Bangladesh has strong commitments on population and health goals and have made important progress on many fronts. Nevertheless, critical challenges loom including slowing in the decline of MMR, persistence of child marriage and unmet needs on FP. Holistic approaches to empowerment of women and engagement of youth are central to succeeding on the looming challenges. A number of organizations and networks active on SRH and health agenda came together to launch the Healthy Bangladesh SRH Network (HBSN) on Tuesday, 24 September, 2019 through a simple MOU-signing ceremony at a conference centre in the capital city.
The founding members include Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), Options Consulting Services, BRAC, Naripokkho, Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB), Population Services and Training Centre (PSTC), IPAS-Bangladesh, SERAC-Bangladesh, Society for Environment and Human development (SEHD), RH-STEP, Mirror Institute of Arts and Justice, Kotha, Handicap International and Ghashful.
Hossain Zillur Rahman will be the convener of the network and PPRC will act as its secretariat. The network brings together a diverse set of organizational capacities including service-delivery, awareness-raising, research and documentation, advocacy, capacity-building and policy influencing. While each participating organization will continue to focus on their individual action areas, the network will specifically focus on building a collective voice to promote social and policy accountability in the areas of SRHR specifically and in the areas of adolescent and women’s health broadly. Initial set of activities of the network will be supported by Options Consultancy Services under DFID’s WISH2ACTION programme.