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Last modified on Sunday, 13 April 2014 18:00

GSMA Women grants BDT 14 million of Innovation Fund to BRAC

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15 April 2014, Dhaka. The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) mWomen programme based in London announced BRAC as one of its Innovation Fund grant recipients on 11 April 2014. The grant is for BDT 14 million.

This fund will launch a mobile service for adolescent girls to develop their English skills to improve their employment prospects. BRAC will partner with Robi Axiata and the British Council in Bangladesh to launch the service. 3,000 adolescent girls from BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP) have been selected for the first batch of 5-month-long training. They will work as peer leaders to disseminate their learning to their communities. In addition to this, Robi Axiata will run the training for 8,000 ADP clubs across Bangladesh after the successful completion of the pilot batch. Since a portion of these girls are thought to one day work in the garment sector, the British Council will adapt the curriculum of the training course accordingly. BRAC and the British Council plan to provide users who have completed all modules of the course with a certificate of achievement through a mobile identity solution developed by Robi Axiata.

Sr programme manager of BRAC’s ADP, Rashida Parveen said, “This fund will create more opportunities for our ADP girls through which they can contribute to our national economy while empowering themselves and bringing positive changes to their lives as well as their communities.”The GSM Association (GSMA), formed in 1995, is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardising, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system. The GSMA mWomen Global Development Alliance is a programme in partnership with USAID, Australian DFAT, GSMA and Visa Inc. It works to increase women’s access to and use of mobiles and life-enhancing, value-added services in the developing world.

The other winner of this innovation fund is Human Network International (HNI), a global organisation dedicated to bringing the benefits of technology to development. Over the course of both these projects, the programme hopes to generate insights on how life-enhancing value added services can increase women’s access to and use of mobile services.

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