Date: Friday November 30, 2012 | Time: 9 am – 5 pm
Venue: Basundhara Convention Centre-2 (previous year’s venue) at Basundhara Residential Area, Dhaka
Theme: Manifesto for the Extreme Poor
Host Partner: WaterAid Bangladesh
- 2009 – Bangabandhu International Conference Centre – Making the Invisible Visible
- 2010 – Banani Field – with UPPR – Eradicating Urban Extreme Poverty
- 2011 – Basundara Conference Centre-2 – with BRAC and British Council – Eradicating Extreme Poverty: Whose Responsibility Is It?
- 2012 – Basundara Convention Centre-2 – with WaterAid - Manifesto for the Extreme Poor
Extreme Poverty Day 2012
The public event Extreme Poverty Day in 2012 was co-hosted by WaterAid, at the Bashundhara Convention Centre-2, Dhaka on November 30, 2012 to build awareness around the Manifesto for the Extreme Poor (the challenges facing the extreme poor) and to develop the space for private sector – NGO partnerships.
Over 1500 people attended the event. Participation from the extreme poor communities, government, non-government and private sector was impressive. The response from participating organizations and stakeholders was positive. Everyone felt the event was useful and unique.
Components of the Event
5 extremely poor women were given a chance to share their experiences and their thoughts with the audience. The impact of such initiatives are somewhat intangible, but they include sharing (others were able to see first-hand how people have been degraded by poverty), motivating (emotional and intellectual appeals were made), demanding (giving the poorest a platform to speak and raising their voices has an important effect on both the speaker and the listener).
Video for manifesto:
The communications – advocacy team of Shiree prepared an 8-minute video capturing voices of the poorest for the manifesto demanding on five challenge areas. This video was aired at the event and is available online. The video is also available online on http://vimeo.com/54360530
5 recommendation validation sessions took place. 60 high profile speakers showed their support for the manifesto by participating.
Extreme poverty heroes:
5 local government representatives from around the country were recognised for their outstanding support to our partner NGOs in assisting with the transfer of khasland resources for the poorest. With the support of local government, such efforts are made much more viable and sustainable. We hope this recognition will encourage these ‘heroes’ to continue to support the poorest and also, will encourage others to do the same.
In order to facilitate partnerships between the private sector and NGOs, we organised an innovative session called ‘Speed Meets’ where 10 private sector companies spoke with 10 NGOs, each for 5 minutes, to understand where there were potential spaces for collaboration to help the poorest. This process brought about a huge learning for the private sector companies who do not usually get a chance to understand the needs of NGOs. This was also a huge learning for NGOs as they had a chance to pitch their needs in a concise and positive manner to private sector companies interested in helping. The companies and NGOs which participated were then asked to identify which pairs could potentially partner and 81 such pairs were identified. In 2013, we will help these 81 pairs link up and hopefully some of them will finally materialise into solid partnerships. If any of these pairs do become partnerships, this will be the biggest impact of the event. However, it will take some time to measure this.
Private sector dialogue:
One of our goals in advocacy is to highlight successful models that should be scaled up or replicated. Shaheen Anam, Executive Director Manusher Jonno Foundation, moderated a superb session bringing together NGO persons and private sector persons to examine such models. The GUK-APEX combination and Uttaran-Lalteer combination were highlighted. GUK trained climate change refugees for job placements at APEX. Uttaran worked with Lalteer to develop discounted seed packets customised for extremely poor homesteads. Both APEX and Lalteer stated their commitment to the scale up of these success stories. NGOs were encouraged to learn from these successful initiatives. In 2013, we shall follow up to scale up some of these partnerships.
40 field officers were recognised for their dedication to their work. This award scheme was introduced last year and proved very popular. Many field officers said they felt this motivated them to work harder this year. We were happy to provide this small token of gratitude to the officers who are the frontline foot soldiers of our war against poverty.
Best Stall Award:
60 NGOs, private sector companies and a GOB initiative (Ekti Bari Ekti Khamar) participated with stalls at the fair to highlight their projects. The top 3 stalls, judged in terms of drawing attention of guests, were awarded for their effort.
Mihir Kanti Majumdar, Secretary, GOB, RDCD, spoke as Chief Guest. He reiterated his support to our programme.
There was a photo exhibition illustrating in the venue which was further extended in Drik Gallery on December 9-12, 2012. The photo exhibition titled ‘Cascading Dreams’ featured stories of grass root people’s life, struggle and success, dreams and realities, joy and sorrow, dignity and empowerment in relation to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) and poverty alleviation. Photos of renowned photographers were displayed in the exhibition. There was a publication with the photographs. The exhibition got some print and electronic media coverage.
Five radio episodes were broadcast from ABC Radio FM 89.2 on the five challenge areas described in the manifesto. The participants discussed about the problems and way out the extreme poor families face in their daily life.
Jamil Ahmed moderated the episodes while academics, development workers, activists, journalists, gender specialists were among the noted discussants. The radio programme created awareness among the target audience. The radio episodes are available online on http://www.shiree.org/radio-program-manifesto/
- 15 change makers from various stakeholder groups spoke
- 26 organisations shared their poverty reducing projects
- 1000 beneficiaries learnt about their rights and the programmes trying to help them
- 20 private sector players committed to engage with shiree NGOs
- 22 media houses were present at the event
- 1500+ people were made aware of the challenges and possibilities of urban poverty
- 5 electronic media houses reported on the event.
- 11 print media houses reported on the event.
- 3 radio channels reported the event.
- 3 news agencies reported the event.
- As the number of guests exceeded expectation, we ran out of food boxes. However, drawing from our lesson last year, we were able to avoid any problem. We kept count of the number of lunch coupons distributed and were able to order an additional 500 lunch boxes before lunch time was over.
- Having two parallel sessions was exciting; however the space was not sound proof so both sessions suffered from the noise of the other.
- Policy recommendations highlighted and government support demanded publically – Manifesto
- Platform for beneficiaries to speak – raise their voices and demands
- Recognition for field officers committed to eradicating extreme poverty
- Sharing of successful models and experiences of NGOs-private sector
- Networking among partners for linkage
- Inspired private sector representatives among guests – commitments from some
- Discussions around cutting edge poverty research
- Showcasing top NGO models to donors for funding – especially for training and skills development
- Dissemination of knowledge on extreme poor
- Media coverage around the extreme poor
- Knowledge increased/awareness
- Partnerships formed (NGO/private sector)
- Validation of recommendations
- Government heroes motivated
- FOOTY staff motivated
- Private sector motivated – instituting a culture of collaboration – presence and participation is one kind of acknowledgement