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

 

 

 

Sunday, 16 October 2016 00:00

The Jibika Project

Jibika-Project

 

In 2014, Chevron announced a USD 10 million commitment to create the Bangladesh Partnership Initiative (BPI), a five-year programme to support economic development for communities in the greater Sylhet region. Working with local non-governmental organisations and international development organisations, BPI aims to design effective and need-based social investment projects through three work streams: enterprise development, workforce development, and enabling growth and opportunity.

The Jibika project, the first of BPI’s enterprise development workstreams is being implemented by BRAC. The project‘s goals are to strengthen governance of community-based self-help groups and subsequently improve livelihoods of the marginalised farming households by promoting entrepreneurship and providing need-based training and guidance. To achieve these results, BRAC is working with over 100 village development organisations (VDOs) located around the regions of Chevron operations.

About the partnership
BRAC and Chevron believe in taking an integrated approach to supporting economic development in areas where they operate. Through Jibika, at least 20,000 people in the community will be given the resources they need to create better lives for themselves. From this group, 1,500 or more clients will establish or expand enterprises.

In addition to providing training in enterprise development and business management, as well as seed funding to VDO members, the Jibika project will establish 20 producer groups around four income-generating trades- goat, duck, and cattle rearing, and vegetable cultivation, of which Jibika will do extensive value chain development work. As part of its social empowerment interventions, the project will provide training on key social issues including dowry and early marriage prevention. Prior to all enterprise development and social programmes, Jibika will focus on improving the governance and developing the capacity of the targeted VDO and their members. The project will leverage BRAC’s integrated development programme by incorporating gender empowerment, health, microfinance, and skills training in agriculture, livestock rearing, and business development.

Objectives

  • Introduce social programming into VDOs and improve access to government services.
  • Create sustainable income and employment opportunities through value chain development in targeted sub-sectors and other need-based income-generating activities, and establish market linkages.
  • Improve the governance and institutionalisation of village development organisations.

 

Coverage

jibika-coverage

 

District

Sub-districts

# Unions

#Villages

#HHs

Total Population

Sylhet

Sylhet Sadar

3

30

1,220

6,648

Maulvibazar

Kamalganj

1

11

549

2,990

 

Sreemangal

2

11

765

4,167

Habiganj

Nabiganj

3

28

1,137

6,195

Total

 

9

80

3,671

20,000

 imageedit 1 3993737183

As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October, BRAC, Australia, and the UK reiterated their commitment to investing in girls’ empowerment and working with the Government of Bangladesh to end child marriage. This joint statement is released as part of the activities undertaken by the partners with the Government of Bangladesh.

In issuing the statement, BRAC’s Executive Director, Dr Muhammad Musa said, “Every day, BRAC helps girls in Bangladesh reach their full potential through a comprehensive approach which includes creating economic, health-related, educational and leadership opportunities. After over 40 years of experience in advancing women and girls’ rights, we are determined now more than ever, to ensure that no girl is born into a community where she isn’t given the chance to learn and become a leader.”

Jane Edmondson, Country Representative for the UK’s Department for International Development Bangladesh said:  “Children need learning and play in a safe environment to reach their potential. Too many girls and boys still miss out. And for some girls, harmful practices in society such as child and forced marriage and domestic violence make it doubly hard.  Girls are less likely to finish school and less likely to find work. Changing all this is essential to reducing poverty in Bangladesh and to achieving sustainable economic growth”.

“Helping young women and girls to reach their full potential is critical to Bangladesh achieving its economic and social goals”, added Australian High Commissioner, Julia Niblett. “This is why Australia, together with the UK, is proud to support BRAC’s efforts to empower girls, supporting them to achieve their full potential”.

With the support of Australia and the UK, BRAC’s social and economic development programmes empower adolescent girls through the largest network of adolescent development clubs in Bangladesh. Girls who have been members of these clubs are more likely to be involved in income-generating activities and avoid early marriages, than girls who did not join the clubs.

In Bangladesh, considerable progress has been made in improving the lives of adolescent girls over the last 15 years.  More girls than ever are enrolling in schools and access to health care has improved. But while 69 per cent of girls enrol in secondary education, almost one in two drop-out before completing their schooling. This is linked to the continued prevalence of child marriage. Though the proportion of girls marrying in their teens has been declining for 10 years or so, the country still suffers from one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world with over half of women currently between the age of 20-24 having married before their 18th birthday; and almost one in five having married before their 15th birthday.

Coordinated and focussed efforts are being taken from both the government and civil society groups to fight what has been termed as one of the most critical barriers to large scale development efforts. The government’s present commitment to reform the 1929 Child Marriage Restraint Act and set the minimum age of marriage at 18 is an important development in line with other international and national laws and policies protecting the rights of children. Similarly, the initiation of drafting a National Plan of Action to End Child Marriage demonstrates that along with its neighbours with similar socio-cultural contexts, such as Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh too is moving ahead on its child rights and gender equality agenda.

Australia, BRAC and the UK are focussed on continuing their work together to address these issues through effective programmes and also developing new programmes that address emerging social problems related to child marriage.

Adolescent girls are one of the most powerful agents for change in the world. Educated adolescent girls are able to fight child marriage, protect themselves from teenage pregnancy and build healthier futures for themselves.

 

 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.

 

intl-charity-sml

International-Charity-web

BRAC was ranked the top International Charity of the Year for 2016 by the Charity Times Awards on 28 September. The award is organised by Charity Times Magazine, a trade publication for the UK non-profit sector. Lewis Temple, CEO of BRAC UK, received the award on behalf of BRAC.

The award highlighted BRAC’s history of designing and implementing solutions at scale, particularly the ultra poor graduation approach, which helps the poorest graduate out of poverty.
 
The award now in its 17th year was held in London. The event works to shine a celebratory light on the sector, raise standards and offer ongoing professional development to the thousands engaged in charitable work in the UK. BRAC was pleased to share the short list for International Charity with six outstanding organisations, including Hospices of Hope, Send a Cow, Shivia, United World Schools, Vision for a Nation Foundation and Y Care International.

Charity Times is a leading business and management magazine for UK non-profit professionals. It offers a wide range of in-depth, independently-written features and news analysis. Each year, the Charity Times Awards work to honour the outstanding professionals in the varied fields of charity management; recognise, celebrate, and promote best practice; support continuing professional development; contribute to raising the standards of charity management; promote and raise the profile of the charity sector; and provide recognition for those who are providing effective support to the sector.

To know more about the awards, please visit: http://www.charitytimes.com/awards/index.php

 

 

mainuddin-fpugmainuddin-web

It is with great regret that we inform that Mr Md Mainuddin Ahmed (44), Senior Area Manager, Small Enterprise Programme (SEP), BRAC Uganda was killed on 27 September, 2016 by unidentified miscreants. The Uganda police post-mortem report confirmed that he died due to strangulation.

Mr Mainuddin and our service staff Mr James Aworu were found unresponsive in the area office in Lira town on 27th morning. They were immediately taken to the Lira Regional Referral Hospital where the doctors declared Mr Mainuddin deceased.

Mr Aworu was admitted in critical condition and is now out of danger.

Mr Mainuddin’s laptop and phone were missing from the office. Uganda Police has commenced the investigation, but no arrests have so far been made.

BRAC Uganda office is coordinating with the Uganda government and Bangladesh consular office in carrying out all necessary official procedures involving the incident.

BRAC has informed Mr Mainuddin’s family in Bangladesh, confirming that the BRAC family stands beside them in this hour of terrible loss. He served the BRAC Microfinance programme for 18 years. Among his dearly loved ones, Mainuddin leaves behind his wife and two sons. His permanent residence is Kollyanpur, Dhaka.

BRAC started its operations in Uganda in 2006. It has around 2400 staff, of which 98 per cent is local staff members, making it the largest NGO in Uganda. To date BRAC has served 4.4 million people, which is almost 12 per cent of Uganda’s population. To know more about BRAC Uganda please click here.

 

 

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

LANSA-BRAC-Seminar-6-Sept-sml

Research findings from LANSA-BRAC examines the relation of agriculture and nutrition

LANSA-BRAC-Seminar-6-Sept

Bangladesh achieved remarkable success in alleviating poverty but lags in the field of nutrition. Presently, 7.3 million children under the age of five are stunted while 2.9 million children are undernourished. To overcome this, experts are stressing on the diversity of agricultural production and agri-food value chain beyond farm to ensure food security, and fight against under nutrition.

On Tuesday, speakers shared such findings at a seminar titled ‘Nexus between Agricultural and Nutrition: Bangladesh Case’ at the BRAC Centre in Dhaka. The seminar was organised jointly by BRAC’s research and evaluation division, and international research partnership Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) which is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), UK.

Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, was present as chief guest at the seminar. Welcome speech was given by Prof. Abdul Bayes, director of research and evaluation division, BRAC. Dr Md. Sirajul Islam, programme head of BRAC's agriculture and food security programme presented findings from a research on the potential of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in curbing under nutrition in Bangladesh. The session was led by the head of BRAC’s impact assessment unit Andrew Jenkins where International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)’s Chief of Party Dr Akhter Ahmed, BRAC’s Research and Evaluation Division’s senior research fellow Barnali Chakraborty, researcher of BRAC-LANSA Dr Uttam Kumar Deb also presented papers. The presentations were followed by open discussion.

Addressing the key points of the research, Dr Md. Sirajul Islam said, “We need to focus on how the process of agri-food value chain and market distribution can be developed. That way, nutrition and food security for poor people can be ensured. This is going to be the next success of farm under food distribution management." He also mentioned that orange-fleshed sweet potato, which contains Beta-Carotene can play a vital role to preventing under nutrition problem.

Dr Akhter Ahmed said that the main objective of IFPRI's Agriculture, Nutrition, and Gender Linkages (ANGel) project in Bangladesh is to increase investment in agricultural activities and enable women to play a crucial role in curbing down under nutrition.

About nutritional wellbeing in Haor areas of the country, Barnali Chakraborty said, “Nutrition problem is extreme in Bangladesh, and 45 per cent children are stunted in the Haor areas. To prevent this situation, BRAC initiated a pilot project in 2013 in the upazila level.”

Dr Uttam Deb's paper indicated that diet diversity has increased in recent times and involvement in diversified agriculture (crop, horticulture, livestock and fish farming) contributes towards better nutrition (measured through BMI) and low income inequality.

Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, said, “Government has taken different initiative to develop and increase nutrition for mass people. Ministry of Agriculture is evaluating various methods for nutrition enhancement through Agriculture, Nutrition, and Gender Linkages (ANGel) project.

 

 

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.'

 

 | 

Emily Coppel Headshot sm

Special to the Philanthropy Journal

By Emily Coppel

A little more than 30 years ago in Bangladesh, Naveen’s* mother was about to give birth to a baby girl. Her family was relatively well off, and she was able to deliver in one of the better hospitals in the country. But complications arose just after Naveen came into the world: her mother began to hemorrhage internally; she was bleeding profusely and her fever wouldn’t drop. The doctors said Naveen’s mother had an infection, and the hospital had just one dose of antibiotics. Thankfully, she could afford the antibiotics. Miraculously, she survived.

High maternal and child mortality rates historically have been seen as a telling indicator of a country’s failing health system. In 1980, the situation was especially stark in Bangladesh: two in every 25 babies would die as an infant; one in every hundred mothers would not survive childbirth. With 84 million people (now nearly 160 million) living in a country the size of Iowa, a public health solution needed to be expansive.

BRAC LogoAlthough it isn’t well known in the US, one of the largest NGOs in the world began in Bangladesh in the 70s. Known as BRAC, the organization now reaches 138 million people, in 11 countries worldwide, with programs that range from healthcare to education, gender justice to microfinance. Recently, BRAC was ranked the number one NGO in the world by NGO Advisor, largely because of its unique self-financing model – 70 percent of the organization’s budget comes from its own social enterprises.

But in the 80s, BRAC was still growing, developing programs to help the country recover from the 1971 war of independence and a series of cyclones, both of which contributed to devastating, widespread poverty. Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, a former Shell Oil executive, founded BRAC because he was motivated by the urgent needs of his fellow Bangladeshis. The country’s pressing health crisis was foremost in Abed’s mind.

Faced with the challenge of extremely high maternal and child mortality rates, another organization might have built a hospital or shipped medical supplies to Bangladesh. Abed and BRAC took a different approach. At the time, diarrheal disease was one of the biggest killers of children. The disease precipitated severe dehydration, leading to a loss of electrolytes that was lethal for children. In rural areas of Bangladesh, few people knew how to treat sick children suffering from the disease.

BRAC researchers developed a simple yet life-saving solution: a combination of salt, sugar and water, which, if given in the correct proportion, would rehydrate children and decrease their likelihood of death to just one percent. A pinch of salt, one fistful of sugar and a liter of water created the perfect elixir. The formula was only one part of the solution; teaching and persuading families to give this liquid to their children was the real hurdle.

BRAC piloted a project that trained volunteers from communities without access to health resources. These volunteers were women, over the age of 25, with a basic level of education. They became community health workers, known in Bangladesh as Shasthya Shebikas.

The Shasthya Shebikas trained new mothers face-to-face on how to make and administer the rehydration solution to their children. They revisited mothers regularly, testing them on how to make the mixture correctly and ensuring they gave it to their children when they fell sick. After significant trial and error, BRAC altered the teaching approach and established incentives for effective training. The program worked. BRAC scaled up to ultimately reach 12 million households in almost every village in Bangladesh.

In 1988, one in five children died from cholera or diarrheal-related disease. By 2007, it was one in 50.

When BRAC pivoted to address maternal health in the 80s, this massive network of Shasthya Shebikas proved instrumental. BRAC trained them in pre- and post-natal care to ensure that pregnant mothers had the tools for a safe and healthy birth. These volunteers visited mothers regularly throughout their pregnancy, monitoring their vital signs and referring them to nearby clinics when necessary.

The organization also sold medicine to Shasthya Shebikas at a low cost, and they in turn sold them to villagers for a low, fixed price. The program became self-financing, and the health workers were even able to make a small profit. Today, BRAC has a network of more than 100,000 health workers in seven countries, reaching millions worldwide.

This approach – finding a simple solution, testing it and scaling it up – is used by BRAC across health, education, financial empowerment, livelihood, and all of its program areas.

For mothers like Naveen’s, faced with complications giving birth, or nursing a sick child, it’s often the low-tech solutions – a trained health worker, access to medication, or a rehydrating liquid – that offer the real miracles. It’s the simple solutions that save the most lives.


*Naveen’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

 

This article was originally posted here: http://pj.news.chass.ncsu.edu/2016/08/01/brac-usa/

 

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