NSPS convergence meeting held

Sep 4, 2013

The meeting emphasized on harmonizing current social protection programmes. Photo: UNDP Bangladesh.

A convergence meeting after two study tours to South Africa and Nepal to gain international insight and learn social protection best practices was organized at the Cabinet Meeting Room on September 4, 2013. The meeting was chaired by Cabinet Secretary and attended by nine secretaries from different Ministries, other high level government officials, the participants of study tours, UNDP Country Director Ms. Pauline Tamesis, and representatives from AusAID and DFID.

The meeting is remarkable and can be showcased as an instance of spontaneous and enthusiastic participation of secretaries and government officials to bring social protection strategy into reality. Mr. Abdur Rouf Talukder, Joint Secretary (Finance Division), and Dr. Shamsul Alam, Member, Planning Commission, presented the learning gained by their teams that visited South Africa and Nepal respectively.

Government officials took active part in the meeting to discuss and assess the applicability of the best practices from other countries in Bangladesh context. The meeting signaled a paradigm shift towards adoption a rights based approach – this recognition made by government officials is noteworthy.

Various issues dominated the discussion including the size of individual transfers, digital database to ensure efficiency of transfers, and fiscal space to finance social protection programmes.

The meeting emphasized on harmonizing current social protection programmes through a cluster based approach instead of further massive extension of programme experimentation.