BRAC held the fourth Frugal Innovation Forum from 23-24 March 2016 in Savar, Bangladesh with the theme of scaling resilience. The forum showcased financial, social, and technological innovations that non-governmental organisations and other implementers are using to strengthen communities that are facing the effects of climate change.
The forum was designed to explore effective innovations and create opportunities for dialogue among leaders in the global south. Speakers from organisations that are building resilience in innovative ways, such as Goonj, iDE Nepal, The Mojolab Foundation, and Medic Mobile were featured in panel and plenary discussions. In addition, representatives from various grassroots organisations and thought-leaders on the subject including Ainun Nishat, Jaideep Prabhu, Rizwana Hasan and Arif Jebtik also presented and highlighted ways to build resiliency in the face of natural and man-made disasters.
“Resilience-building mindsets and creativity at the community and government level are necessary for communities to not only cope when faced with disaster, but to thrive,” Jaideep Prabhu said during the opening session. Mr. Prabhu said that top-down policies need to be balanced with grassroots, bottom-up solutions to build resiliency ahead of disaster.
The major sessions included financial innovations to foster household resiliency, innovations in adaptive livelihoods and agriculture, and also explored how policy can strengthen communities ahead of natural disasters in South Asia.
The two day long forum ended with a session with BRAC founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed moderated by Mr Prabhu. The discussion mostly focused Bangladesh’s growth in the last few decades. Highlighting some of them Sir Fazle said that Bangladesh’s life expectancy at birth is higher than that of Pakistan and India although both the countries have higher per capita income than Bangladesh. But unfortunately, the country has a long way to go in terms of ensuring gender equality and meeting the growing demand of urbanisation.