Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fish Market : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin


I  love to visit fish market .

Walking slowly with a basket

I look at the diverse collection

and enjoy their presentation.

Sometimes I  move around

and listen to  various sound

that a marketplace can offer

with bargain of customer.

I also look at the  fish vendor

to see how happy or sad his face.

This is really a great wonder

how he manages his work with grace.

I am afraid the vendor will lose his job

when the water body will die of pollution.

My journey to fish market will stop

if the anarchy continues without solution.

SHIREE (Stimulating Household Improvements Resulting in Economic Empowerment)

The Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Programme(EEP)/SHIREE (Stimulating Household Improvements Resulting in Economic Empowerment) is a very important programme being implemented in Bangladesh.I am taking the opportunity to introduce the programme on the basis of its website, and contents given in the LinkedIn group.

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The Economic Empowerment of the Poorest (EEP)/shiree programme is a partnership between the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) under the Rural Development and Cooperative Division (RDCD) of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) to lift 1 million people out of extreme poverty by 2015.

The shiree/EEP programme is worth over £71 million (around USD$110 million) across an 8 year period (2008-2015). The name SHIREE – the Bangla word for steps and an acronym for “Stimulating Household Improvements Resulting in Economic Empowerment” – reflects the core approach of the programme which is to provide households with the support needed to start and to continue climbing out of extreme poverty.

Harewelle International Ltd and PMTC Bangladesh Ltd manage the Fund in consultation with consortium partners including the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) at Bath University, the British Council and Unnayan Shamannay. EEP/shiree is one in DFID’s portfolio of projects designed to reduce extreme poverty and vulnerability in Bangladesh.

The EEP/shiree programme currently has 36 projects with partner NGOs. The partnership encompasses specific economic empowerment sub projects under Scale and Innovation Funds but also a growing research and advocacy agenda.

Programme aim

The Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Programme(EEP)/SHIREE (Stimulating Household Improvements Resulting in Economic Empowerment) aims to support the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.

SHIREE funds a variety of programmes which together aim to enable over 1 million people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty and achieve sustainable livelihoods by 2015. At the same time, the programme seeks to reduce the vulnerability of the extreme poor to natural disasters, economic shocks, social exclusion and undernutrition. Shiree is also committed to addressing the needs of extremely poor women, children, the elderly and ethnic minorities and marginalised groups.

In addition to supporting direct interventions, EEP/SHIREE supports high-quality research and disseminates lessons learned and key findings from the programme’s experience with the aim of transforming the way in which extreme poverty is approached by government, donors, NGOs and the public. It seeks to increase the knowledge base on the distinct experiences of extreme poverty in Bangladesh, and to raise awareness of extreme poverty in an international context..

EEP/SHIREE’s specific outputs are:

Output 1 – Scale Fund: Proven approaches to improving the livelihoods of the extreme poor taken to scale.

Output 2 – Innovation Fund: Innovative approaches to improve the livelihoods of the extreme poor tested, evaluated and successes ready for scaling up

Output 3 – Research and Lesson Learning: Increasing consistency in the understanding, sharing and application of approaches to addressing extreme poverty.

Output 4 – Advocacy: Policy and practice at local and national levels shows increasing recognition of the needs of the extreme poor.

Output 5 – Nutrition: Direct nutrition support integrated across Shiree Scale Fund. Innovative approaches to improve protein intake among key groups tested and evaluated.

Who will benefit

EEP/shiree aims to address the needs of the extreme poor; while there are varying definitions of extreme poverty, shiree beneficiary households fall well within the poorest 10% of the Bangladeshi population. This marginalized segment of the population includes households who are often affected by:

  • chronic malnutrition;
  • insecure employment;
  • lack of shelter;
  • landlessness;
  • limited or no assets;
  • little social or political capital;
  • limited ability to withstand shocks; and
  • poor access to health, education and other basic services.

Extreme poverty is a complex and dynamic phenomenon in which numerous social, cultural and health factors influence a household’s ability to lift itself out of poverty or to sustain positive gains. shiree is helping the poorest households who have failed to benefit from economic growth, social protection mechanisms and other development programmes. In particular the focus is on:

The extreme vulnerable poor who are economically active yet marginalised (e.g. fragmented female-headed households and socially excluded ethnic minorities).

The extreme dependent poor who are economically inactive and rely heavily or solely on charity or government safety nets (e.g. the disabled or elderly without family support).

Operational principles

An important goal of the EEP/shiree programme is to deliver the Challenge Fund as a consistent and fully integrated response to eradicating extreme poverty in Bangladesh, rather than a series of single or unrelated interventions. The team’s approach to realising this end is based on the following guiding principles:

  1. Excellence in programme planning and operational management
  2. A partnership relationship with implementing NGOs
  3. A demand driven approach – implying continuous engagement with beneficiary households
  4. Sustaining the focus on extreme poverty – not allowing programme drift
  5. Delivery of programme benefits to the poorest and most vulnerable areas of Bangladesh
  6. Continued focus on “Value for Money and Impact for Money”
  7. Integration of research and advocacy activities within the broad programme framework – drawing on implementation experience to ensure relevant research and advocacy outputs
  8. Fostering learning, creativity and innovation
  9. Zero-tolerance towards corruption based on principles of transparency, equity, competition and accountability
  10. Teamwork and a commitment to personal development

Where we work

SHIREE works in different geographic location of Bangladesh. The following map shows district-wise distribution of implementing NGOs.

Click on a shiree logo to see the name of the district and name of the NGOs working there. Click on the name of the NGO and you can visit the web site of the implementing NGO.

The short description also comes with beneficiary household (BHH) target by the project period.

The portfolio of SHIREE sub projects is concentrated in 5 distinct geographical regions that experience a high incidence of extreme poverty. These are:

  1. The Northwest (especially affected by seasonal hunger)
  2. The Southern coastal belt (most vulnerable to severe climatic shocks including cyclones)
  3. The Chittagong Hill Tracts
  4. The Northeast haor region
  5. Dhaka urban slums

View Working area of shiree in a larger map


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Shiree Team


Md Asadul IslamMd Asadul Islam, Project Director of SHIREE is speaking at Extreme Poverty Day

Md. Asadul Islam joined  EEP/Shiree as the Project Director in July 2010. He is a civil servant with a  background of working in field administration, Magistracy, Collectorate and in Ministries and Directorates. He obtained M.Sc. in Entomology (1st Class) from the University of Dhaka in 1978 (held in 1982) and MBA from Bangladesh Open University. He joined the Bangladesh Civil Service (Administration) through the Special BCS 1982 as a Magistrate. He stood 1st in the 46th Senior Staff Course in the BPATC. Prior to joining the EEP team, he was the Director of Administration in the Directorate of Relief & Rehabilitation. Throughout his career, he has contributed to a diverse number of projects and initiatives of the GoB in different capacities. His expertise is in the area of ICTs, resource mobilisation, natural disaster management and human resources management. He contributed to the launching of the Early Warning Cell Broadcasting System through Cell phones (a Disaster Management & Relief Division and A2I initiative of the GoB). He has mentored the MATT2 (Management at the Top-2) PIP Team thrice (a GoB and DFID initiative under the Ministry of Public Administration in Bangladesh). He has received  trainings on Regional Disaster Management from Bournemouth University, UK; Innovations in Capacity Building for Education and Development in the School of Policy, Planning and Development in the University of Southern California, Disaster management course in South Korea etc. He has visited UK, USA, Australia and other countries. Asadul Islam is also an active member of various academic, social and professional organizations including the ‘Dhaka University Registered Graduate Forum’, ‘Dhaka University Alumni Association’, ‘Dhaka University Zoologists Forum’, ‘West End 1971 Forum’, etc. He is blessed with a son Anharul Islam and a daughter Auruba Islam..


John WoolnerJohn Woolner (left) is distributing prize among the FOOTY award winners in 2011

John Woolner is the Chairman of Harewelle International Limited, incorporating PMTC International, PMTC (Bangladesh) Limited and ULG International Limited. John has experience working with local governance, community development, sustainable livelihoods, particularly focusing on small farmers, fisher folk, and women. This has covered all aspects of vocational training and institutional strengthening. Administration and management, the fundamentals for DFID interventions and John oversees the delivery of overseas project proposals, planning, design and evaluation, reporting, budgeting and financial control. John is also an avid bird watcher and nature lover.

Monjur HossainMonjur Hossain (left) is signing contract with Eco Dev.

Monjur Hossain is Managing Director of PMTC Bangladesh Limited. Following his earlier career as a senior in the Plantation Industry, Monjur has been involved in the development aid sector since the late 1990s and is a recognized professional in Project Management. He has been the Project Director for numerous projects with a wide-array of different donors including DFID, SDC, USAID, DANIDA and ADB.  As an Attorney of Harewelle, Monjur is a signatory in the execution of the accountable grant agreements between NGOs and EEP/shiree Programme and supports that programme in matters concerning HRM.


In 2010 SHIREE formed a Senior Management Team (SMT) to provide overall programme direction and oversight under the Chairmanship of CEO. The SMT meets regularly and has been successful in bringing a new coherence and drive to this large and complex programme.

Colin RisnerColin Risner, CEO of SHIREE is speaking at an EPRG meeting

Colin Risner joined shiree as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in May 2010.  He has prior experience of working in Bangladesh having been a team leader for a major DFID/World Bank funded project (ASSP/ASIRP) between 1997 and 2001, as well as undertaking a number of short term assignments. Colin started out as a lecturer in economics before joining a large UK local authority, transitioning into development work via a range of local government related assignments in the 1990s.  Since leaving Bangladesh in 2001 he has worked in 15 African and Asian countries on projects ranging from the macro and strategic (country programme reviews, donor harmonisation, public sector reform), to operational level interventions (community driven development, gender auditing and organisation development). Immediately prior to joining shiree, he spent 6 months establishing a civil society sector monitoring project in Ethiopia. Colin has a wide range of experience but his focus throughout has been on facilitating local ownership, exploring innovative approaches and helping teams to perform to their potential. Principles that he is building on in shiree. He has been based in Cornwall for the last 10 years and still harbours ambitions to become a passable surfer – although time is fast catching up with him!

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Shiree Organogramme as of March2013

Shiree Organogramme as of March 2013



Courage : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Sense of defeat hurts

Often haunts and consumes strength

Need courage to win

Bangladesh – ADB: 40 Years of Development Partnership(for further dissemination)

Date: October 2013
Type: Books
ISBN: 978-92-9254-266-5 (print), 978-92-9254-267-2 (web)
Price: US$32.00 (hard copy)


Bangladesh has made impressive socioeconomic gains with a steady rise in its gross domestic product, a decrease in overall rates of poverty, boost in social development, and steady movement toward achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

ADB has been a key partner in Bangladesh’s struggle for a better future since 1973 by contributing to critical socioeconomic and governance reforms. As of 31 December 2012, ADB’s cumulative lending amounted to about $14.1 billion for 234 loans, and its technical assistance grants amounted to $221.7 million for 389 projects.

The country is also one of the largest recipients of concessional Asian Development Fund resources. ADB has been the second-largest source of development financing, and one of the lead financiers in energy, transport, education, water supply and sanitation, agriculture and natural resources, and finance sectors of Bangladesh.


  • Bangladesh – ADB Development Partnership: An Overview
  • Transport: Connectivity to Progress
  • Education: Building the Future
  • Energy: Energy for Prosperity
  • Urban: Water Supply and Other Municipal Infrastructure and Services
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Finance: Helping Strengthen the Financial Markets
  • Private Sector Development: Catalyzing Private Sector Participation in Development
  • Regional Cooperation and Integration: Improving Subregional Integration for Prosperity
  • Climate Change: In Quest of Green Growth
  • Gender and Development: Empowering Women
  • Governance: Good Governance for Shared Development
  • Bangladesh-ADB Partnership: Looking Forward
     (I am pleased to publish this brief information of ADB publication entitled,”Bangladesh – ADB: 40 Years of Development Partnership” for further dissemination.The information was collected from ADB website and it may be accessed at the following link:

Library Exhibit Honours Canadian Entomology(Taken from ‘at Guelph’ for further Dissemination)

At Guelph

Library Exhibit Honours Canadian Entomology

Rare books, insect drawings date to 1634


The University of Guelph Library archives hold several water-colour drawings by Rev. Thomas Fyles, a member of the Montreal branch of the Entomological Society of Ontario. He painted this larvae and moth in 1901. “It represents the typical depiction of the insect world at the time,” says Prof. Mark Sears. “How  far have we come in 100 years.”

The University of Guelph Library archives hold several water-colour drawings by Rev. Thomas Fyles, a member of the Montreal branch of the Entomological Society of Ontario. He painted this larva and moth in 1901. “It represents the typical depiction of the insect world at the time,” says Prof. Mark Sears. “How far have we come in 100 years.”

Insects. Bugs. Creepy-crawlies. Some people shudder when they see them, but others find these little creatures fascinating and recognize that understanding them is important to many industries in agriculture, food and environmental services.

If you are someone who shudders, don’t be put off by the fact that a new exhibit in the McLaughlin Library fills several display cases with facts, figures and depictions of bugs, butterflies and their close relatives.

“Insects! Insects! Figments of Canadian Entomology” features fascinating historical material drawn from the library’s archives and assembled by statistics professor Gary Umphrey and retired environmental sciences professor Mark Sears.

Professionally, Umphrey is a numbers guy, but he has a passionate interest in the study of insects and the history of entomology. He says the entomological material in the archives dates back more than 150 years, to the date in 1863 when the first Entomological Society of Canada was founded. Yes, that’s four years before Confederation.

The society was renamed the Entomological Society of Ontario (ESO) in 1871 following a pledge of support from the Ontario government. But even after the name change, Umphrey says it still operated in many ways as a national organization with branches in other provinces. The first headquarters were in Toronto, but the organization soon moved to London and eventually Guelph in 1906, where it became affiliated with the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). Today, the group’s library and archives are housed in the University of Guelph Library.

In 1950 the Entomological Society of Canada was formed, and ESO became a provincial organization. The two societies will celebrate their 150-year shared history of insect science at a four-day gala conference in Guelph Oct. 20 to 23. The library exhibit honours this occasion, providing a glimpse into the history of the study of insects in Canada for both conference-goers and the Guelph community.

The task of arranging 150 years of Canadian entomological history into displays is, not surprisingly, a bit daunting, says Umphrey. He appreciates the help of library archives staff Michelle Goodridge, Melissa McAfee and Kathryn Harvey, who have arranged and organized the displays. “Mark and I would like to have everything possible crammed into the displays, but the archivists help us sort things out and arrange them,” says Umphrey. “We know we can’t really get everything in, but we’d like to.”

The collection includes what Umphrey describes as “some very old, very cool volumes” such as books by Carl Linnaeus, who is known for developing the system used for naming plants and animals. A number of photos are in the collection, including one taken at the ESO’s 50thanniversary in 1913. The event was held at OAC, and one of the people in the photo is George Creelman, who was president of OAC at the time.

A former ESO president, Sears says that in the early 1900s the society gathered books and materials and traded journals and publications with other societies. “This was really cutting-edge at the time – the scientific descriptions and careful illustrations of the insects.”

Part of the library exhibit shows how these illustrations have evolved over time. It begins with drawings of insects, some hand-coloured, and continues the evolution through etchings and wood-cuts, pen-and-ink drawings, early photography and more advanced photographic techniques. A recent development, says Sears, is a photo taken with an electron microscope: “You get an image magnified thousands of times and can see the tiniest feature of the insect in great detail.”

Another display of how insects help people is also a reminder of U of G’s connection with the world of insects. Honeybees are naturally highlighted in this particular section, and Sears points out that bees have been part of the campus since the 1890s. At one time, in fact, OAC had an apiculture building located where the University Centre now stands.

Sears adds that new technology provides novel ways to bring alive the history of entomology in Canada; this year, the group is preparing a digital scrapbook. “We want to leave something for the future,” he says. It’s evidence that the importance of understanding insects and their role in agriculture and the environment continues.

(This interesting article has been taken from the following  link  of ‘at Guelph’ which is sent to me for further dissemination:

Yes : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Youth sings with passion
Judges smile and pronounce ‘yes’
Tears of joy cool hearts

(Impressed by the wonderful performance of talented young singers in audition)


Online access to library collection on Islamic civilization supported by UNESCO

Online access to library collection on Islamic civilization supported by UNESCO

Rreaders’s hall (courtesy of IDEO).

UNESCO’s Cairo Office launched a project aimed to assist the biggest specialized library in Cairo to develop a renewed online public access to its collection, which contains 155,000 volumes in the fields of Arab, Egyptian and Islamic heritage. This unique and globally well-known collection is part of the Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies (IDEO).

During the last few years, IDEO has developed its own cataloguing software, AlKindi v.4. “Today, thanks to the UNESCO support, IDEO is proud to be among the first libraries in the world to present its catalogue online, according to the new standards,” says Rémi Chéno, a researcher at IDEO. The current catalog (v.3) on Internet receives an average of 2,800 visits per day, while about 73,800 pages are requested.

The aim of the UNESCO project is to provide a new access to the catalog, according to a contextualized, historical and critical approach of the Arabic-Islamic heritage. Already recognized as a valuable academic reference in the world research about Islam, the catalog will be accessible in a new way so as to display the historical and editorial context of each document in answering user queries. As before, the database will remain a free tool dedicated to the researchers all over the world.

The project is currently in its fourth step, where a module available on the Internet is being developed for any researcher who could enrich the catalog by data of contextualization.

This cultural mapping will help students, scholars and researchers around the world to get a more accurate understanding as well as wider access to this great collection of human thought. By strengthening scientific research of the Arabic-Islamic heritage the project will contribute to a collaboration of the different cultural worlds.

( This news item has been taken from UNESCO website for further dissemination as a gesture of partnership.The news item may be read in the website at the following link:

Nature : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

When internet goes and miss my online friends

I feel very bad and  wait to see how it ends

Sometimes the connection comes  very soon

Then I think it this is a great boon

But,sometimes the internet does not come for hours

Then I curse for  everything and look for others

Today I lost the internet connection

I got angry and restless for genuine reason

Waiting for sometime  cursing the  service provider

I went to the veranda to take some fresh air

Looked down my flat to the plot cleared recently

For building a large  apartment  complex matching the city

Various plants and grasses grew on the vacant land

A piece of oasis came from nowhere by some magic wand

In the middle of the lovely forest  there was a little pond

Flowers of water lily bloomed there to create friendly bond

More scenes awaited me in the mundane garden

Many butterflies were flying in the flowery den

Suddenly a mongoose came into my sight

It was joined by several others from left and right

They were playing   special game that charmed my eyes

I thought a snake might be around to give me  surprise

At this point three jolly  kids rushed to the plot

The furry mammals ran away into a hidden slot

I became happy by the events and started to ponder

Nature is the treasure of beauty and infinite wonder