZARDS.
Runners up
The Dhaka Times
Roots Journalism

Category: E-WOMEN, INCLUSION AND EMPOWERMENT
Special Mention
Women in digital Bangladesh.
Runners up
Concern Universal and their project name is People Centered Interactive Risk & Livelihood Information Gateway
Preneur Lab - Public Toilet App and their project name is Public Toilet App – Find public toilets.

Category: E-HEALTH

Runner up

Windmill Infotech Limited and their project name is babytika


Juror’s Mention for Innovation

From the category E-EDUCATION, LEARNING & EMPLOYMENT, Life2coding and their project name is LAPTOUCH: CONVERT ANY COMPUTER SCREEN INTO TOUCH SCREEN

 

 

 

 PR-DLO-E

At BRAC’s Board Meeting on 3 December, Australia, BRAC and the UK reiterated their commitment to work on ending violence against women and girls in Bangladesh. This joint statement was released as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign.

In issuing the statement, BRAC Chairperson Sir Fazle Abed said, “Empowering women and girls is the key to successful economic and social development. BRAC has always believed in collaborations- hence, once again, if we want to deliver real results, the government, private sector and civil societies need to work together to fight gender disparity. I am proud of the progress made in Bangladesh, but there is still work to be done.”

“Investing in girls and women has a transformative impact on growth and poverty reduction,” said Paul Whittingham, Deputy Country Representative for DFID Bangladesh. “That is why, as strategic partners, UK, BRAC and Australia support women and girls to live free from violence, and support their education, health and economic empowerment so they can achieve their full potential.”

“Our shared approach is to work with men and boys as well as women and girls to make sure that women are valued by society and from there to ensure their social and economic rights.” added Priya Powell, Counsellor (Development Cooperation) at the Australian High Commission.

With the support of Australia and the UK, BRAC’s advocacy and social and economic development programs empower women to be actively engaged in household decision making, reduce incidences of violence against women and build the confidence of students to protect and protest against sexual harassment.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign started on 25th November 2014 and this year the theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Gender-Based Violence". This theme is well aligned to the gender strategies of all three partners. As a part of this campaign, BRAC has organised discussion forums, rallies, poster displays and other awareness creation activities across Bangladesh. BRAC is also participating in events organised by the Government of Bangladesh and other organisations to mark this campaign.

Violence against women and girls affects a large majority of the female population, regardless of their socio-economic status. A national survey done by BBS  shows that about 87% of currently married women have experienced some type of violence in their lifetime; (65% have experienced physical violence, 80% have experienced psychological violence, more than one third have experienced sexual violence, in each case, perpetrated by their intimate partners or current husbands). About one third of women have paid dowry for the current marriage. Bangladesh has the highest rate (65% of child marriage) in South Asia. A very recent survey done by ActionAid reveals that 85% of urban women and girls face some form of sexual harassment the in public domain.

Strong legislation is in place but effective implementation remains a challenge. There are other challenges around provision of support services, capacity of law enforcement agencies and having access to justice. Australia, BRAC and the UK are focused on continuing their work together to address these issues through effective programs and also developing new programs that address emerging social problems related to gender based violence.

 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 00:00

BCCM Election Notice

Logo

Bangladesh Country Coordination Mechanism (BCCM) Secretariat is coordinating and overseeing the election process of Civil Society Members and alternate members to the BCCM. Civil Society constituencies will elect their members and alternate members according to BCCM governance manual and election criteria.Organizations and individual are requested to send necessary documents to the given email address in election criteria or address below if you are eligible voter or candidate as per the constituencies criteria. You can also download the detail guideline and criteria from the website link below.


BCCM Election Notice

WP 20150

 

BRAC has been recognised with Smart Certification for its demonstrated commitment to client protection through its microfinance activities. By successfully completing the Smart

Campaign’s certification programme BRAC has become the first organisation in Bangladesh to achieve certification. It joins 63 other financial institutions worldwide who are proven industry leaders in keeping clients first.

Client Protection Certification is an independent, third party evaluation to publicly recognise financial institutions that meet adequate standards of care in how they treat clients. Financial institutions awarded with Smart Certification must meet rigorous, internationally agreed standards on client protection.
IMG 05
To secure certification, BRAC underwent an extensive audit of their policies and practices for adherence with the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles, which cover issues including transparency, fair and respectful treatment, responsible pricing and prevention of over-indebtedness. The Smart Certification process consists of a thorough document review followed by an onsite visit complete with interviews of BRAC’s management, staff and clients. The process was conducted by Microfinanza Rating, a globally specialised microfinance rating agency and licensed Smart Certifier.  Including BRAC in Bangladesh, 64 institutions globally have been certified since the programme’s launch, which serve more than 34 million clients.  

Commenting on the achievement, Shameran Abed, director of BRAC’s microfinance programme said, 'We are absolutely thrilled to be Smart Certified. Our clients have always come first, and this achievement confirms the success of our programme’s mission to provide financial services to the poor in a way that is responsible and responsive to their needs.'

 DevProjectsPoor

Increasing the amount of allowance and coverage in social safety net programme will not much help reduce poverty. It rather encourages dependence on others and promotes corruption. Only creating income opportunities for the poor communities will help them stand on their own feet, reducing poverty in a sustainable manner, observed speakers today on Tuesday at a seminar on the national budget recently proposed in parliament.

BRAC Research and Evaluation Division and Advocacy for Social Change department jointly organised the event titled ‘A review of national budget 2016-17’ at the BRAC University auditorium at Mohakhali.

Former advisers to caretaker government economists Dr Akbar Ali Khan and Dr Mirza Azizul Islam were key speakers, while Research and Evaluation Division director Professor Abdul Bayes gave the key presentation. Advocacy for Social Change director KAM Morshed moderated.

In welcome speech KAM Morshed said, since 1972 BRAC has been working to reduce poverty. In continuation of its work the seminar was organised to review how this budget will influence the economic development and social empowerment of the poor communities.

The keynote presentation gave a brief review of different aspects of the proposed budget, including its size and volume, deficits, tax structure and its various limitations in the light of Vision 2021 and Sustainable Development Goals. The keynote also gave eight recommendations, including strengthening of GO-NGO partnership in budget implementation, creation of taskforce to guide and monitor ADP implementation, increased allocation for social and health sectors, adoption of agriculture-friendly policies and increased agricultural investment.

Highlighting the successful cooperation between BRAC and Bangladesh government in different sectors, Professor Bayes said the organisation has proved to be a tested partner of the government since the 1970s. Oral rehydration programme in the 1970s, child vaccination in 1980s and TB control programme, loan programme for tenant farmers, programme to reduce ultra poverty in the post-1990 period are some of the programmes implemented successfully where the government partnered with BRAC.

He further observed that the government should bring NGOs into further partnerships to ensure successful implementation and evaluation of the programmes in development sector under 2016-17 budget. It will help reduce red-tapism and increase cost effectiveness.

Dr Akbar Ali Khan said, ‘It is not sufficient to allocate money only, there has to be projects. Then effectiveness must be ensured and corruption checked through strict monitoring. If we finish the education budget paying the recruitment of more teachers and their salary, where the money should come from for improving the quality of education? It is not enough for a budget to become ambitious only, it has to be implementable also’.

Dr Mirza Azizul Islam said, ‘The minister in his budget speech mentioned the goal to establish an equity-based society. But the major part of our budget comes from taxes. In this budget [proposed 2016-17 budget] indirect taxes occupy 61 per cent, which will increase pressure on the low-income groups. According to the World Bank, except childcare the public expenditure in health sector benefits more the well-off than than the poor’.

The speakers also answered to the questions of the media and other guests at the seminar.