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practicalaction/mehrab ul goni

Editor Hasin Jahan Editorial Panel Abdur Rob A Z M Nazmul Islam Chowdhury Faruk Ul Islam Mehrab Ul Goni Nusrat Anwar Uttam Kumar Saha Contributor Afsari Begum Joynal Abedin Dipok Chandra Roy Graphics & Layout Plaban Ganguly Published by Practical Action Bangladesh House-28/A, Road-5 Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1205 Published in March 2016 Copyleft Contents of this report can be used without prior approval but subject to acknowledgemt



disaster risk reduction and climate change


extreme poverty


food, agriculture and markets


urban water, sanitation and waste management services


policy, practice and programme development


financial statement

we provide technology with knowledge that transforms poor people from hand-out receivers into hands-on activists

Among development agencies working in Bangladesh and across the globe, Practical Action stands out in many ways. We are not just an agency that works for poverty elevation by any means. Our mandate is to establish wellbeing for the poor people through technology justice. When we say, Technology Justice, it refers a just society where technology works beneficial to all. The term technology draws certain things in our mind like: high-end mobile phone, computer and other daily life electronic gadgets. However, when we talk about technology, it is hardly about posh and luxury gadgets, but more about something that brings wellbeing to the poor people’s lives and livelihoods. We talk about technologies that are in need, to come out of poverty. We work for technology justice with a vision to reduce the gap between technology want and technology need. In our activities, technology lives as the lifeline to maximise the outcome and sustainability. None of our work is one shot game or trick for overcoming poverty. Whatever we do for the wellbeing of the poor people, we do it passionately. Our support never ends up with project completion. It goes on. Because we provide technology with knowledge that transforms poor people from hand-out receivers into hands-on activists. In Bangladesh, we work in the most remote, backward and poverty & disaster stricken areas. Our significant activities in Bangladesh are on: Climate Smart Technologies, Modern Agriculture and its Market, Food Security and Safety, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Waste Management and turning into Energy and Knowledge & Information Management. In this report, we tried to give the readers a glimpse of our work along with result and impact from April 2014 to March 2015. I would like to end my note by thanking all of our stakeholders: communities whom we work with, donors, partners, allies and staff of Practical Action in Bangladesh and other country offices.

Hasin Jahan Country Director



people changing their lives using technology effectively in this reporting year


226,270 female

191,349 male


disaster risk reduction and climate change 07

We promote technological innovation and facilitate “technology justice” to improve the resilience of the communities, vulnerable to disasters and climate change. Our programme focus is on: community-based interventions, early warning and weather information, disaster resilient technologies and volunteerism in disaster risk reduction. Vulnerability to Resilience (V2R) Framework is embedded with this programme. Last year, we have created immediate impacts on the following areas: Flood early warning and weather forecasting for better farm management and resilient livelihood of poor farmers Plinth raising by the poor households. Now they can protect their houses and reduce the loss and damage of their assets Better WASH facilities for the community people Multi skilled (on DRR & Agricultural issues) Local Resilent Agents (LRA) at the community level Small-scale silage making in the flood prone areas to continue livestock rearing during disaster Community based vaccination and deworming for livestock protection from diseases. LRAs are now capable to lead this effective campaign Flood resilient rice cultivation like BRRI dhan 51, BRRI dhan 52 Community Based Fisheries Management Female employment through weaving Mobilising community people through CBOs (Community Based Organisation) Apart from those, we have also obtained significant achievement in the following areas: Flood Early Warning through mobile phones A very new service of its kind to provide “flood warning” earlier to the potential flood victims. Doing so, we have been using mobile phone as means of communication. Ensuring an organised and approved system, we send the warning to some certain points of contacts through voice SMS, which accordingly being spread in the community. Climate Change Action Research In this research, we piloted some small-scale demonstration to collect good adaptable practices under climate vulnerable situation. The research carried out at two unions of Shyamnagar and Kaliganj Upazila of Satkhira district. We also worked to upscale our already innovated technology, “weather forecasting board” during the research.


extreme poverty 09

We have been working for the economic graduation of the extreme poor people living in the rural areas of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram and Nilphamari districts. To get them out of extreme poverty, we have taken many initiatives. Below are the snapshots of achievements of our initiatives:






heifers worth

28 m bdt 7800

sheeps worth

65 m bdt

Livestock: 2600 households were given 7800 sheep, which have been increased to 39152. Their total production is worth around BDT 65,000,000 (£548,322). Besides, 850 households were given 850 heifers, which have been increased to 1542, worth around BDT 28,000,000 (£236,200) including milk selling.

Fisheries: We provided follow up support to 303 households for “cage fish culture.” They earned around BDT 800,000 (£6,749) this year. Small Enterprise: Supporting poor people in doing small business is one of our components. This year, each household earned around BDT 27,500 (£232). We supported 411 households. Light Engineering: We provided training on how to repair rickshaw/van, mobile phone, diesel engine (water pumping machine), etc. with little inputs (toolbox). This year, 53 households were given support in this and each household earned around BDT 35,000 (£295). Food Processing: With our support in this venture, each household earned around BDT 26,000 (£219) per year. A total of 454 households were engaged with this. Savings Group: 997 savings groups have been formed with 22,989 members. Among them, 634 groups already have their bank account. They have now around BDT 5,400,000 (£45,553) as savings. These groups have started using their money by providing loans within the group members. They also arranged leadership and women development trainings for their members.



savings group



5.4 m bdt savings

Sandbar Cropping: This is one of our milestone technologies that has been turning the barren lands(Chars) into Pumpkin Paradise. 1651 households obtained operational access to 170.13 hectors of transitional land this year. Using this land, each household produced 3.33 metric tons of pumpkin worth BDT 25,196 (£213).

each household produced

3.33 1651

metric tons of PUMPKIN worth BDT


households obtained operational access to transitional land

People living in the chars of greater Rangpur have started collecting seeds from their own production for further cultivation and selling

There are some other achievements to be mentioned: 2,005 most vulnerable people (old aged, disable and river eroded) were given especial support. 2,982 people, mostly female, are now aware of gender and women rights. 20,135 households were given nutritional services. Among them, most are lactating and pregnant mother, adolescent girls and 0-6 month children. 302 farmers’ associations have been formed to manage the market linkage in a better way to increase their selling. As a result of these initiatives, our people are now “food secured.” They have now started taking care of their children’s education and health. With their savings, they have also commenced other income-generating activities.




70% 60% 50% 40%

10% 0%

10% non graduated

18% graduated

purchased 77% households new lands having 3 90% households meals everyday ensuring standard nutrition

30% 20%

Graduation from extreme poverty:

super graduated

BHH graduation status based on GMS survey

We helped 90% households to get out of the Extreme Poverty (EP). This implies not only crossing a threshold marking the boundary of extreme poverty but also a level of resilience against slipping back below this line.

Policy Influencing: Long-term operational access to transitional land is the policy influencing issue of this programme. For growing pumpkin, squash and some other vegetables through ‘‘pit culture’’ technology, we have been using sandy lands (chars). These chars are also regarded as transitional land since they remain flooded for a certain period every year. Having access to these lands for doing agriculture for the poor communities was proved to be a big challenge. Considering the success of using barren lands (chars) for vegetable production through ‘‘pit culture’’ technology, we started policy influencing, engaging the policy makers. Professor Sattar Mondal, former Vice Chancellor of Bangladesh Agriculture University, Mymensingh and Member of the Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning, has been working with us on this issue.


food, ood agriculture ultu and n markets mark 13


people benefitted from the programme intervention








farmers’ institutions were developed and facilitated

Our agriculture programme in Bangladesh has been working for improving the Small Holder Farmers’ (SHF) access to critical agricultural inputs (mainly seeds, fertiliser & pesticides, technology & machineries) and services which remains one of the biggest challenges facing efforts to expand agricultural productivity and enhance food security of SHFs. In this context, our goal is - resilient small-holder farmers, who are adapting with changing climatic condition to increase food & income security and reduce poverty. Access to improved agricultural inputs: In 2014, partnering with a silage seller, Amdadul Haque from Bogra district, we started producing maize silage in commercial mode. With our technical support, he purchased a chopping machine and set up one commercial and ten silage production plots for demonstration. Following him, with having a day-long training on silage production, many farmers started applying their learning to produce maize silage. This intervention, at one hand, has helped meet the crisis of fodder during monsoon, on the other hand, enhanced capacity of farmers in silage production. Agricultural inputs play a tremendous role in improving the agricultural productivity. This year total 27,000 households of different subsectors (rice, dairy, beef fattening etc.) have access to new/improved quality inputs and services. For example, Maize silage was a new type of cattle feed in char areas of Bangladesh. This helped them to meet high demand of cattle fodder during the monsoon. Access to improved agricultural services: Adequate supply and efficient services, balanced with improved inputs, enable to increase the production of high yield produces. Towards this end, the programme developed the capacity of service providers, such as Paravets, grass sellers and feed sellers. We provided, capacity-building trainings on technical aspects, negotiation skills and entrepreneurial skills development,


market assessment, exposure visits, linkage with public and private sectors etc. As a result, producers are getting better services in an easy and affordable price by the skilled Paravets. Now they are getting new services, such as learning sessions, deworming, vaccination, green grass cultivation, UMS etc. and developed relationship among themselves. Trust has been established resulting in ensuring quality services available in the market, and income has been increased more than 50% of the service providers. Access to Improved Technologies: Along with access to agricultural inputs and services, the programme has ensured small-holder farmers’ access to technologies to catalyse food production, business growth and income. For example, meat producers were inspired to practice organic meat (beef ) production through ensuring the development of service providers like green grass sellers, technical knowledge on balanced feed, UMS block/recipe for rainy days, “epil-epil” and “dewa” as a high-calorie food and alternative to feed substitute. This resulted significant progress in the income of meat producers by 25%.

Char People store silages to feed their cattle during floodtime. This disel-run chopper machine helps them to produce a big amount silage with less time & effort.

Access to Knowledge and Information: Our knowledge products (texts and videos) have estimated to reach about 95,000 people in the reporting period. Most of them covered the technical issues like post-harvest technology extension, including mechanical drying, banana cultivation, improved cattle feed, bull fattening, organic fertiliser etc. These knowledge products facilitated the process of market development in a better way. The knowledge contents added value to the farmers’ cultivation know-how. These also changed their attitude positively in receiving new knowledge on their livelihoods.




12,915 farmers


tons of produces arranged worth

33.47 m bdt

Access to Alternative Market System – Rural Sales and Service Centre (RSSC): RSSC, an innovation of ours, is the business hub of rural farmers to sell and buy their produces in fair price. It’s an alternative market system for them as well. This year, 41 RSSCs have been able to arrange selling 1,070 tons of produces by 12,915 farmers at BDT 33,466,262 (£ 281, 229)). Produces include Boro rice, onion, eggplant, gourd, Okra, maize, bitter gourd, potato, garlic, amaranth, leafy vegetable, green pepper, mustard, milk, bull, goat, country chicken, egg, carp fish, tilapia etc. A total of 4484 farmers have accessed to a total of 138 tons of inputs and materials worth of BDT 25,447,638 (£ 213,845).

Private sector engagement: To enhance the access to technical knowledge and production skills, we facilitated private sectors’ engagement at the producer level. In this connection, we have established formal agreement with four private companies: ACI Godrej Agro-Vet Ltd., Pabna Meat, Parvin Dairy and Fast Pharma Ltd. These private companies are well linked with the RSSCs and producer groups, through supplying inputs at a reduced rate. They also facilitate “knowledge conference” and product promotional activities. This indicates the sustainable engagement of private sectors at the producer's level. Social inclusion of Dalits and Adivasis in the mainstream of product value chain: We have been trying to improve the living condition of Adivasis (indigenous people) and Dalits by increasing their income and social inclusion. For them, we have been working in four northern districts - Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Naogaon and Thakurgaon. We are also trying to engage them in the profitable value chains like– meat production, chicken rearing, etc. As a result of our advocacy move among the stakeholders, now many Adivasis and Dalits have access to loan from national/private banks and other MFIs. Now they enjoy better linkage with government and private service providers, which not only benefiting them in terms of income, but their level of dignity is at high now. Among Dalits and Adivasis, we reached about 10,000 people so far, 91% of them are female. Our policy influencing move: With the objectives of “Climate Smart Agriculture,” we have been trying to influence the policies of licensing procedure of organic fertiliser. We are also trying to ensure farmers’ access to organic fertiliser. For implementation of this agenda, we are taking initiatives to conduct policy dialogues with concerned departments of government, like-minded organisations and relevant stakeholders including manufacturer/private companies. So that organic fertiliser can be promoted as an alternative to the chemical fertiliser which can increase the agricultural production as well as help in retaining the fertility of the soil.


urban water, sanitation and waste management services 17

We aim for “inclusive services: livable cities” in which poor people enjoy at least a basic level of amenities as part of their human rights and the foundation on which they can improve their wellbeing and enjoy a better quality of life. Who we work with and where? Our target is to reach 300,000 slum dwellers between 2012 and 2017 in two cities (Dhaka and Gazipur) and five towns (Faridpur, Jessore, Satkhira, Gaibandha and Bagerhat). We also have targeted to reach one million people of these areas, indirectly. In our working areas, we pay especial attention to the people who are regarded as socially excluded like sweeper (Dalit/Harijan), ethnic minority, disabled, widow, adolescent girls, women, children, etc. Our programme components:


Participation: Integrated Slum Improvement Model • Inclusive community organisations and their federations/networks • Neighbourhood planning and integration with planning and budgeting of local authorities • Infrastructures and services – appropriate and affordable technologies • Strong poverty reduction focus • Empowerment and gender sensitive & community managed • Build capacities and promote inclusion • Peer-to-Peer exchanges


Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM) • Source segregation of wastes • Waste to composting including quality control and commercial marketing • Waste to biogas at commercial and household scale • Influencing


Beyond Latrines/Faecal Sludge Management (Total Sanitation) • Pit emptying • Sludge transportation and treatment • Capacity building • Influencing


Hygiene Behaviour Change • Hygiene Model • Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) • SaniMart • Child, Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (CHAST)

Major achievements in the reporting year We reached 45,343 people with our WASH and Waste services. 284 organisations, with 16,332 members, are functional now, in which, 107 are women’s organisations. Along with these people and their organisations, we have made achievements in the following areas:


Sludge Management Services: The informal pit-emptier groups have now turned into formal private business entity. In Faridpur and Satkhira district, along with the respective municipalities, we have mobilised, trained and provided equipments to these groups to come out of their old unhygienic practice of pit-emptying. The diagram below shows our FSM service model:

Multi-stakeholders partnership with service level agreement SaniMart and Waste-to-Biogas initiatives: Our “SaniMart” activities have gained momentum this year. We support adolescent girls to become the “cooperative entrepreneur” of sanitary napkins, in order to promote safe menstrual hygiene activities. The SaniMart has been highly appreciated and researched by many agencies, including UN and the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University. We have also been successful in managing our “waste-to-biogas” plant in Gaibandha. Policy Influencing and Practice Changes: We are now the integral part of the “Institutional and Regulatory Framework for Sustainable Management of Faecal Sludge.” We have already obtained the membership of “Bangladesh Urban Forum” and started contributing to develop the concept notes of the second phase of this forum. Influencing the Local Government: We prepared and presented a key note paper titled “Municipal Waste Management in Bangladesh: status, challenges, good practices and way forward” to the Municipal Association of Bangladesh, which was highly appreciated and accepted as one of their mainstream issues.


Leading the International Learning Trajectory: We have become one of the leaders of the FSM Business model in the International Learning Trajectory, managed by the Dutch WASH Alliance. Partnership diversification: In the reporting period, we have successfully diversified our partnership with organisations like Sustainable Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) of Bangladesh Government, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), etc. We also have established partnership with Civil Society Organisations/Networks like Center for Urban Studies (CUS) and Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB). Similarly, we have built new partnership with some leading WASH development agencies like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, City Sanitation and UKAid Safer City.

We have modified manual Gulpher to mechanised Gulpher for safe and fast sludge extraction in Faridpur. This has enhanced working capacity by reducing time & work load of workers. This technology can collect sludge from narrow and difficult places where Vacutag have no access.

Technologies that we have innovated, demonstrated and disseminated: Mechanical exhausters, pumps and solar-drying unplanted filter-bed: These technologies have changed the unhygienic practice of cleaning sludge (with bare hands) in Satkhira Dry fermented anaerobic technology: Produce biogas from the bio-degredable kitchen waste in Jessore municipality Six different types of flood resilient toilets Three-wheeler vans were replaced by machine-run vans in Faridpur to collect waste Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR): a technology that turns saline water into safe drinking water Our policy influencing targets Development of National Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Institutional and Regulatory framework for small and secondary towns Performance based and targeted budget allocation to secondary and small towns.


policy, practice and programme development 21

Main functions of the team were providing strategic support to the programmes and the organisation in terms of quality project design, planning (Key Performance Indicator targets), guiding and conducting evaluations, delivering knowledge management and policy influencing service, developing strategic partnership and measuring impact at scale. Ensuring operational excellence of programmes, capturing innovations and monitoring income priorities were the key strategic functions. Team members significantly contributed to relevant Global Groups and tried to bring focus on technology and technology justice in our work. They mainly rolled out a key performance management system and an operational framework for policy engagement work. Emphasised creativity, collaboration and dynamism in all of our work. A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) lens created strong accountability and excellence in our operation Every programme has a clear vision and theory of change, operational pathway, policy and knowledge target, scale-up strategy and funding target etc. Material and relational well-being was measured across all programmes. Minimum gender standard developed and applied in major programmes. Every programme addressed at least a critical policy issue at national level through policy engagement. Policy Advocacy Our policy advocacycore group have been advising, lobbying and advocating below issues to the parliament, related ministries, private sectors, donors, and civil societies to achieve change at national and local level. Clarification on the issues, developing position papers, conducting stakeholder consultation, doing round tables and media mobilisation were top priorities of the year.

access to transitional land (Chars) for the poor

equitable resource mobilisation in municipalities


organic fertiliser & climate resilient agriculture

Our communications is about influencing and effective engagement, not just dropping message. We have targeted change in four areas which includes publications, influencing events and achieving significant progress in digital visibility. We have maintained our media relations efficiently, enhanced digital visibility and brought change in events to reach greater audiences.





Practical knowledge was the root of our all success. Our knowledge team promoted effective and inclusive knowledge management through Knowledge Bazars, web and the nationwide Krishi Call Centre -16123. Knowledge team developed a knowledge impact framework and increased number of technical inquires, promoted unique pro-poor service through Knowledge Bazars, responded to 47,605 calls from the call centre, supported 19,000 technical enquiries of farmers through knowledge bazar and local knowledge agents, developed 98 new knowledge contents and recorded 2,000 downloads from our customized website during the reporting period. We are trying to use latest mobile technology at large scale to reach the last miles. Also trying to attract investment on commercialising Knowledge Bazars and call centre services. Through out the year, we talked a lot about cultural change of our organisation and started practicing a new culture of creativity, collaboration and dynamism.


myths & stories symbols power structure structure control system routines & rituals


new culture

collab orati

dyn am ism



Practical Action Bangladesh continued to emphasise the application of mobile phone technology for knowledge sharing in the country. We established a Krishi Call Centre (Hotline: 16123) as a low cost agricultural information service for the millions of poor farmers in the country. We receive a huge number of calls per month on agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

We have achieved significant results in extreme poverty solutions, waste management & building safer cities, knowledge management & developing a business development approach. We are committed to a different future where technology justice can help ensuring a sustainable development for all.

re? ictu g p am of sta rs? bi e te th de our solu ma

benefits of technology not shared equally

What is t Who he are Wha t

technology justice; knowledge, policy, consultancy stream

Where is the pain?

dedicated team of professionals

n special? tio


19 million extreme poor 17 million small farms around one third of the population will be living in cities by 2030 disaster cost around 2.5% of GDPs safe food safe planetary boundary discourse





Municipality of Faridpur, Bagerhat, Jessore Satkhira, Gaibandha, Gazipur and Mymensingh



financial statement 29

office locations

GAZIPUR OFFICE C/O : Mr. A.K.M Faziul Haque House # 130/A, (1st floor) Ahammod Villa Joydevpur Post, Office Road Gazipur-1700 FARIDPUR OFFICE Jessore Road Badarpur, Faridpur Tel: +880 (0) 631 64827, 66373 RANGPUR OFFICE Sajeda Mohol (1st Floor) House- 13, Road- 1 DC More, Rangpur- 5400 Tel: +880 (0) 521-53991, 53992 SATKHIRA OFFICE Shimul Monjil (Ground Floor) Holding # 6746. C/O Md. Atiqur Rahman (Banker) Fakir Moyrer Mor, Ashashuni Road Puraton Satkhira, Satkhira


where we work in BANGLADESH

N country office field office working area

Bay of Bengal






a sustainable world free of poverty and injustice in which technology is used for the benefit of all.

Practical Action Bangladesh

H-28/A, R-5, Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1205 T: +880 2 9672683, 9675236, 9675243 F: +880 2 9674340

Practical Action Bangladesh: Tracing Back 2015