Digital Cash Transfers in Bangladesh

08 Mar 2018 by Daniel Winstanley,

UNDP’s Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme is working with the Government of Bangladesh to re-configure the current social security system so that economic growth is achieved in a more inclusive manner, with economic opportunities reaching the rural and urban poor and the protection of vulnerable groups against shocks. Support is provided primarily in two areas: governance of social protection and strengthening of systems. In collaboration with SSPS’s sister project, Strengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO), and in partnership with the Bangkok Regional Hub and Innovation Facility, which is funded by UNDP and the Government of Denmark, UNDP is testing the delivery of social security cash transfers to SWAPNO beneficiaries through bKash’s and Dutch Bangla Bank Limited’s (DBBL) Rocket mobile-money services. bKash and Rocket are pre-existing mobile-money service providers in Bangladesh, with hundreds of thousands of agents across every local region (Union Parishads) of the country. The goal of this initiative, titled Social Security Digital Cash Transfers, is simple: test an alternative, digital method of transferring social security cash transfers to Bangladeshi citizens, and provide rigorous evidence that this method brings significant savings in terms of costs and time as opposed to the current traditional method. After an intensive … Read more

Rural Women to Fight Against Climate Change

29 Oct 2017 by Bipasha Chakma, Communication Officer, IBFCR

Women constitute about half of the Bangladesh population, but their social status especially in rural areas still remains very low. Rural women belong to the most deprived section of the society facing adverse conditions in terms of social oppression, economic inequality and also natural hazards caused by the climate change. Deluti Union of Paikgacha Upazila in Khulna District is such an area where climate change impact is high and affected badly by salinity. Due to this salinity, there is acute crisis of safe drinking water and livelihood options are shrinking fast for the community. They can get fresh water only during the monsoon and can cultivate once a year. Men and women are migrating to Dhaka or Khulna for jobs and becoming vulnerable. Those who don't want to migrate also struggling to survive. They are fighting with climate change and coming up with their own solutions. "Padma Pukur" is one such solution, which is helping the community to solve their drinking water problem temporarily by harvesting rainwater. "Padma Pukur" is located at Deluti Union Parishad building. But there is still much work to be done to make it clean and protected. … Read more

Sharing South-South Experience on Restoration and Management of Mangrove Ecosystem

05 Nov 2016

View of restored mangrove forest from the same watchtower
Mangroves are lifeline of the coast. Mangrove forests can store more carbon than most other types of habitats on the planet. The monetary value of goods and services received from mangroves is not less than US $ 186 annually (WWF). However, degradation of mangrove forest and the resulting impacts are major concerns for the countries in the tropic. Bangladesh supports the world’s largest single tract of mangrove forest. The total coverage of mangrove forest is 4.07% of the country’s land area. Bangladesh has years of experience of mangrove restoration. The area of planted mangrove in the country is more than 190,000 ha. The country has also been successful in applying community based conservation and management of mangrove forests. … Read more

What Works for the Urban Poor?

03 Oct 2016

The Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction (UPPR), one of the largest urban development programmes in the world, helped nearly three million people improve their livelihoods and living conditions in just 7 years between 2008 and 2015 in cities and towns of Bangladesh. This article highlights best practices of UPPR and explores the challenges of reducing urban poverty. Urban poverty has been left off the development agenda in Bangladesh, and the UPPR experience can show in practical ways how to bring it back to centre. … Read more

Building Resilience, Constructing Lives

12 Jul 2016

One of the beneficiaries of UNDP-ERF reconstructing his house at Jumkarchar in Kurigram Sadar. Photo: Santu Das/UNDP
Like every other day, Abdur Rashid and his family went to bed early knowing they would have to be up again in a few hours, ready for work. But as he fell asleep to the sloshing of the rain accompanied by the occasional rumbling of thunder, a strange feeling of unease played at the back of his mind. In the wee hours of the night, a dreaded roaring startled him and he sat up in bed. A thousand thoughts went through his head as he saw the barrage of water gush into his home, tearing through the flimsy fencing. He yelled for his family members to wake up, as he rushed towards the broken wall of the hut to try and hold off the water with his own body and whatever else he found near. Within a few seconds he realized his efforts were futile – there was no stopping this. He screamed for help frantically and waded to the other side of the hut to try and lift the bed, one of the very few possessions in their otherwise scant house. Soon he realized their efforts here would fall short too, as he saw the level of water increase rapidly … Read more