The Bangladesh SPO DRRA organized a day-long Knowledge Fair on Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh on 25 November 2018. Over 200 representatives and stakeholders from 91 organizations, including partners of LF-DRRA country program, CSO, DPO and other associated NGOs/INGOs, Network members like SDG Forum, government agencies participated in the much anticipated Knowledge Fair, the first of its kind in the country. The Knowledge Fair organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare and sponsored by the Liliane Fonds, the Netherlands. The objective of organizing such event was to improve common understanding on the CBR/CBID concept, practice, innovation and disseminate sector knowledge among the POs, Govt. & other Stakeholders.
The event inaugurated by Professor Dr. Dalem Chandra Barman, the Vice Chairman of DRRA with his welcome speech. The overall program and session-wise discussions presented and facilitated by the different persons with disabilities. The program divided into three major sessions with 5 key components of CBR, including disaster risk management with 5 set agenda for future CBR to CBID implementation. The agendas were- differences and similarities between CBR and CBID, Role of different stakeholder to roll out of CBR to CBID; Initiation and designing of CBID program considering more about inclusion and sustainability in the community; understanding the current CBR model and its practice in Bangladesh; role of WHO & Ministry of Social Welfare in Bangladesh; plan and way forward. A total 3 keynote presentations presented in 3 plenary sessions by three keynote speakers and 18 presentations presented by different practitioners from different organizations including DPOs, CSOs, NGOs and INGOs. The organizations are – DRRA, Save the Children, CBM, Handicap International/ Humanity & Inclusion, Sightsavers, International Society of Prosthetic & Orthotics –Bangladesh, Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP), Access Bangladesh Foundation, Narikantha Unnyan Sangstha (NUS), Bangladesh Protibandhi Unnayan Sangstha, AID Foundation, Protibondhi Community Centre (PCC), Young Power in Social Action(YPSA), Society of Speech & Language Therapists (SSLT), Barinagor Samaj Kallyan Sangstha (BSKS), Bangladesh Physiotherapy Association (BPA), Nari O Protibondhi Shisu Kallan Songstha and Oporajita Narri Unnayan Sangstha (ONUS). The three keynote presentations presented by Mr. Shusanta Kumar Pramanik, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare, Mr. K M Abdus Salam, the Director General of NGO Affairs Bureau under the Prime Minister Office and Ms. Farida Yesmin, Executive Director of DRRA.
A wide array of issues ranging from core struggles of grassroots-level DPO representatives to unique success stories came up for discussion at the knowledge-gathering. A journey from CBR towards CBID became the focal point of all its endeavors. An interactive and lively discussion followed by frequent presentations made the whole atmosphere of the auditorium vibrant. While speaking on these issues, the discussants threw light on the rights of the people with disabilities, government’s initiatives in the various sectors, contributions of local stakeholders, inclusive development, poverty reduction, graduation, accommodation, income-generating activities and their empowerment. Issues related to micro-finance, skill development, therapy services, entrepreneurship, local resources, livelihood approach, healthcare, awareness building, education, advocacy and disaster risk reduction were also discussed during the day-long session. All the presentations followed by interactive question-and-answer sessions. Audiences brainstormed for questions and threw many challenging ones to the representatives and stakeholders of the government, private sector, national and international NGOs and development partners.
The event ended with a 17-point declaration jointly adopted by the participants of all levels. The declaration urged the government, private sector, national and international NGOs, development partners, DPOs and other stakeholders to consider the below-mentioned recommendations. One of the DPO leaders Mr. Munna read out the declaration on behalf of DPOs.
The Knowledge fair on CBID was a unique idea to exchange the view of CBR approach and its field practice. Participants are well acknowledged about the knowledge fair. At the same time DRRA has realized the importance of making persons with disabilities loud or confident on their rights claiming issues. So, the CBR as well as the CBID concept will be clearer towards the Frontline practitioners of the country like POs and DPOs. It was a great opportunity to gather all relevant stakeholders to come to a common understanding on CBR practice in Bangladesh. Furthermore, the Fair not only made common understanding among POs, it was also created learning opportunities for them. As most of the participants are requested to continue the knowledge fair & DRRA should do it in every year and play a vital role regarding the issue.