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.
CARE works with communities to improve understanding of the social norms that perpetuate violence. We encourage men & women alike to take action against child marriage, domestic & social violence. We reinforce these positive practices by creating an enabling environment for girl's leadership, encouraging greater family investment in girl's development & promoting safe relations between couples.
CARE builds women's economic empowerment by promoting their rights in the workplace& their inclusion in equitable & gender friendly value chains & social enterprise. By addressing the underlying causes of gender discrimination & unequal social norms, we build women's & girls' solidarity through Empowerment, Knowledge & Transformative Action groups (EKATA). Through this program we provide social analysis skills, encourage collective actions, identify female community leaders & equip them with tools & strategies to become change agents in their respective communities.
CARE considers health a fundamental human right & a critical factor in reducing poverty, inequality & marginalization. In collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, research institutions, academia & other stake holders, CARE has pioneered effective nutrition interventions, community based oral substitute therapy, micro nutrient powder & community skilled birth attendants.
CARE Bangladesh targets the factor that affect the availability of & access to nutritious food ; underlying cause of widespread hunger , malnutrition- poverty, adverse climate condition & has had the most remarkable success. Our building of inclusive agricultural value chains by working with the marginal & small holding farmers in remote and disaster prone areas has lifted over a million of people out of food security as well as made agriculture sustainable, productive & resilient.
We partner with government to implement projects & establish disaster management systems in our emergency response. Our humanitarian actions include saving lives & livelihoods, providing food security, shelter, water, sanitation & hygiene as well as building communities' resilience to shock & capacity to adapt any emergency situation.
Poverty & social injustice are caused by unequal power relations and inequitable distributions of resources, opportunities between power holders and marginalized communities. Using social accountability tools & local political economy analysis CARE deepens democratic process by institutionalizing and monitoring government planning and budgeting and ensuring participation, responsive strategies & solutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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