What We Do

Our approach

Initially focusing on providing emergency disaster relief and nutrition, over the years we moved towards amore complex and forward-thinking program of development and resilience.

Placing women and girls at the center of our work enables us to tackle the root causes of poverty andinequity amongst Bangladesh's rural and urban populations. Working with over 29 national NGOs, 17International NGOs and 23 civil society platforms partners and reaching millions of beneficiaries, CAREBangladesh creates lasting change by strengthening marginalized, excluded and extremely poor ruralcommunities. We aim to build their resilience to shocks and amplify their voices to influence governance,public policy, and development practices.

Through our partners, we implement programs that encompass strengthening livelihoods and dignified work,food and nutrition security, inclusive governance, sexual and reproductive health, ending violence againstwomen and child marriage, pro-poor market engagement, disaster and climate risk reduction and emergencyresponse.

All our activities are underpinned by a right-based approach, and the empowerment of women and girls.

Our key focus areas

Timeline

  • 2000

    CARE's advocacy, with Shonghati Alliance, leads to a High Court ruling that declared brothel eviction a violation of the right to life and ruled that brothel eviction without appropriate rehabilitation illegal. The Sex Workers Network of Bangladesh, a platform of self-help organizations to advocate for sex-worker rights, later evolves as a result of CARE's 2002 HIV-AIDS program. In 2014, our connections to the sex work community help us canvas legal support to re-establish Tangail brothel after another eviction.

    CARE introduces the 'Farmer Field School' sustainable agriculture approach to Bangladesh. It moves beyond environmentally friendly farming, to empowerment for poor men and women. The approach is then mainstreamed by the broader development sector. In 2016, training and learning continues to be core to our work improving agriculture extension systems around the country.

  • 2001

    The Bangladesh Urban Round Table is founded by a coalition including CARE, Putting urban poverty on the national agenda. It promotes access to services, sustainable livelihoods and improved living conditions in urban areas, and in 2005 successfully lobbies the Government to include urban issues in its Poverty Reduction Strategy. CARE is currently the chair of the Urban Forum.

  • 2002

    Several successful CARE projects go on to become organizations in their own right, thereby strengthening and contributing to civil society. ManusherJonno promotes human rights, citizen-based advocacy and good governance principles; Anukul Foundation offers training and consulting for development institutions and provides funds for micro-finance-institutions; DurjoyNariSangha becomes the national sex worker's rights and advocacy organization; while MuktaAkash Bangladesh evolves from a self-help group to become a non-profit providing services to those vulnerable to HIV.

  • 2004

    CARE's advocacy results in the Government adopting HIV harm-reduction and prevention strategies, including a syringe needle exchange. Eight years later, we become the first in Bangladesh to pilot community-based Opiate Substitution Therapy using Methadone; this proves very successful and is on track to be rolled out by other organizations.

  • 2005

    CARE introduces community-based climate adaptation to Bangladesh. The Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change project is one of the first examples of this approach in the world. Advocacy from the project resulted in the Government recognizing increased salinity in the south west and delivering fresh drinking water to the region. We continue to work on climate change by researching rainfalls and approaching our programs through a resilience lens.

    CARE begins building its innovative private sector engagement program. It promotes inclusive business using sustainable, profitable approaches that include the poor and marginalized - including women - as dignified producers, retailers, employees and consumers. CARE starts developing social enterprises. We work to transform value chains to create income and services for the poor, particularly in the Dairy industry.

  • 2006

    After 23 successful years, CARE's Rural Maintenance Program is handed over to the Government for public implementation. It had employed 166,000 extremly poor women to maintain rural dirt roads-a job typically done by men - and built their leadership skills, decision-making capacity and self-reliance. The program continues to challenge traditional gender roles and has left a legacy across the development sector and the country.

    CARE's new micro-level context analysis model means more effective targeting of extremely poor households. This makes a significant contribution to the development sector as it replaces the blanket approach to responding to poverty, which often meant that the extremely poor were not reached.

  • 2007

    CARE promotes gender transformation by working on girls' leadership through innovative approaches to adolescent health. We focus on girls' sports to catalyze social change and engage men and boys in the process. In 2003 CARE becomes the first organization to train female drivers for its own vehicle fleet. This work continues today in our work challenging social norms for women and girls including child marriage, gender-based violence and dignified work, including recognizing women's contributions to agriculture.

  • 2009

    Through our successful SHOUHARDO Program, we provide evidence that the low status of women

    Is directly linked to poor nutritional and development Out comes such as stunting, wasting and food insecurity. With a focus on improving women's incomes, mobility and decision-making power, the program reduces child stunting by a huge 28% over four years. This shows that women's empowerment is not just a 'nice-to-have', it is essential to make dramatic changes in these indicators.

    The Government of Bangladesh signs an agreement with CARE to begin scaling up our Community Support System approach in its community clinics. This proven approach effectively identifies barriers to healthy pregnancy and ways that communities can improve access to health care.

  • 2010

    The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2010 is passed. As part of the Citizens Initiative against Domestic Violence (CIDV), CARE contributes to the enactment of the new law, making a stronger case to act on domestic violence by publishing a study on the national Cost of Violence against Women.

    CARE currently coordinates the Secretariat of CIDV, and ensures justice for survivors of domestic violence. Implementation of the Domestic Violence Act remains a central focus of our work.

  • 2011

    The Government issues a nation-wide directive to promote better access to public land and water for poor and extremely poor families. This is a direct result of the 'Campaign for Access to Khas Land (common land) and Water Bodies' to which CARE made a committed contribution. CARE's projects continue to ensure these policies are implemented effectively and the transformative benefits are understood.

    A new pro-poor and inclusive local governance model from CARE encourages transparent budgeting, accountability and community participation. It is successful in ensuring better social safety net targeting, and other local governments choose to replicate the approach.

  • 2012

    CARE's decade-long experience in working to improve the future for garment workers is recognized by stakeholders, as CARE takes a place on the Advisory Board to the industry-led 'Alliance for Bangladeshi Worker Safety'. Our factory- and community-based models celebrate wide coverage in the industry, and success in empowering female workers to claim their rights and entitlements, both at work and in their personal lives.

  • 2013

    CARE Bangladesh plays a leadership role in the humanitarian community from establishing the Network for Information, Response and Preparedness Activities on Disaster (NIRAPAD) in 2008 to recent work in which CARE improves humanitarian response by promoting Joint Needs Assessments (JNAs). The comprehensive JNA approach links international NGOs, the UN and government offices to ensure organized response in emergencies, bringing international best practice to Bangladesh.

  • 2015

    Changing Practices of the private sector

    CARE's engagement with the private sector leads to a success story with dairy value chain. We worked with major player BRAC, and the industry behavior is now changed through introducing a digital testing at rural collection point. The rural sellers now receive payment based on the fat content of the milk. By 2014, BRAC has fully adopted the practice with no external support and other major players like PRAN have started to emulate

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