BRAC

BRAC

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

Overview

 

Overview

Bangladesh has made remarkable strides in healthcare in the four decades since independence. Since the 1990's maternal mortality has dropped from 574 to 194 deaths per 100,000 live births, and child mortality from 133 to less than 32 per 1,000 live births. Over four decades, the contraceptive prevalence rate has gone up seven to eightfold. In the 1980's, when immunisation coverage was two per cent, the shared roles and activities of BRAC and the government improved the status to 70 per cent within the last four years. The current status of fully immunised children is at 86 per cent. Despite the achievements, Bangladesh still suffers a high burden of deaths and diseases. Over 70 per cent of people seek care from informal health care providers and 62 per cent of those health providers practicing modern medicine have little or no formal schooling. One thirds of births take place at home, mostly assisted by unsupervised, untrained birth attendants. Recognising these problems, we have created a pool of frontline community health workers, the shasthya shebikas and shasthya kormis, who strive to address the crisis of human resources in the health sector by playing a substantial role in providing accessible and affordable services to the majority of the population.

Initiated in 1991, Essential Health Care (EHC) has revolutionised the primary healthcare approach in Bangladesh reaching millions with low cost basic promotive, preventive and curative services through our cadre of frontline community health workers. The goal of EHC is to improve access to essential health services through delivering community care and organising a bridging network with public healthcare system. Shashtyashebikas and shasthyakormis are mainly part of Essential Health Care (EHC) Programme. In fact, EHC is the basic platform of Health, Nutrition and Population Programme. All health interventions of BRAC are fundamentally based on the platform of EHC programme. To provide these services to the doorstep of millions of people would have required huge investment in the traditional system because of the large number of employees involved in the system. However, EHC developed a very innovative entrepreneurship model where the primary service deliverer (shasthyashebika) provides voluntary service. Although they do not receive any salary or monthly stipend, they are provided with financial incentives on the sale of basic medicines and selected health commodities to their community. This low cost innovative service delivery strategy has attracted various donors and partners in BRAC’s health programme because BRAC can deliver the service very effectively with a much lower cost.  

We have started maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) programmes in 2005 as a pilot project and has been scaled up to 11 city corporations and14 rural districts in partnership with the government, UKAID and Australian High Commission. We have demonstrated that with limited resources, it is possible to change behaviour and practices to lower the incidences of maternal and neonatal deaths within a short period. With the active engagement of community health workers and birth attendants, we ensure high coverage of antenatal and postnatal care while supporting skilled birth attendance. More importantly, an innovative referral system is developed which facilitates transfer of acute emergency cases to hospitals. Within three to four years, we have observed a decline in maternal and neonatal deaths in both urban slums and rural districts.

Bangladesh has made a remarkable progress toward tuberculosis control since the inception of the Directly Observed Treatment Short- course (DOTS) strategy in 1993. In 1994, BRAC became the first NGO in the country to sign a memorandum of understanding with the government and expanded DOTS services across the country through its diversified partners. The national TB control programme in Bangladesh has established effective partnership with the consortium of 43 NGOs led by BRAC to implement the programme throughout the countries. BRAC has been working in 297 sub-districts of 42 districts with the coverage of 93 million population. In BRAC supported areas, all forms of TB case notification rate has increased from 105 to 129 /100,000 population per year. From 2004 to 2013, more than 1.5 million TB patients have been treated; yielding present treatment success rate 93 per cent in BRAC supported areas which has exceeded the national target (85 per cent) and is the second highest treatment success rate in the world Bangladesh has also improved case notification for child TB, smear negative TB, extra-pulmonary TB and drug resistant TB.  The contribution of shasthya shebika in detecting presumptive TB cases, collecting sputum for lab diagnosis and DOTS for TB is tremendous. The Global Fund plays important role to control TB programme in Bangladesh. Growing challenges like TB/HIV co-infection, TB/diabetes are also being prioritised. More initiatives will be taken to address vulnerable communities including people with high risk behaviour and marginalised socially excluded people for TB care services. Urban TB programme is also given special attention for further strengthening of the programme.

The malaria control programme is on track in terms of MDG targets and has shown considerable success among the people at risk from malaria. The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) established an effective partnership with the consortium of 21 NGOs led by BRAC to implement the programme in 70 sub-districts of 13 endemic districts. Through the funding of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Program (HPNSDP) of government of Bangladesh, the malaria control activities were scaled up and the quality of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services have been improved. BRAC is directly implementing the programme in high endemic three Chittagong hill tracts districts and in 2 sub-districts of Moulvibazar. BRAC’s community based models applied in malaria programme using a large workforce of local shasthya shebikas and shasthya kormis in managing malaria patients at doorstep, raising awareness on malaria prevention and health service utilisation. Malaria cases were reduced by 68per cent in 2013 comparing to baseline year 2008 and whereas death was reduced by 90 per cent at the same time. A total of 3,735,905 long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) were distributed and 4,231,689 ordinary bed nets were treated with insecticide in the same period. Recent malaria prevalence survey conducted in 2013, documented the decreasing of point prevalence of malaria from 4 in 2007 to 1.41 in 2013 per 1,000 populations based on RDT in malaria endemic districts. A good utilisation rate (>85 percent) of insecticidal bed net was observed among pregnant women and children under 5 years of age.

Malnutrition among children is one of the major problems of our country. To mitigate this problem, BRAC’s nutrition programme has been working at household and community level for creating awareness on nutrition. BRAC’s shasthya shebika and nutrition promoters visit households in their communities and provide counselling, coaching and demonstration. Moreover, they offer community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) service to mother and child of 6 to 59 months who are affected by moderate accurate malnutrition by providing supplementary food. Nutrition programme creates awareness about adolescent girls’ nutrition and encourages mothers and family members about many issues like intake of healthy and various types of food, early initiation of breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding till 6 months, breast feeding for at least two years and initiation of complementary feeding after six months. Moreover, to prevent child malnutrition and anaemia, micro-nutrient powder sachets are distributed under maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN)home fortification programme. It helps to prevent anaemia of 6 to 59 months old child by providing required iron, vitamin and minerals.

In Bangladesh, around seven hundred thousand people suffer from cataract blindness. Moreover, around one fifty thousand people are becoming blind every year. BRAC started ‘Vision Bangladesh’ project with the aim to remove the backlog of cataract blindness. In this programme, cataracts are identified through local eye camp and patients are sent to various government and private hospitals for operation. Community health workers visit household in their community and aware people about eye problems. And if there is any complex case, they send the patients to nearby hospitals or health centres. Moreover, BRAC’s ‘Reading Glass for Improved Living’ project has been providing reading glasses to the people whose vision has become blurred due to age.

Download BRAC Health, Nutrition and Population programme at a glance as of December 2016

 

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

IDP for Char Development and Settlement

IDP Char Dev Front Image
The char areas, which fall under the Char Development and Settlement Project-IV(CDSP-IV)  are highly vulnerable to sudden and forceful flooding as well as erosion and loss of land; this makes living in the chars both hazardous and insecure. Many char dwellers struggle to produce or buy enough food to eat, thus resulting in malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, which are more common in these areas than the rest of country. BRAC is implementing  CDSP-IV, which is a multi-sectoral project financed by IFAD, Government of Bangladesh and Government of the Netherlands. Launched in January 2012, CDSP-IV targets marginalised people for in four chars, such as Char Ziauddin, Char Nangulia, Noler Char, and Caring Char in Noakhali district.

Specific objectives of IDP CDSP-IV are:
•    Providing essential services to support poverty reduction that cannot be supported by government agencies at this early stage of development in CDSP areas.
•    Providing microfinance services to enable the poor to take advantage of an improved environment and infrastructure.
•    Supporting government agencies implement CDSP IV, including clean water and sanitation. Promoting human rights and legal awareness, especially for women
Components: Water and sanitation; legal and human rights; health and family planning; disaster management and climate change; homestead agriculture and value chain development; group formation, microfinance and capacity building

Geographical coverage
The project covers 80 villages, in four unions. Six branches in Subarnachar and Hatiya sub-districts in Noakhali district provide support to 11,183 households with 61,446 people.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

IDP for Indigenous People

 

 

Bangladesh is a country of different ethnic communities and cultures. Indigenous people with their distinct traditions, livelihood and living have enriched the cultural diversity of the country. But like many other countries in the world, indigenous people in Bangladesh continue to be disproportionately represented in the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society, experiencing a history of discrimination and marginalization. The situation for indigenous people in plain-land districts of north-western Bangladesh are worse; there remains a very high rate of poverty, landlessness and absence of targeted development interventions. Their livelihood options are very limited, and many indigenous families have been removed from their

ancestral homesteads by locally influential land-grabbers. This situation is further aggravated when the issues of human rights and policy negligence become constant realities in their daily life. BRAC’s integrated development programme for indigenous people aims to empower them through improved livelihood opportunities, protecting and promoting indigenous cultural practices, building leadership capacity and advocating for indigenous peoples’ issues among the wider community.

Goal and Objectives:
The goal of the IDP-IP project is to Empower the poorest and most marginalized communities of indigenous peoples living in the plains of Bangladesh gain greater access to and control over resources, decisions and actions. To achieve the goal, following objectives are envisioned:

  • To improve livelihood conditions of indigenous persons through skill development, relevant entrepreneurship, and other supports (improved socioeconomic condition).
  • To promote greater unity, cultural integrity, organizational capacity, voice and dignity among communities of indigenous peoples (improved social position)
  • To create awareness on and advocate for indigenous peoples’ issues among non-indigenous community, service providers and policy actors at different levels (improved governance/create enabling environment)

 Geographical Coverage:

IDPRegions

http://brac.net/sites/default/files/idp/map-ind.jpgBangladesh is a country of different ethnic communities and cultures. Indigenous people with their distinct traditions, livelihood and living have enriched the cultural diversity of the country. But like many other countries in the world, indigenous people in Bangladesh continue to be disproportionately represented in the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society, experiencing a history of discrimination and marginalization. The situation for indigenous people in plain-land districts of north-western Bangladesh are worse; there remains a very high rate of poverty, landlessness and absence of targeted development interventions. Their livelihood options are very limited, and many indigenous families have been removed from their ancestral homesteads by locally influential land-grabbers. This situation is further aggravated when the issues of human rights and policy negligence become constant realities in their daily life. BRAC’s integrated development programme for indigenous people aims to empower them through improved livelihood opportunities, protecting and promoting indigenous cultural practices, building leadership capacity and advocating for indigenous peoples’ issues among the wider community.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

IDP for Haor Dwellers

 

The haor basin in north-eastern Bangladesh is one of the poorest regions of the country. It suffers from extensive annual flooding and devastating flash-floods, which limit livelihood opportunities for the poor, including agricultural production and enterprise growth. Haor dwellers are extremely vulnerable and their suffering is heightened by a lack of proper communication and transportation systems, hindering economic growth, access to markets (ie off-farm employment opportunities), and existing social services (ie health and education). The goal of the project is to “improve the socioeconomic condition and livelihoods of 1 million poor and ultra-poor in the Haor Basin by 2020”

haor-mapSpecific IDP Haor objectives:

  • To improve the condition, participation and influence of women in household and community decision making
  • To ensure quality primary education for all children in the IDP operational area.
  • To enhance access to quality essential health, reproductive care and improved water and sanitation practices for haor dwellers
  • To promote diversified and sustainable livelihoods—agricultural farming and micro-enterprises for the poor and ultra-poor
  • Advocacy for strengthening the haor development efforts by all relevant actors including GOB, through knowledge management and dissemination.

Components

1.   Community mobilization and empowerment

-    Community empowerment
-    Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment
-    Human rights and legal services

2.   Access to quality education for all

-    Pre-primary School
-    Primary School
-    Adolescent development
-    Post Primary and Basic Continuing Education (PACE)

3.   Access to Healthcare and population services, improved water and sanitation facilities

-    Essential healthcare services
-    Maternal health Establish and continuing BRAC Health Centre
-    TB control
-    Water, Sanitation and Hygiene promotion

4.   Livelihood Security and Entrepreneurship Development

-    Agricultural livelihoods—improved agriculture, poultry, livestock and fisheries
-    Microfinance / Financial inclusion
-    Targeting the Ultra-Poor (TUP)
-    Migration
-    Access to natural resources and Government safety net and others Services   

5.  Advocacy, Capacity Building and Knowledge Management

-    Action research
-    Lessons documentation and dissemination
-    Networking and advocacy

 

 

 

 

Geographical coverage
GeoCoverage

Operational strategies

VDOs (Village Development Organizations) will remain as IDP’s core implementation vehicle since the VDOS are viewed by the participants as their solidarity platform and also a one stop service center for all. Each of the VDOs are formed with 25-40 participants living in cluster. One women from each of the households represents their family and participates directly in the project activities.

One Programme Organizer supervises 10 VDOs thus covers about 300-350 Households. Based on the needs of the VDO participants as well as criteria set aside for eligibility for receiving various supports. PO facilitates the whole process of service delivery, training, asset or input transfer, micro-finance support, health support etc. To further strengthen the development efforts of the project as well as to support the VDOs and the VDO members, a Development Support Group (DSG) is formed taking representation from all level of peoples—Local leaders, School Teachers, Opinion leaders, health workers, religious leaders and representative of the VDOs are united together to further push and assist the development of ultra-poor, ensuring project promoted WASH activities, addressing gender related issues like eliminating violence against women and children, women’s participation in development, helping the most poor to receive social protection benefits etc.

While POs are working at the community level, the Area Development Coordinator(ADC), being based at the Union level Area Development Offices, supervises around 15 POs in the area and coordinates all the activities under his disposal. To assist the ADCs, as well as to provide technical support to POs in the field, there are Micro-finance support POs in each of the areas offices. At the apex level of each Upazila under project operation, there is an UDCs (Upazila Development Coordinator) who coordinates the entire activities of the upazila and directly supervises the ADCs, Sector Specialist and a number of trainers based at Upazila. The Sector Specialists are technical experts of their respective discipline and provides technical capacity building supports to POs through formal and on the job training maintaining a matrix-management system with the ADCs. A central team, based at BRAC Head Office, are responsible for providing technical and management support to field team, comprised technical experts, communication specialist, training coordinator, M&E and action research managers. The team is led by the Programme Head who is being supervised by the Programme Director of BRAC. Regular coordination meeting with different tier of staff, field visit, participation in training and sharing events, monthly MIS, Periodic M&E and Action research findings are key tools for IDP project management

 

 

Location-IDP-Haor

 

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

Overview

 

Despite significant development and recent economic growth in Bangladesh, haor, char area, and indigenous peoples of plain lands still have a high prevalence of poverty. Various studies have identified these areas as poverty ‘hot-spots’ in the country. Consequently, BRAC has also factored this into their programme strategy as second phase for 2015 through 2020, prioritising the need to reach the most marginalized communities and  contribute to achieve the SDGs  in areas facing extreme deprivation.


Download:

IDP fact sheet

IDP-IP Impact Assesment

IDP-IP Mapping Book

Action Research IDP-Haor

Maneuvering and Escape from the Poverty Trap

IDP Working Paper - Report on the Rapid Assessment

 

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

New initiatives

In 2012, the following are the two new initiatives being taken:

A. Sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) programme:
Sexual and reproductive health rights programme started from July 2012 with the consortium of six partners as Oxfam Novib, BNPS, CAMPE, FPAB, HASAB and BRAC. It is a campaign based programme funded by Oxfam Novib, which aims to contribute to the significant reduction of the number of adolescent girls suffering from avoidable maternal deaths and the prevention of other major sexual and reproductive health hazards in both adolescent girls and boys. As the acceptance of contraception in adolescent girls and boys increases, pregnancies are delayed and maternal mortality decreases.

B. Violence against women (VAW):
The violence against women project started from September 2012 in Khulna with the consortium of We Can and Steps towards Development. This capacity building project, with contribution from United Nation Trust Fund (UNTF), aims to enhance the prevention of sexual harassment in public place.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Publications

GJD developed six docu-dramas on gender discrimination and violence against women; published a booklet on BRAC’s role to end violence against women and children, and GQAL case studies; three pocket books on sexual harassment and a Bengali version on CEDAW and early marriage; a study report titled “From Action Learning, To Learning To Act: Lessons from GQAL by Farah Ghuznavi”; three brochures on sexual harassment in public place, Fatwa and High Court judgment on sexual harassment elimination for the educational institutions and workplaces; and seven posters on different gender issues. GJD has initiated a quarterly publication named `Gender barta’, and also launched an in-depth study on GQAL change assessment.

IEC materials published by gender justice and diversity

Docudrama

SL

Name of the Docudrama

Year of production

1.

Swapnochara (access and control over the property)

2009

 

Protigga (domestic violence)

2009

3.

Agiecholo (sexual harassment)

2010

4.

Alokkhi (discrimination and torture)

2010

5.

Alorpothe (food and nutrition)

2010

6.

Andhobishwas (health and treatment)

2010

7.

Swapnopuron (education)

2010

8.

Dinbodolerdak (work division, recreation and rest)

2010

 

Other publications

Brochure

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

 

Against sexual harassment

2010

1.

High court direction on sexual harassment (Bengali)

2011

2.

High court direction on sexual harassment (English)

2011

3.

Fotoya

2011

. 4.

GJD brief

2012

 

Leaflet

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

1.

VAW, 16 days campaign

2010

2.

Leaflet against sexual harassment

(for MEJNIN Project)

2011

3.

CEDAW

2011

4.

 International Women’s day 

2012

 

Booklet/Pocket Book

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

1.

Booklet on GQAL study report From Action Learning, To Learning to Act: Lessons From GQAL

2009

2.

Booklet on BRAC’s role on violence against women

2010

3.

Booklet on GQAL success stories/cases

2010

4.

Pocket Book on sexual harassment

2011

5.

Pocket Book on CEDAW

2011

6.

Pocket book against early marriage

2012

 

Poster

SL

Theme

Year of production

1.

Work division

2010

2.

Domestic violence

2010

3.

Sexual harassment/teasing

2010

4.

Health and treatment

2010

6.

Education

2010

7.

GQAL main messages

2010

8.

C4D main messages

2011

9.

SHRC main messages

2012

 

Bulletin

SL

Theme

Year of production

1.

SHRC

2012

2.

Gender barta

2012

 

Other documents/report

  1. Mahmud et. al. (2012), Gender Norms and Behaviours in CFPR areas: Assessing the Performance of GQAL in Three Districts, BDI, BRAC University, Dhaka
  2. BRAC (2012a, draft), Narrative Report on Meyeder Jonny Nirapod Nagorikotto (MEJNIN), Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  3. BRAC (2012b, draft), A Journey to Zero Tolerance: Combating Sexual Harassment in BRAC, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  4. BRAC (2011a, memo), Concepts and Practices: experiences of sexual harassment in BRAC—a survey report, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  5. BRAC (2011b, memo), Factual Analysis of Sexual Harassment Cases: Year 2006-2010, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  6. Start, R (2011), BRAC Gender Audit: Final Report, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  7. Hafiza, S (2011), Engendering BRAC, paper presented at the BRAC Board Gender Retreat in December 2011, Dhaka
  8. BRAC (2011, draft), Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: BRAC Strategy 2011-2015, BRAC, Dhaka
  9. BRAC (2010), Shaking Embedded Gender Roles and Relations: an evaluation of Gender Quality Action Learning program, Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC, Dhaka
  10. BRAC (2010, draft), MEJNIN baseline report, Gender Justice and Diversity, BRAC, Dhaka
  11. BRAC (2008), From Action Learning, to Learning to Act: Lessons from GQAL by Farah Ghuznavi, Gender Justice and Diversity, BRAC, Dhaka
  12. BRAC (2008), Sexual Harassment Elimination Policy, BRAC, Dhaka
  13. BRAC (2008, memo), Discussion report on dropped-out female staff in BRAC, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  14. BRAC (2007), BRAC Gender Policy: Towards Gender Equality, BRAC, Dhaka
Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Network and alliance

GJD is working with different alliances and forums to influence policy makers to formulate and revise laws, rules and regulations against all types of gender based violence, and also for policy advocacy.

•    At the invitation of the Ministry of Planning, BRAC reviewed the national sixth five-year plan with a gender focus, and made specific recommendations for improving the plan, as well as for the implementation strategy.

•    The GJD team reviewed the Microfinance Regularity Authority (MRA) Act from a gender perspective which has now been accepted as government policy.

•    The GJD team also worked actively to help the government enact the National Women’s Development Policy 2011, the sexual harassment guidelines, and the National Education Policy.

•    In the past year, BRAC participated in a number of national and international networks and meetings geared towards building stronger solidarity around gender and human rights issues, including CEDAW conference in Geneva, South Asian social forum in Bangladesh, South Asian human rights alliance, World Social Forum (WSF), South Asian Network to Address Masculinity (SANAM), Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR), South Asia Partnership international (SAP).

•    GJD is also an active member of Social Action Committee (a platform consisting of 67 development organisations), citizen’s initiative on CEADAW, Bangladesh (a national platform of 38 rights organisation, working on CEDAW and international treaties); WE CAN CAMPAIGN (working to end domestic violence against women and children), National Girl Child Advocacy Forum (working on different girl child issues), and Campaign for Popular Education, a national coalition of NGOs working towards the implementation of programme interventions in the education sector including the education curriculum.

•    In 2012, BRAC initiated to form and lead a new platform to combat against child marriage with other organisations (Care, Plan, population council, icddr,b, BLAST, LAMP, FPAB, white ribbon alliance Bangladesh, Marie Stopes etc.)

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Gender training unit

GJ&D is conducting gender training for professional development and amity among male and female staff through attitudinal and behavioural change. Gender Sensitisation Training (GST) and Gender Awareness and Analysis Course (GAAC) are such courses being offered for the staff.  In addition, the section is organising specialised gender training by the external trainer for higher management.

GJ&D also provides training to external organisations on different gender aspect on the basis of their demand.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Programme intervention

Gender01

POSITION (poribortito jiboner sandhane - to enhance a positive life)
The POSITION programme was launched in Gazipur and Gaibandha in 2011 with the lessons learnt from GQAL. The main purpose of the POSITION programme was to create gender justice and improve gender relations in the family and community at large as well as to combat gender based discrimination and violence against girls and women. The extended actions aimed at empowering the women to be actively engaged in realising their rights and equality through increased household decision making, reduced violence against women incidents, demonstrate increased knowledge, attitude and practice, and place an additional focus on youth engagement and sexual harassment in rural areas. It targets approximately  390,000 households among an estimated population of 1,950,000 in 40 unions of the eight areas. The new actions focus on formation and functioning of gender culture change volunteer (770 in total) and the strengthening awareness, mobility, participation, rights and transforming ideology (SAMPRTI) groups, 770 in total, along with the previous groups of gender justice educators and volunteer youth educators to foster community actions towards ending violence against women and sexual harassment against girls. POSITION works in 40 unions, in eight upazilas in eight districts across Bangladesh.

MEJNIN (meyeder jonno nirapad nagorikotta – safe citizenship for girls)
MEJNIN is an innovative programme to raise conscience, especially amongst young people, against sexual harassment of girl students at public places. MEJNIN is working in 160 schools of Dhaka and rural areas, and is targeting to cover 400 schools to raise awareness among the students, teachers, and parents against sexual harassment in public places. The MEJNIN project serves to sensitise youths against sexual harassment as it is a punishable crime, to build their confidence and motivate them to act as change makers both as individuals and collectively, to protect, protest and resist sexual harassment at public places.

Gender quality action learning (GQAL) programme
GQAL is considered an important step into the internal process of promoting gender equality in BRAC. This is a training focused programme aimed at improving gender relations both at organisation and communities. It was launched in 1995 to improve the quality of BRAC programmes, and build gender relations amongst staff within the organisation. At the community level, it included the members of BRAC’s village organisation (VO) on a pilot basis during 2001-2003 with the aim to improve gender relations and enhance gender equality in the respective areas. After successful completion of the VO-based GQAL programme in four rural areas, it was expanded to 50 sub-districts in 12 districts, covering 30,000 households. BRAC’s targeting the ultra-poor programme addresses the needs of ultra-poor women, men and community people towards ending gender-based discrimination and violence in the family and society.

GQAL training for BRAC staff covered 90 per cent of the staff at its peak stage. At the community level a total of 3,000 men and women were given GQAL training, who were selected from BRAC’s specially targeted ultra-poor project, Polli Shamaj (a combination of two or more VOs), VOs, gram daridra bimochon committee (members of the village elites), union parishad members (the lowest administrative unit of the government), and shasthaya shebikas (community health volunteers).

The GQAL is unique because it encouraged adaption from the organisation level to the community level, and also because its approaches include both women and men from the same family.

The programme has made a significant impact by generating community movements for women and children, increasing men's awareness on women's education, foods, nutrition’s, division of labour, rest and recreation, domestic violence, control and access to resource, health issues, and increasing male participation in household work.
 
Communication for development (C4D)
From December 2010, advocacy for social change and gender justice and diversity jointly implemented a project, ‘Communication for Development: Promoting Sustainable Behaviour and Social Development Changes’ in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-district under Cox’s Bazaar district in partnership with UNICEF. The project intended to disseminate information in an integrated manner to ensure that community members are knowledgeable, and continuously practice key life-saving care and protective behaviours on health, hygiene, education, and child protection.

Community sensitisation on CEDAW
The community sensitisation on CEDAW (convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women) pilot programme developed user-friendly information, education and communication (IEC) materials, and oriented 6,243 students and 200 community leaders, including media personalities, teachers, government officials and elected representatives.

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