CARE Bangladesh-SDC SHOMOSHTI Project and Innovision Consulting organized a national seminar on ‘Application of Market System Approach for Extreme Poverty Alleviation and Promotion of Social Services’ on Sunday, April 08, 2018, at Amari Dhaka.
First of its kind in Bangladesh, this event aimed to harness the lessons of practitioners in applying market driven approach on income and employment, financial inclusion, women’s economic empowerment, and provision of social services. It served as a synergistic platform with 16 esteemed speakers and over 150 development professionals and representatives from the government, leading development partners, renowned national and International NGOs, donor agencies including DFID, SDC, EU, USAID, and the private sector in Bangladesh.
The event addressed the approach of market systems in solving development challenges by building capacity of private sector, public sector, NGO and civil society organizations so that they can scale and sustain the development efforts.At the opening ceremony, Zia Chowdhury, Country Director, CARE Bangladesh, welcomed the attendees and emphasized on the theme of the program saying, “Market system can play a crucial role in helping Bangladesh address its development challenges. All the practitioners, like us, need to come together to understand how market systems work, to mend and manipulate the market system in an equitable way so as to allow poor people to have better and fair access to an improved quality of life.” Guest of Honor, Derek George, Deputy Head of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), further added, “We are gathered here to share our insights on how multi-stakeholder partnerships and approaches, involving both the public and private actors, will look like in practice during the promotion ofsocial services. “
In his remarks, Dr. Mustafa Kamal Mujeri, Executive Director, Institute for Inclusive Financeand Development (InM), who graced the event as a special guest, mentioned, “Extreme poverty is more than the lack of money or material resources. It is a condition, whereby, an individual lacks the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the society.”
The seminar was split into four break-out panels that brought together 16 projects elaborating the market systems approach on the four critical issues. Panelists represented organizations including PKSF, Traidcraft Exchange, DAI, CARE Bangladesh, ACDI/VOCA, Practical Action, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, HEKS/EPER, Swisscontact, Nathan Associates, Gain, IDE, and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Presentations were followed by Q/A sessions and open discussions to welcome expert insights from the participants.
Moderators, AnowarulHaq, Director, ERPP, CARE Bangladesh, MajedaHaq, Economist and Private Sector Development Specialist, Embassy of Sweden, Ashraful Alam, Country Project Coordinator, UNCDF and Sohel Ibn Ali, Senior Program Manager, SDC, later joined for a grand plenary prior to the closing ceremony. Managing Director of Innovision Consulting, Md. Rubaiyath Sarwar led this review. They highlighted key points, issues, and suggestions that were voiced during the panel discussions.
Discussions from the seminar will contribute to the development of a working paper which will be shared with the global community of donors and practitioners working on market systems approach for scalable and sustainable solutions to poverty challenges.