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Thursday, 05 December 2019 00:00

BRAC Global Board

Dr Martha Chen

Dr Martha Chen
Chair

Martha (Marty) Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Co-Founder, Emeritus International Coordinator and Senior Advisor of the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (www.wiego.org). An experienced development practitioner and scholar, her areas of specialisation are employment, gender and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy. Before joining Harvard in 1987, she had two decades of resident work experience in Bangladesh and in India. Dr Chen co-founded and, for twenty years, led the WIEGO network which is well known worldwide for its work to improve the status of the working poor in the informal economy through stronger organisations, improved statistics and research and a more favorable policy environment. Dr Chen received a PhD in South Asia Regional Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded a high civilian award, the Padma Shri, by the Government of India in April 2011; and a Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War award by the Government of Bangladesh in December 2012.

 

 

Zillur Rahman

Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman
Senior Trustee

Economist and social thinker, Hossain Zillur Rahman is a leading policy voice of Bangladesh with wide-ranging experiences within and outside government. Holding a Masters in Economics (Dhaka University) and Ph.D in Political Sociology (Manchester University), Dr Rahman founded the Dhaka-based think-tank Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) in 1996 and was elected Chairperson of BRAC, Bangladesh in 2019. He led the internationally known 62-village Analysis of Poverty Trends Project at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (1989-98) and was Lead Consultant in drafting Government of Bangladesh’s poverty reduction strategy in 2004. He was appointed a member of the Independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation (2003-06) and also served on the board of the central bank of Bangladesh. Dr Rahman has authored influential works such as Rethinking Rural Poverty (SAGE, 1995), Local Governance and Community Capacities (UPL, 2002); Governance and State Effectiveness in Asia (PPRC/IDS: 2006); Unbundling Governance (PPRC, 2007); Researching Poverty from the Bottom up (PPRC/Grameen Trust, 2007); Bangladesh 2030: Strategy for Accelerating Inclusive Growth (DCCI/PPRC, 2010); Bangladesh Urban Dynamics (PPRC/World Bank, 2012); Bangladesh: Primary Education Stipends (PPRC/UNICEF, 2013); Social Protection in Bangladesh (UPL, 2014); Road Safety in Bangladesh (PPRC/BRAC, 2014); Realizing UHC Goals: Challenges & Opportunities for Bangladesh (PPRC, 2016); The Urban Spectrum: Metropolitan to Mofussil (PPRC/BBS, 2016); Exploring a more effective pro-poor targeting approach (PPRC/USAID, 2018). Dr Rahman was a key contributor to the adoption of a national social security strategy and remains an active policy researcher on issues of sustainable urbanization, social protection, health, inclusive growth, quality education, governance, WASH, road safety and population policies.

Dr Rahman served as Advisor (Cabinet Minister) for the ministries of Education and Commerce in the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh (2007-08) and was credited with a lead role in the subsequent return of Bangladesh to electoral democracy. He was awarded the Dr. John Meyer Global Citizenship Award by the Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University in 2009. Dr Rahman was one of the three awardees of the Gold Medal Award 2013 of Rotary International Bangladesh for his services to humanity.

 

 

Ameerah Haq

Ameerah Haq
Member

Ms Ameerah Haq is a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support. She held the position of Under-Secretary-General from 2009 till her retirement and was the senior-most Bangladeshi national in the United Nations during those years. She most recently served as the Vice-Chair of the High- Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations for the UN. She has over 39 years of UN experience, including 19 years in field assignments. She was the last Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in the UN Integrated Mission in Timor- Leste. She has also held the positions of Deputy SRSG and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, as well as Deputy SRSG and UN Resident Coordinator in Afghanistan. In addition, Ms Haq has held senior positions within the UN Development Programme (UNDP)and has served as United Nations Coordinator in Malaysia and Laos.

Ms Haq currently serves on the Board for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, on the Group on Human Rights Up Front, and on the Board for the Peace Operations Training Institute, Williamsburg, Virginia. She is also a Advisor to the United Nations Foundation in Washington and a member of the Special Advisory Group of the Challenges Forum of the Folke Bernadette Academy of Sweden. Ms Haq lectures frequently at universities and speaks at seminars hosted by think tanks and non-governmental organisations.

During her service in the UN, Ms Haq was awarded the highest Presidential Medal in East Timor by President Jose Ramos Horta, the highest civilian medal of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Malalai Medal of Honor from President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, which is among the highest civilian honours given for courage and dedication. She is also the recipient of the Julia Taft Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award during the time she served as Humanitarian Coordinator for her work in Darfur, Sudan.

Ms Haq received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio in 1969. She subsequently went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Community Organization and Planning from Columbia University, New York in 1972, and a Master in Business Administration from New York University in 1974.

Ms. Haq is the mother of two children, Sheehan Perera and Nadina Perera.

 

 

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown KCMG

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown KCMG
Member

Mark Malloch‐Brown holds international Board and Advisory positions in the commercial and not for profit sectors. He currently Co-chairs The UN Foundation and the International Crisis Group and is on the advisory committees to the heads of the IMF and UNICEF.

He served as Deputy Secretary‐General and earlier Chief of Staff of the UN under Kofi Annan. For six years before that he was Administrator of the UNDP, leading the UN's development efforts around the world. He was later Minister of State in the Foreign Office, covering Africa and Asia, and sat in Prime Minister Gordon Brown's cabinet. He has also served as Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum. He began his career as a journalist at The Economist and then worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and was later a Vice-President of the World Bank. He has served for many years on the Board of the Open Society Foundation.

He formerly chaired the Business Commission on Sustainable Development and the Royal Africa Society. He is author of The Unfinished Global Revolution: The Limits of Nations and the Pursuit of a New Politics.

 

 

Minouche Shafik, Baroness Shafik DBE

Baroness Minouche Shafik
Member

Nemat (Minouche) Shafik is a leading economist, whose career has straddled public policy and academia. She was appointed Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science in September 2017.

She did her BA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, her MSc at the LSE and her DPhil at the University of Oxford and, by the age of 36, had become the youngest ever Vice President of the World Bank. She taught at Georgetown University and the Wharton Business School. She later served as the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development from 2008 to 2011, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 2011-2014 and as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 2014-2017, where she sat on all the monetary, financial and prudential policy committees and was responsible for a balance sheet of over £500 billion.

Minouche has served on and chaired numerous boards and currently serves as a Trustee of the British Museum, the Supervisory Board of Siemens, the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and the Economy Honours Committee. She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2015. In July 2020 Minouche was made a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords.

Her new book ‘What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract’ will be published in March 2021.

 

 

Irene Khan

Irene Khan
Member

An international thought leader and advocate on human rights, gender and social justice issues, Irene Khan is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, and Distinguished Fellow at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva. Ms. Khan was Secretary-General of Amnesty International from 2001 to 2009, and Director-General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) from 2012 - 2019. Prior to that, she worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for 21 years at headquarters and in various countries.

Ms Khan sits on the Boards of several international NGOs and think tanks, and has been a member of the World Bank’s Gender Advisory Council. She has received several honorary degrees and prestigious awards, including the Sydney Peace Prize in 2006 for her work to end violence against women and girls. Her book, The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, has been translated into seven languages. Born in Bangladesh, Ms Khan studied law at the University of Manchester and Harvard Law School.

 

 

Raymond C. Offenheiser

Raymond C. Offenheiser
Member

Raymond C. Offenheiser leads the Pulte Institute for Global Development in its mission to promote human development and dignity among people worldwide by overseeing and developing its academic, research, and public policy activities, as well as its strategy for long-term growth. Offenheiser also identifies and cultivates critical, strategic partnerships between the Pulte Institute and companies, federal agencies, foundations, and private philanthropists. Additionally, he represents the Pulte Institute at local, national, and international events.

Offenheiser serves on the University of Notre Dame faculty as Associate Professor of the Practice and teaches graduate and undergraduate students in the Keough School of Global Affairs. Offenheiser also serves on the Keough School’s Leadership Council. His research interests and areas of expertise include poverty alleviation, human rights, United States foreign policy, and international development. He has been a frequent commentator with U.S. and international media on these and other subjects and is available to analyze, provide context, and commentary through Notre Dame’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

Prior to joining Notre Dame in August 2017, Offenheiser was the president of Oxfam America – a Boston-based international relief and development agency and the U.S. affiliate of Oxfam International – for over 20 years. Under his leadership, the agency grew more than eightfold and repositioned itself in the U.S. as an influential voice on international development, human rights and governance, humanitarianism, and foreign assistance.

Prior to joining Oxfam America, Offenheiser represented the Ford Foundation in Bangladesh and the Andean and Southern Cone regions of South America. He has also directed programs for the Inter-American Foundation in Brazil and Colombia, and he has worked for the Save the Children Federation in Mexico. At the 2012 G20 Summit, he was appointed by the Obama administration to represent civil society interests on the leadership council of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa.

Offenheiser has also served as honorary president of Wetlands International; he was a co-founder of the following organizations: ONE Campaign, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, and the Food Policy Action Network. He has served on the advisory boards of the World Economic Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute, the World Agricultural Forum, the Gates Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame, and Cornell University.

A 1971 graduate of Notre Dame, Offenheiser also holds a master’s degree in Development Sociology from Cornell University.

 

 

Ken Caldwell

Ken Caldwell
Member

Ken Caldwell has held a wide variety of executive and non-executive leadership roles in international development and humanitarian organisations over the past 30 years.

He has served as Global Programmes Director at Save the Children, and Executive Director of WaterAid International. He is Chair of the Board Programme Committee at Oxfam GB, and has also served as a board member of the Institute of Development Studies, as a member of the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Development, and as the Founding Chair of BOND (the representative body for UK INGOs). He has worked with a wide range of leading global NGO federations, providing advice on global strategy and governance issues, and has published research on INGO governance.

Ken was elected as Chair of BRAC UK in May 2021, and joined the BRAC Global Board in June 2021.

 


Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG, Founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC, has been decorated Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau for his longstanding, dedicated and successful work in alleviating poverty especially of women and children.

Sir Fazle accepted today the insignia of the Royal Knighthood bestowed upon him by H. E. Mr. Harry Verweij, Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh, on behalf of His Majesty King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands.

A brief ceremony took place at Sir Fazle's residence in Dhaka city in the evening. Sir Fazle's family members along with representatives from the Netherlands embassy were present at the event.

"On behalf of His Majesty the King it is my great honour and privilege to present to you the insignia of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau,” Ambassador Verweij said.

Sir Fazle expressed his delight at the acknowledgement by the Dutch Crown. "Being named an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau is an immense honour," he said. “The Netherlands has been a great friend and supporter to BRAC over the decades and our connection with the country has deepened since establishing the base of our international operations there 10 years ago. This recognition is a testament to that friendship. As BRAC expands globally, we look forward to working together to advance the causes of people living in situations of poverty and deprivation”.

The ambassador in his speech highlighted Sir Fazle's holistic vision and entrepreneurial approach to poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment. “Sir Fazle has always strived to uphold human dignity, resilience, integrity and inclusion - these values have been at the heart of the successful development of BRAC."

“The fact that, for BRAC, the empowerment of women is not a secondary aim but a guiding principle of all of its programmes and enterprises, is greatly appreciated. BRAC’s anti-poverty work is recognized across the world, including in The Netherlands,” the ambassador further stated. He also mentioned the long-standing and close connection between BRAC and his country.

The Order of Orange-Nassau is awarded for longstanding meritorious service to society, the State or the Royal House of The Kingdom of The Netherlands.

Cyclone Bulbul is continuing to gather strength and expected to hit the coastal belt of Bangladesh in the early hours of Sunday. The cyclone will affect coastal areas, as well as Khulna and Barisal divisions, according to data available from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. The cyclone is expected to generate a maximum wind speed of 5-124 km per hour. Nine coastal districts have been named as highly probable target zones; Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Barguna, Pirojpur, Patuakhali, Bhola, Jhalakathi and Barisal.
 
BRAC has mobilised response preparations, with a particular focus on Satkhira, Khulna and Bagerhat. BRAC field operatives are working in coordination with the local government and the Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP). Messages have been delivered via community radio and CPP and BRAC volunteers have sent messages to the communities living in Ukhiya and Teknaf. BRAC's Humanitarian Crisis Management Program have disseminated warning and awareness messages door to door using the Communication for Development volunteers.
 
Sajedul Hasan, Director of BRAC Humanitarian Programme, said that according to BRAC’s policies, cyclone simulation exercises have been undertaken in the vulnerable coastal communities for the last fortnight. Our disaster management team has been working as per our standard operating procedures for preparing with disasters. Specialised medical teams are ready to go, and our goal will be to deliver dry food, safe water and emergency medical care within 72 hours to those who have taken shelter or been injured.

View the situation report to learn more about BRAC's preparedness for the response.

 
Update (10 November 2019): Severe Cyclone Bulbul has weakened into a deep depression and the signal was lowered down from ten (10) to three (3) this morning (BMD). It hit Bangladesh last night making landfall in Sundarban of Khulna division around 12:00AM. At this time, wind speed was 74 kmph and the tide was low. The depression is forecasted to move in the north-west direction as it further weakens. A total of four (4) deaths have been reported.

BRAC staff standing by at the high risk districts have reported many uprooted trees and some damaged houses causing injury to people; especially at Satkhira, Barguna, Khulna and Bhola districts. At all districts, poultry farms, agricultural land, fish and shrimp farm enclosures were submerged by saline water. Apart from this, a BRAC office building at Shoronkhola, Bagerhat was partially damaged due to a fallen tree. View the latest situation report to learn more.

 

As flood water recedes from most parts of Bangladesh and tough challenges such as scarcity of drinking water and sanitation, and risks of spreading of water-bourne and other diseases emerge, BRAC allocates BDT 3.5 crore to fund post-flood relief and rehabilitation efforts. This is an addition to the BDT 50 lac that BRAC had already allocated for emergency flood response in July.

The fresh allocation comprises a grant of USD 300,000 (roughly equal to BDT 2.5 crore) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that BRAC received recently to provide emergency humanitarian aid to people affected by flood in Bangladesh. The remaining BDT 1 crore is pulled from BRAC’s internal sources.

This fund is being spent to provide for multi-purpose cash transfers of BDT 4,500 per household and distributing hygiene kits to help more than 6,000 flood-affected households in four of the worst affected upazilas: Dewanganj in Jamalpur district, Chowhali in Sirajganj district, Sadar upazila in Gaibandha district, and Chilmari of Kurigram district.

With the cash, the recipients will be able to meet immediate needs such as purchasing food, safe drinking water, educational materials, livestock fodder and reducing health risks such as diarrhoeal, skin and eye diseases, and repairing damaged houses. BRAC is spending one part of the allocation to repair school buildings, donate boats to school children, and deploy teams of health workers in some of the remote areas.

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation extends its deep sympathy to the victims of the devastating floods in Bangladesh,” said Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer and President, Global Policy and Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are providing this emergency grant to bolster recovery efforts, such as helping to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases and other severe health risks associated with flooding.”

BRAC launched a coordinated relief effort in mid-July, less than a week after flood water started inundating the low-lying districts in the north of the country. More than a thousand relief workers, including those from BRAC’s Upazila Disaster Management Teams (UDMTs), were rapidly deployed, with initial efforts reaching over 14,000 households in 36 of the most impacted upazilas in 13 districts until 8 August, 2019 with food and cash packages, safe drinking water, as well as the installation of toilets, tube wells, and bathing cubicles.

“Post-flood rehabilitation is no less challenging than during-flood operations, considering shortage of work, drinking water and disease outbreaks. Another big challenge is to cover those who were left out in the first phase. As this year’s flood is already labelled as one of the worst in recent years, everyone with the means must come forward to join the relief efforts,” said Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh.

The new allocation will help expand response to cover those households that are led by women and have elderly, pregnant, or disabled family members, or who have lost all assets. Priority is being given to the upazilas that have experienced extremely severe flooding, feature a high proportion of affected households, or have not received adequate levels of aid already. The BRAC Humanitarian Programme (BHP) has been closely monitoring the situation and coordinating all the efforts with the local government and administrative offices, and other relevant stakeholders.

The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has contributed in disaster response in Bangladesh through BRAC several times in the last 12 years starting with Cyclone Sidr operations in 2007.

To learn more about BRAC's flood response visit: http://response.brac.net/flood-2019/

 

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC, is retiring from his role as the Chairperson of the Governing Body of BRAC Bangladesh and BRAC International. He is transitioning to the role of Chair Emeritus, effective August 2019.

This transition is part of Sir Fazle’s long standing practice of building strong succession at BRAC. Sir Fazle founded BRAC in 1972, at the age of 36, and served as its Executive Director until 2001. At the age of 65, he retired from the Executive Director position of BRAC and was elected as the Chairperson of the BRAC Bangladesh Governing Body. Later he was also elected as the Chairperson of the BRAC International Board. He is stepping down from his governance responsibilities and in the coming months, as Chair Emeritus, he will focus on guiding BRAC’s global strategy and governance structure.

“For the past few years, I have put a lot of thought and preparation into planning my succession at BRAC. Now, at the age of 83, I feel it is the right time for me to step down from my role as Chairperson and focus my time on guiding the future strategy of BRAC,” Sir Fazle said.

“BRAC has never been about me or any one person. I may have been the founder, however, our strong foundation and reputation are built on the commitment, hard work and dedication of our staff. We are grateful and fortunate to partner with Governments, mission-aligned donors, partners and peer organisations along the way,” he added.

BRAC recently appointed Asif Saleh as the new Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh. Dr. Muhammad Musa joined as the Executive Director of BRAC International in May 2019. Asif Saleh and Dr. Musa will be in charge of all executive management and operational functions for BRAC and BRAC International respectively, taking BRAC’s vision of building an equal world ahead.

Two very eminent personalities are joining BRAC and BRAC International Boards as Chairpersons. BRAC Governing Body elected Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, renowned academic, economist and policy maker as the new Chairperson. Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman is a leading policy voice of Bangladesh with over three decades of experience. He is the founder and Executive Chairman of the think-tank Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC). He was Lead Consultant for preparation of the first poverty reduction strategy paper (Unlocking the Potential, 2005) of the Government of Bangladesh and was a member of the SAARC Poverty Commission. Dr. Rahman has also sat on the Board of the Bangladesh Central Bank.

Ms. Ameerah Haq has been elected as the Chairperson of the BRAC International Board. Ms. Ameerah Haq is the former UN Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support (2012-2014). She held the position of Under-Secretary-General from 2009 till her retirement and was the senior-most Bangladeshi national in the United Nations during those years.

Dr. Rahman and Ms. Haq, along with the other Board members, will oversee the governance aspects and provide independent oversight to the Executive Directors of BRAC Bangladesh and BRAC International respectively.

Sir Fazle started BRAC in 1972 with a small relief and rehabilitation project in North-Eastern Bangladesh. Over the past 47 years, BRAC has grown to be one of the most effective non-government organisations in the world, touching the lives of over 110 million people worldwide. BRAC is a unique ecosystem comprising of development programmes, microfinance, social enterprises, a university, bank and a range of mission aligned investments. BRAC now operates in 11 countries in Asia and Africa and have affiliate offices in the USA and UK.

Under the new leadership and guidance of Sir Fazle as Chair Emeritus, BRAC will continue to serve people in need with the right resources and opportunities and transform them into agents of change in their own lives.

Dr. Muhammad Musa has been appointed as the new Executive Director of BRAC International, BRAC’s international programme outside Bangladesh, operating in 11 countries across Asia and Africa. His appointment is effective from May 1, 2019.

Dr. Musa is a veteran development practitioner with extensive experience of working in social development and humanitarian organisations in international, cross-cultural settings. Before joining BRAC Bangladesh as its Executive Director in 2015, he worked for 32 years with CARE International as one of its senior international management professionals. Twenty of those years were spent working in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Bangladesh and the Asia region. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of CARE India and represented the country at the global board of CARE International.

During his tenure as Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh, Dr. Musa has succeeded in maintaining BRAC's focus on the many dimensions of poverty in Bangladesh. Under his leadership, BRAC launched the Humanitarian Crisis Management Programme for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar in south-eastern Bangladesh in August 2017.

Dr. Musa obtained his Master's degree in public health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins University, USA, and post graduate diploma from The Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Development. He did his MBBS from Chittagong Medical College, Bangladesh.

He succeeds Faruque Ahmed, who is retiring after a dedicated and distinguished 17-year career at BRAC and BRAC International.

The recruitment of a new Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh is in progress. Until the new Executive Director is appointed, Asif Saleh, currently Senior Director, Strategy, Communication and Empowerment, BRAC and BRAC International, will assume the role of Acting Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh with effect from May 1, 2019. He will continue to discharge his current responsibilities alongside this additional leadership role.

“I am honoured and excited to continue moving forward BRAC’s vision of building an equitable world jointly with our talented staff spread across the world and global network of partners and supporters,” said Dr. Musa.

“I am eager to dive in and build on the excellent foundation laid by the inspired work of the BRAC International team to further BRAC’s global reach and potential for even greater impact,” he added.

The seventh annual Global Education & Skills Forum 2019 opened on 23rd March at The Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, UAE, with an emotional plea by Rohingyas to support the education of refugee children, whose only hope for the future rests on it. Addressing the audience, Ahmed Ullah, organiser of peace rallies and co-writer of ‘I Am Rohingya’ and Zainab Arkani, who runs the world’s first Rohingya school in Canada, said ensuring the education of the children is the only way forward to rebuild their lives.

Held under the theme of ‘Who is changing the world?’, the Global Education & Skills Forum (GESF 2019), a Varkey Foundation initiative, brings together more than 2,200 delegates from 144 countries, who will discuss pressing challenges in the education sector – as well as in society – through 124 sessions. Seven former heads of state and 40 ministers of education attended the Forum, joined by a new generation of change-makers, including grassroots activists, philanthropists, tech developers and many more, who are shaping the world with new voices, new ideas and new technologies.

Asif Saleh, Senior Director – Strategy, Communications and Empowerment, BRAC, the NGO, said Bangladesh opened doors to over 700,000 Rohingya refugees and provided emergency support. “The greatest challenge now is to ensure children have access to education and skills training or risk losing out a large generation of people.” He said that donor fatigue is setting in with only about 40 per cent of the current year’s need of over US$600 million met. “We need to have a mid-term solution – and that is skills building and creating livelihood opportunities to create self-sufficiency.”


Source: https://www.newasianpost.com/global-education-skills-forum-2019-opens-with-plea-by-rohingyas/

On Tuesday 12th February 2019, a service delivery partnership agreement was signed between BRAC Probashbandhu Limited and Flight Expert. It represents an unprecedented Air Ticketing and related service delivery agreement for the migrant workers of Bangladesh and customers of BRAC Probashbandhu Limited.

BRAC Probashbandhu Limited, a social enterprise of BRAC established to ensure safe, skilled, low cost and middleman free migration from Bangladesh. It has been striving to ensure responsible recruitment of Bangladeshi workers. It started a pilot with 11 offices in 3 districts and have served 7,000 migrant customers, providing low cost migration services ranging from language training (including mobile app) to technical skills training in collaboration with 30 training centers of BRAC institute of Skills development (BiSD) and other social enterprises of BRAC.

Flight expert, the first ever online travel agency (OTA) of Bangladesh provides ticketing and travel solutions to thousands of customers since its inception in 2016 aiming to give people the ease of booking local & international flights or reserve hotels from online, all at once. Flight Expert have listings of more than 250,000 hotels and over 650 airlines. By ensuring the quality services, continuous innovation & progression, flight expert successfully reached out to people over internet & smartphones. Now it is regarded as one of the best OTAs in Bangladesh.

'This partnership will involve Flight Expert’s consortium of Airlines and Hotel chains to ensure online ticketing and travel support to BRAC customers at their doorsteps. It is opening a new horizon to connect rural to urban digitally. This partnership is bringing the dream to reality of present government. At successful implementation of this agreement may result into farther extension and broadening to all other enterprises and entities of BRAC. Both the organizations will play a continued role in service to reach out all over the country.

Mr. Asif Saleh Senior Director, BRAC and BRAC International & managing director BPL signed and quoted, “We are planning and working to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration from Bangladesh at affordable cost.” This stride of BRAC proves to provide more supports to its target groups digitally at possible all corners of Bangladesh and gradually in other countries of BRAC services.

Mr M.A. Rashid Shah Shamrat, president of Flight Expert signed and quoted, “We are always positive towards new challenges and happy to solve the problems. Hope this partnership will come as a good help to the people throughout Bangladesh and abroad”.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by officials of BRAC and Flight Expert.

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আন্তর্জাতিক অভিবাসন সংস্থার সর্বশেষ পরিসংখ্যান অনুযায়ী ২৫৭ মিলিয়ন জনগোষ্ঠী (বিশ্ব জনসংখ্যার ৩.৪%) কাজের জন্য বা  অন্য কোনো প্রয়োজনে নিজ দেশে বাস না করে অন্য দেশে বাস করছেন এবং উভয় দেশেরই আর্থ-সামাজিক এবং সাংস্কৃতিক উন্নয়নে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ অবদান রেখে চলেছেন। বিশ্বব্যাংকের হিসাব অনুযায়ী ২০১৭ সালে ৬১৩ বিলিয়ন ইউএস ডলার প্রবাসী আয় হিসেবে বিশ্বের বিভিন্ন দেশের জাতীয় আয়ে যুক্ত হয়েছে। বিশ্বের যে কোনো দেশের মতোই বাংলাদেশের উন্নয়ন এবং সমৃদ্ধির ক্ষেত্রে অভিবাসন খাতটি  অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ। ২০১৮ সালে বাংলাদেশ শুধু এই খাত থেকে প্রায় ১৫ বিলিয়ন ইউএস ডলার আয় করেছে।  

২০১৮ সালে বাংলাদেশে থেকে মোট ৭ লাখ ৩৪ হাজার কর্মী বিদেশ গিয়েছেন। এদের মধ্যে নারী কর্মীর সংখ্যা ১ লাখ ১ হাজার ৬০৯ জন। বাংলাদেশকে মধ্যম আয়ের দেশে পরিণত করার পেছনে অভিবাসন খাত অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ভূমিকা পালন করেছে। কিন্তু প্রয়োজনীয় তথ্যের অভাবে অভিবাসনপ্রত্যাশীরা প্রতিনিয়ত প্রতারণার সম্মুখীন হচ্ছেন। ব্র্যাক বিশ্বের সর্ববৃহৎ বেসরকারি উন্নয়ন সংস্থা। ২০০৬ সাল থেকে বাংলাদেশের অভিবাসনপ্রবণ জেলাসমূহে নিরাপদ অভিবাসন নিশ্চিত, মানবপাচার প্রতিরোধ ও সচেতনতা সৃষ্টি এবং বিদেশফেরত অভিবাসীদের পুনরেকত্রীকরণের লক্ষ্যে ব্র্যাকের মাইগ্রেশন প্রোগ্রাম কাজ করে যাচ্ছে। প্রতিবছর প্রবাস থেকে অনেক মানুষ দেশে ফেরত আসে। কিন্তু তাদের বিষয়টি একেবারে উপেক্ষিত থেকে যায়। বিষয়টির গুরুত্ব বিবেচনা করে ইউরোপীয় ইউনিয়নের অর্থায়নে ও আন্তর্জাতিক অভিবাসন সংস্থার (আইওএম) সহযোগিতায় ব্র্যাক মাইগ্রেশন প্রোগ্রাম সারাদেশে বিদেশফেরতদের সহযোগিতা দিয়ে যাচ্ছে।

অভিবাসী কর্মী ও তাদের পরিবারের অধিকার রক্ষায় গণমাধ্যমের ভূমিকা অনস্বীকার্য ও প্রশংসনীয়। অভিবাসনবিষয়ক সাংবাদিকতাকে আনুষ্ঠানিকভাবে স্বীকৃতি দিতে ব্র্যাক ২০১৫ সাল থেকে প্রথমবারের মতো ‘অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ দেওয়া শুরু করে। এরই ধারাবাহিকতায় বস্তুনিষ্ঠ অভিবাসন সাংবাদিকতাকে অনুপ্রাণিত করতে ‘অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ ২০১৮ ঘোষণা করা হবে। এটি হবে চতুর্থ অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড।

যেসব বিভাগে/ক্যাটাগরি ‘অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’-২০১৮ প্রদান করা হবে
(ক)    সংবাদপত্র (জাতীয়): অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো জাতীয়  সংবাদপত্রে প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদন।
(খ)    সংবাদপত্র (আঞ্চলিক): অভিবাসন বিষয়ে বাংলাদেশের যে কোনো আঞ্চলিকসংবাদপত্রে প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদন।
(গ)    টেলিভিশন: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো বেতারে সম্প্রচারিত অনুষ্ঠান/প্রতিবেদন।
(ঘ)    রেডিও: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো বেতারে সম্প্রচারিত অনুষ্ঠান/প্রতিবেদন।
(ঙ)    অনলাইন: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো অনলাইন পত্রিকায় প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদন।
(চ)    আলোকচিত্র: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো গণমাধ্যমে প্রকাশিত আলোকচিত্র।
(ছ)    ব্লগ: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশ ও বিদেশে যে কোনো ব্লগে প্রকাশিত ব্লগ।

প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠান/আলোকচিত্রসমূহের প্রকাশ/প্রচারের সময়সীমা
সংবাদপত্র, বেতার, টেলিভিশন, অনলাইন সংবাদমাধ্যম অথবা ব্লগে দেশে অথবা প্রবাসে কর্মরত যেকোনো বাংলাদেশি সাংবাদিক, ব্লগার অথবা গণমাধ্যম ব্যক্তিত্ব আবেদন করতে পারবেন। অভিবাসনবিষয়ক প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠান/আলোকচিত্রসমূহ অবশ্যই ১লা জানুয়ারি, ২০১৮  থেকে ৩১ শে ডিসেম্বর, ২০১৮ র মধ্যে প্রকাশিত/প্রচারিত হতে হবে।

যোগ্যতা ও সতর্কতা
অ্যাওয়ার্ডের জন্য জমা দেওয়া প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠান/আলোকচিত্রসমূহের স্বত্বাধিকারনিশ্চিত করতে হবে। সংবাদপত্রে প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদন/আলোকচিত্রসমূহের অনলাইন লিংক এবং টেলিভিশনে প্রচারিত প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠানের ইউটিউব লিংক প্রতিবেদনের সঙ্গে জমা দিতে হবে। যদি অনলাইন লিংক বা ইউটিউব লিংক না থাকে সেক্ষেত্রে সংশ্লিষ্ট গণমাধ্যমের সম্পাদক/বার্তা সম্পাদক কর্তৃক নির্ধারিত সময়ের মধ্যে (১লা জানুয়ারি, ২০১৮- ৩১ শে ডিসেম্বর, ২০১৮) সংবাদ/অনুষ্ঠানটি প্রচারিত হয়েছে মর্মে (প্রকাশ/প্রচারের তারিখ উল্লেখসহ) সত্যায়নপত্র সংযুক্ত করতে হবে।

  • অসম্পূর্ণ/ভুল তথ্যসংবলিত আবেদন বাতিল বলে গণ্য হবে।


আবেদন করার নিয়ম
১.    শুধুমাত্র বাংলাদেশি সাংবাদিক, গণমাধ্যমে ব্যক্তিত্ব এবং ব্লগাররা এই অ্যাওয়ার্ডের জন্য আবেদন করতে পারবেন।
২.    আবেদনকারীকে অবশ্যই তাঁর জীবনবৃত্তান্ত যথাযথ ফরমেটের মাধ্যমে (ফরমেটটি সর্বশেষ পাতায় সংযুক্ত) পাঠাতে হবে। প্রয়োজনীয় নথি হিসেবে প্রতিবেদন, আলোকচিত্র যে মাধ্যমে প্রকাশিত হয়েছে তার বিবরণ জমা দিতে হবে।
৩.    আবেদনকারী তাঁর কর্মজীবন সম্পর্কে অর্ধেক পাতার মধ্যে সংক্ষিপ্ত বিবরণ (বাংলা ও ইংরেজি ভাষায়) সংযুক্ত করে পাঠাবেন। সংযুক্ত ফরমেটটি পূরণ করে আবেদনপত্রের সঙ্গে পাঠাতে হবে।

মূল্যায়ন মানদন্ড
অভিবাসন খাত, অভিবাসী ও শরণার্থী কিংবা তাদের পরিবারের অধিকার রক্ষায় গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ভূমিকা রাখে এমন প্রতিবেদন (প্রকাশিত বা সম্প্রচারিত)।

‘অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’২০১৮-তে যেসব বিভাগ/ক্যাটাগরি বিবেচনায় আনা হবে
১.    প্রিন্ট মিডিয়ার প্রতিবেদনের ক্ষেত্রে (জাতীয় ও স্থানীয় উভয় ক্ষেত্রে) সংবাদপত্রে প্রকাশিত মূল কপিটি প্রেরণ করতে হবে। সংবাদপত্রের এবং প্রতিবেদকের নাম ও তারিখ অবশ্যই দৃশ্যমান হতে হবে। সংযুক্তি হিসেবে হার্ডকপি ছাড়াও সিডির মাধ্যমে সফটকপি জমা দিতে হবে।
২.    বেতারের ক্ষেত্রে এএম এবং এফএম বেতারতরঙ্গে সম্প্রচারিত অনুষ্ঠান অথবা প্রতিবেদন হতে হবে। এর সঙ্গে সংক্ষিপ্ত/সম্পূর্ণ স্ক্রিপ্ট যদি বর্তমান থাকে তবে জমা দিতে হবে। নিয়মিত বেতারে সম্প্রচারিত অনুষ্ঠানের অন্তত পরপর তিনটি অনুষ্ঠানের কপি জমা দিতে হবে।
৩.    টেলিভিশনের ক্ষেত্রে অবশ্যই সংক্ষিপ্ত এবং সম্পূর্ণ স্ক্রিপ্ট (যদি বর্তমান থাকে) সহকারে ডিভিডি-র মাধ্যমে জমা দিতে হবে।
৪.    অনলাইন মিডিয়ার ক্ষেত্রে শুধুমাত্র প্রতিবেদনটি ওয়েবসাইটে প্রকাশিত হতে হবে এবং অনলাইনে যেভাবে প্রচারিত হয়েছে সেভাবে সংশ্লিষ্ট প্রতিবেদনটি স্ক্রিনশটসহ জমা দিতে হবে। এ ছাড়াও ইউআরএলসহ সফটকপি সিডিতে জমা দিতে হবে।
৫.    আলোকচিত্রের ক্ষেত্রে আলোকচিত্রটি যেকোন মাধ্যমে প্রকাশিত হয়েছে তার কপি ও লিংক সংযুক্ত করতে হবে। গণমাধ্যমে যেভাবে প্রকাশিত হয়েছে ঠিক সেভাবেই সংশ্লিষ্ট আলোকচিত্রসহ প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদনটি জমা দিতে হবে। হার্ডকপি ছাড়াও সফট কপি সংযুক্তি হিসেবে সিডি-র মাধ্যমে জমা দিতে হবে।
৬.   ব্লগে প্রকাশিত অভিবাসন বিষয়ক লেখার একটি হার্ডকপিসহ সফট কপির লিঙ্ক সিডির মাধ্যমে জমা দিতে হবে।
৭.   একজন আবেদনকারী একাধিক বিভাগে আবেদন করতে পারবেন তবে একটি বিভাগের জন্য একটি প্রতিবেদনের বেশি জমা দেয়া যাবে না।

আবেদনপত্র জমাদানের ঠিকানা:
‘অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ ২০১৮-র কমিটির নিকট আবেদন সরাসরি/ডাকযোগে জমা দিতে হবে।

যোগাযোগের ঠিকানা:
‘অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ ২০১৮
মাইগ্রেশন প্রোগ্রাম, ব্র্যাক
ব্র্যাক সেন্টার, ৭৫ মহাখালী (১২ তলা)
ঢাকা-১২১২
বাংলাদেশ

আবেদনের শেষ তারিখ
‘অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ কমিটির নিকট ২০১৯ সালের ২০শে ফেব্রুয়ারি বিকেল ৫টার মধ্যে আবেদন উক্ত ঠিকানায়  পৌঁছাতে হবে। নির্ধারিত সময়সীমার পরে কোনো আবেদন গ্রহণযোগ্য হবে না।

বিচারকমণ্ডলী
 যেসব সংস্থার সম্মানিত বিচারকমন্ডলীর দ্বারা আবেদনকৃত প্রবন্ধ/অনুসন্ধানী প্রতিবেদন মূল্যায়ন করা হবে:
১.    প্রবাসী কল্যাণ ও বৈদেশিক কর্মসংস্থান মন্ত্রণালয়ের একজন প্রতিনিধি।
২.    গণযোগাযোগ ও সাংবাদিকতা বিভাগের একজন শিক্ষক।
৩.    নাগরিক সমাজের একজন প্রতিনিধি।
৪.    গণমাধ্যম ব্যক্তিত্ব।

পুরস্কার বিতরণী অনুষ্ঠান
‘অভিবাসন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’-২০১৮ অনুষ্ঠিত হওয়ার তারিখ সংশ্লিষ্টদের যথাসময়ে জানানো হবে।

 
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For observing the World Day of Remembrance this year BRAC has engaged school students and arranged a rally with banners and posters showcasing the theme of #Roadshavestories and #WDoR2018. Approximately, 50 students of Shaheen school, Gazipur attended the rally holding placards while attracting the attention of local community, law enforcers and other road users. The principal and other school teachers holding banner initiated the rally. Through this rally the students displayed road safety messages to the people while remembering those who lost their lives in road crashes. #Roadshavestories #WDoR2018

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Noor Mohammad a former truck driver; now a community traffic police and road safety advocate

Noor Mohammad used to be a truck driver until he crashed into a van and ended up with multiple fractures on his feet. Being a driver he could not afford the costly treatment. Ultimately, his family became poorer and children had to stop schooling. Due to overconfidence, unsafe driving, and the crash his family suffered and it took him two years to recover mentally and physically. Currently he uses a crutch to walk. Noor Mohammad now works as a community traffic police and road safety advocate motivating other drivers to drive safely and defensively.

 


Students demanding safer roads

Rally participated by teachers and students

Students showcasing the posters for WDoR-2018

Students showcasing the posters for WDoR-2018

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