RDRS Projects and Programs in Bangladesh

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RDRS Projects and Programs in Bangladesh:

RDRS Program Development

As an integrated development organization, RDRS Bangladesh has been offering a comprehensive development package to support poor households, covering landless and marginal farmers, tribal and ethnic minorities, char-dwellers (river islands), and ultra-poor. RDRS promotes an empowerment program to advance their organization, awareness, access to rights and livelihoods. Major program components include social organization and development, agricultural skill development, community health, employment generation through micro-credit, infrastructure development, environment and disaster preparedness, women’s rights and gender awareness and education

Social Empowerment

Social Organization:

To ensure institutional capacity building of community-based organizations and their membership, 58 federation members were trained on project proposal writing, implementation, monitoring & evaluation. To promote effective functioning of local government to advance sustainable development, 29 workshops were organized on roles and responsibilities of local government (UP) with local government representatives. Another 29 workshops were organized at union level with government employees on their roles and responsibilities.

International Mother Language Day (21 February) and Independence Day (26 March) were marked at federation level with the involvement of local govt. representatives, local elites, federation leaders/members, members of youth & women forum, community members etc.


Women’s Rights

Violence against women affects every woman’s life in our society, even if she herself is not a victim and thus all its members. RDRS Bangladesh is committed to promoting gender equality and empowers women using different approaches.

The RDRS Women’s Rights unit has been contributing to reduce exclusion, deprivation and discrimination against women and all kinds of gender-based violence through promotion and protection of women’s rights by rural poor women. Major initiatives were taken to increase women’s leadership at all level, to sensitize and mobilize youth groups for reducing domestic violence and sexual exploitation and prevention of dowry and early marriage.

International Women’s Day (8 March) was celebrated at district level under the supervision of Women’s Rights Unit where 4,903 females and 2,322 males including Govt. officials, journalists, and key local individuals participated. The main theme of the day was ‘Men and women together stand up jointly to prevent violence against girls and women’ During this reporting period, RDRS Bangladesh arranged a reception program in Dinajpur district to celebrate the election of female vice-chairs who were elected in recent Upazila elections.

Community Health

Reproductive Health

RDRS offers antenatal, natal and limited postnatal care services to pregnant women across 31 upazilas of RDRS working area and also operates a maternity center at Aditmari in Lalmonirhat district. Presently RDRS operates 214 antenatal clinics through out working area. During the reporting period 5,387 pregnant women were provided orientations on STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), 880 Pregnancy Test Kits were supplied. Three pregnant women were provided USG (ultra sonogram) facility.

Skin camp organized:

During the reporting period three skin camps were organized at Ulipur and Rajarhat in Kurigram District and Aditmari in Lalmonirhat. The main objective activity was to identify leprosy patients and bring them under treatment. A total of 891 suspected patients were examined (male 451, female 440). Among them 11 (male 5, female 6) were primarily diagnosed with leprosy.


RDRS observed World Leprosy Day on 25th January 2009. The Theme was: “Let build social movements to cure and rehabilitate Leprosy patients”. The day was observed in Kurigram & Lalmonirhat Districts jointly with CBOs, local level NGOs, civil society, reporters, Govt. Health and Administration officials and included a colorful rally and discussions.



During the reporting period one issue-based workshop organized with Farmer Field School (FFS) members and other stakeholders. Besides one campaign on livestock vaccination was organized involving Govt. DLS staff. A total number of 960 (Female-669 & Male-131) Farmer Field School (FFS) and 45 study plots established through PNGOs in different identified areas. There were a number of 74 (Female-12 & Male-56) RDRS/PNGOs staff and 187 (Female-164 & Male-23) Farmer Promoter of RDRS received to on “facilitation skills” and “Right Based Approach (RBA)”. For improving agricultural knowledge and skill to Monga mitigation 112 (Female-11 & Male-101) Farmer Promoters (FP) were trained on early rice, potato-mungbean cultivation. As a result, 217 (Female-71 & Male-121) involved with this activities. For inspiring farmers and enhancing agriculture activities and disseminate appropriate agricultural technologies to the farmers. One agriculture fair was organized in this reporting period

Micro-finance (M/F)

In this quarter (Jan-Mar 2009), 480 new M/F groups were formed and a total of 20,289 group members (female-19,026, male-1,263) enrolled in existing and new groups. A total of 1,289 inactive group members have reactivated through counseling which showed 19% achievement of our annual target. The rate of savings deposits was satisfactory, a total of 537.29 lakh Taka deposited during this period. A total of 5112.44 lakh Taka were disbursed among 61387 MF group members and 4416.38 lakh Taka was recovered during the period. The total overdue decreased.

Bilateral Projects

Legal Education & Gender Aware Leadership (LEGAL) program:

The Royal Netherlands Embassy supports and funds the Legal Education and Gender Aware Leadership project. RDRS Bangladesh implements this five-year project with a specific objective to reduce gender-based violence, promote, and protect women’s rights. During the reporting period, 50 federation leaders received training on mediation skill and law. As a result, federation-based mediation committees have improved their skills and successfully dealt with 634 cases. A total of 9 court cases were supported by legal project during this quarter and five poor women were provided support from this project.

Empowering the Poor through Federations:

Empowering the Poor through Federations Project is co-funded by European Commission and DanChurchAid (DCA), FinnChurchAid (FCA), Church of Sweden (CoS), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), and implemented by RDRS Bangladesh. The goal or overall objective of the project is “to empower the rural poor to claim their rights by way of critical engagement with local government, through representative, effective and well-governed community based organizations”.

The project started in January 2008 and will continue up to December 2011. As per the project proposal, the activities are being implemented in 51 Sub-districts (upazilas) of 9 Districts (Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha in Rajshahi Division and Jamalpur in Dhaka division), Northern Bangladesh, which covers the current RDRS Bangladesh working area.

During the reporting period, the project staff members were busy with federation leaders and local administration, facilitating the meeting of the General Committees (GC) and Executive Committees (EC), organizing 282 Annual General Meetings (AGM), conducting training of the Federation Volunteers as well as Federation leaders. This has started contributing to the operation of year-round activities. In this reporting period federation members received several trainings such as:

· 151 federation members received training on good governance,

· 108 executive committee members received training on diversity,

· 104 executive committee members received training on gender and awareness,

· 11 executive committee members received training on leadership management,

· 12 federation member received training on organizational management,

· 48 PT/FS group members received refresher training.

· 150 local power holders (bazaar committee, school management committee) members were oriented on rights and their roles and responsibilities.

Chars Livelihoods Program (CLP):

The government service for char dwellers in fields such as communications, electricity, and police protection, health and education are inadequate or sometimes non-existent. The strategic aims of RDRS are to ensure the exercise of their rights by the rural poor in northern Bangladesh to enable them to enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. To achieve the objective, RDRS Bangladesh has been working in char areas of the Brahmaputra River since 1989 to alleviate extreme poverty of char dwellers through different development interventions. CLP has operated since 2005.The focal target group of CLP is the poorest households living on these islands (chars). The main causes of poverty in these chars are excessive level of river erosion and annual flooding.


RDRS is implementing SUCCEED Project (Early Learning for School Success Programme) with support from Save the Children USA. The main aim is to bring innovation into the education system that enables all children including those disadvantaged by poverty, gender, ethnicity and disability to be successful learners

The major achievements of the program are the problems/challenges faced and lessons learned during implementing activities in this quarter. A total of 7,842 children aged 5+ children were enrolled in SBPS and HBPS and developed themselves through joyful ECD activities. A total of 7,487 children including the children with disability admitted in the nearest RNGPS, GPS and madrassas. It is observed that the preschool completed children are performing and attending school better than other children in the classes. They are open and active in the classes and taking a leading role.

Manusher Jonno

Governance Monitoring & Promoting Local Partnership for Ensuring Children’s Right to Quality Education in Northwest Bangladesh is another education programme funded by Manusher Jonno Foundation and implemented by RDRS.

During this reporting period, 141 teachers were oriented about their roles and responsibilities to the children to ensure quality education. After completion of orientation, all the teachers were motivated to establish model primary schools. The Upazila Governance Monitoring Forum and Union Governance Monitoring Forum jointly play a vital role to ensure quality education locally. For this purpose, 8 upazila governance monitoring fora and 27 union governance monitoring fora meetings were held in this quarter. 143 members attended upazila meetings and 767 members attended union meeting. They agreed to observe school activities closely, make regular school visits, identify problems, make regular home visits, build interpersonal relations among forum members, and encourage active participation of SMC members in the school development issues, take necessary steps to reduce dropout, activate the Union (Union Council) education development standing committee etc.


SHIKHON program activities have been implemented during this quarter as per as plan of operation under Thakurgaon, Dinajpur and Kurigram districts. A total of 1,170 learning centers have been established and 35,100 learners are receiving primary education.

A total of 14,970 students completed grade-1 and 14,900 (99%) students passed at the end of grade test and were promoted to grade-2. The remainder will face examination for the second time.

During this quarter, a total of 2,250 parents meetings were organized to monitor their children’s performance and seek overall school improvement. Parents attending the parenting sessions became more aware of education, nutrition, health and sanitation issues relating to their children and the community.

Most of the SHIKHON schools learners have access to safe water. Where there was no tubewell, it was established through liaison between the community and local government. Most of the SHIKHON schools have sanitation but some lack this so local government is being lobbied to address the gap.

In order to, establish and strengthen School Assistance Groups (SAG) during this quarter, SAG plans to run the SHIKHON Schools properly and effectively.

Journalists are contacted for publishing SHIKHON schools news. Two journalists from each working upazila have been engaged. They will publish all SHIKHON schools success stories

Projects and Programs of USAID in Bangladesh:

Investing In People: Health and Education:

USAID supports the provision of low-cost, quality family planning services, maternal and child health care, and treatment for tuberculosis through a network of nongovernmental clinics and community health workers. USAID promotes the social marketing of contraceptives and selected maternal and child health products through private sector outlets. USAID-supported programs serve 38 percent of all couples using modern family planning methods. In 2008, USAID programs provided 1 million pregnancy-related check-ups, vaccinations for 300,000 children, and essential care for 40,000 newborns. USAID targets the most at-risk populations with messages about the treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

Although enrollment in primary school has improved in recent years, an estimated 40 percent of children still do not complete the second grade. USAID’s pioneering work in early childhood education, including its support for 1,800 preschools and learning programs for older children, improves schools’ ability to address poor attendance, low achievement, and high drop-out rates in primary school. The USAID-funded Sesame Street television program “Sisimpur” is the most widely viewed children’s television program in Bangladesh, reaching over 9 million viewers weekly.

Humanitarian Assistance: Improving Disaster Response

Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including cyclones, floods, landslides, droughts, and earthquakes. USAID’s food security, disaster readiness, and humanitarian assistance programs target 3,500 of the most at-risk villages and help to provide a safety net of short-term emergency assistance during natural disasters, as well as long-term solutions that raise incomes, improve health, and enhance food security.

Since 2005, USAID has financed various asset protection activities, such as raising the ground of rural homes for 4,400 vulnerable farming households to protect assets such as vegetable gardens and farming animals. USAID has funded the construction of earthen embankments, which protect crops and allow more time to harvest, and walls to stop erosion in low-lying areas. In 11 southern coastal districts impacted by Cyclone Sidr, USAID plans to build 100 schools that will serve as shelters in the event of a disaster. ]

Increasing Economic Growth

USAID’s most significant contribution in Bangladesh has been to help bring electricity to rural areas. In 1971, only 3 percent of the population had electricity. Today, 44 percent do.

To protect natural resources and empower local people who depend on them for their livelihoods, USAID works with communities to establish management systems that encourage the wise use of aquatic and tropical forest resources and restore habitats and ecosystems. USAID also expands access to global markets by assisting key sectors, such as aquaculture and horticulture, to improve the quality of their products, increase sales, create jobs, and promote investment, particularly for the benefit of women, youth, and small and medium enterprise suppliers.

Governing Justly and Democratically

Elected officials and public institutions frequently fail to effectively address citizens’ needs, and large- and small-scale corruption is pervasive. To fight these trends, USAID addresses the root causes of corruption by improving the quality of governance by elected leaders, developing fair and open election processes, improving the functioning of political parties, and increasing parliamentary and citizen oversight of the national budget. USAID also works with nongovernmental organizations, local governments, and municipal associations to improve government accountability and the delivery of social services. These efforts have led to direct budget allocations from the national government to local government associations for the first time ever. In addition, these programs have achieved a 50 percent increase in local revenues in targeted areas.

Peace and Security: Combating Human Trafficking

Trafficking in persons is a significant transnational crime in Bangladesh. With USAID’s support, the Bangladeshi government made significant progress in dealing with human trafficking, removing the country from prospective U.S. sanctions. USAID has provided assistance to more than 500 trafficking survivors since 2006.

USAID/Bangladesh Projects Business Forecast for Fiscal Year 2009

USAID-funded activities in Bangladesh are carried out through contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and inter-agency agreements. Partners include U.S.-based, Bangladeshi, and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and for-profit organizations. Resources for those seeking opportunities to work with USAID are supplied here.

The USAID/Bangladesh Mission Business Forecast for Fiscal Year 2009 is as follows:

  • Solicitation Description: Evaluation of the Sesame Street Outreach Component
  • Estimated Dollar Range: $ 250,000
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Anticipated Advertisement Date: 2nd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Date: 3rd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: Purchase Order/Task Order
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Full and Open Competition
  • Solicitation Description: Early Learning for School Success (SUCCEED) – Project Follow On Project
  • Estimated Dollar Range: $ 10,000,000
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Anticipated Advertisement Date: 2nd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Date: 3rd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: Cooperative Agreement
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Full and Open Competition
  • Solicitation Description: Political Parties and Legislative Strengthening Project
  • Estimated Dollar Range: $ 20,000,000
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Anticipated Advertisement Date: 3rd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Date: 4th Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: Cooperative Agreement
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Full and Open Competition
  • Solicitation Description: Disability and Development Issues Project
  • Estimated Dollar Range: $ 300,000
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Anticipated Advertisement Date: 1st Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Date: 3rd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: Grant
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Limited Local Competition
  • Solicitation Description: Policy Analysis, Monitoring and Assessment (PAMA) Project
  • Estimated Dollar Range: $ 6,000,000
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Anticipated Advertisement Date: 1st Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Date: 3rd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: Task Order under IQC
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Limited Competition
  • Solicitation Description: Cyclone SIDR Livelihood Reconstruction Projects
  • Estimated Dollar Range: TBD
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Advertisement Date: 4th Quarter of FY 2008
  • Anticipated Award Date: 2nd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: Cooperative Agreement/Grant
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Full and Open Competition
  • Solicitation Description: Cyclone SIDR Shelter Construction Project
  • Estimated Dollar Range: $35,000,000
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Anticipated Advertisement Date: 2nd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Date: 4th Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: TBD
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Full and Open Competition
  • Solicitation Description: Safe Mothers & Newborns Project
  • Estimated Dollar Range: $15,000,000
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Anticipated Advertisement Date: 2nd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Date: 3rd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: Associate Cooperative Agreement
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Limited Competition
  • Solicitation Description: HIV/AIDS Project Follow-on Project
  • Estimated Dollar Range: $15,000,000
  • Geographic Location: Bangladesh
  • Anticipated Advertisement Date: 1st Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Date: 3rd Quarter of FY 2009
  • Anticipated Award Type: Cooperative Agreement
  • Planned Competitive Procurement Method: Full and Open Competition