Tag Archives: Ministry of Local Government

International Conference on Research and Extension for Sustainable Rural Development held in Rural Development Academy, Bogra,Bangladesh:Syeda Tasnim Jannat

Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society and Rural Development Academy (RDA) jointly organized an International Conference on Research and Extension for Sustainable Rural Development during 15-16 February, 2018 with the participation of a large number of extensionists, researchers and other stakeholders. The event was organized at the green and clean premises of Rural Development Academy (RDA) located at Sherpur, Bogra.
The inaugural ceremony of the conference was graced by Professor Dr. Manash Mohan Adhikary, former Vice-chancellor, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Bishwabiddyaloy, West Bengal, India as the chief guest. Mr. M. A. Matin, Director General of Rural Development Academy was the Chief Patron while Professor Dr. M. Zulfikar Rahman, President of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society presided over the session.
Dr. A. K. M. Zakaria, Director, Training Division, RDA presented the welcome address. Then Mr. M. A. Matin, Director General of Rural Development Academy presented the keynote speech highlighting the collaboration of RDA with Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society. He informed the audience that Mr. Md. Mashiur Rahman Ranga, MP, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of LGRD and Co-operatives, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh could not attend as the Chief Guest due to important meeting in Dhaka. Crests and certificates were awarded to some progressive farmers for their achievements in their respective fields. Professor Dr. Manash Mohan Adhikary, former Vice-chancellor, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Bishwabiddyaloy, West Bengal, India expressed satisfaction for the dynamic activities of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society and assured continued cooperation to this organization. Professor Dr. M. Jiaul Hoque, General Secretary, Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society offered the vote of thanks to the participants, organizers, patrons and all concerned for their support, cooperation and contribution. The inaugural session was concluded by the closing remarks by Dr. M. Zulfikar Rahman, President of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society who highly appreciated Mr. M. A. Matin and his team of RDA for their support and cooperation in organizing the two days international conference.
Technical sessions were organized at four venues where eight sessions took place on 15 and 16 February, 2018. Following technical sessions were held covering relevant aspects of research and extension for sustainable rural development:
1. Models for Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
2. Research on Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
3. Climate Change, Disaster, Environment and Food Security
4. Applied and On-farm Research in Agriculture (Part-1)
5. Socio-economic Issues of Rural Development
6. Sustainable and Innovative Technologies towards Rural Development
7. Cross-cutting Areas of Agriculture and Rural Development
8. Applied and On-farm Research in Agriculture (Part-2)
Felicitation and Cultural Evening was held on 15 February at night at RDA Auditorium. The cultural function was very attractive. Many young artists and participants rendered their contributions in the cultural function which included songs, recitations, jokes and dancing events. A visit to RDA facilities and farm was organized by RDA management on 16 February morning. The participants were amazed by the innovative activities and action research of RDA. They acquired knowledge of the special activities of RDA during this visit. The concluding session was held on 16 February at RDA Auditorium. The outstanding presenters were awarded in the concluding session. Dr. Akram H. Chowdhury, Chairman, Barendra Multipurpose Development Authority was present in the concluding session as chief guest. Professor Dr. Lutful Hasan, Coordinator, Committee for Advanced Studies and Research (CASR), Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh addressed the audience as guest of honour. Mr. M. A. Matin, Director General of Rural Development Academy and Dr. M. Zulfikar Rahman, President of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society also spoke in the session.
Business session for BAES members was held on 16 February. An executive committee for 2018-19 term was formed in the business session. A visit to Mahasthangar, a famous historical place of Bogra was arranged after the business session. This visit was a lifetime experience for the most of the participants.
Professor Dr. Mohammad Jiaul Hoque, General Secretary, BAES informed this correspondent that 200 participants from home and abroad registered for the international conference. A good number of participants joined from China,India,Indonesia,Malaysia,Nigeria, Philippines and Somalia. Presentations of Technical sessions and Poster display focused on research and extension activities for sustainable rural development in Bangladesh and in the countries of the foreign participants. A comprehensive Abstract Proceedings was published and distributed among all participants. The proceedings incorporated all information related to the conference. The proceedings was enriched by the valuable messages from Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Md. Mashiur Rahman Ranga, MP, Hon’ble State Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Besides, precious messages from Ms Mafruha Sultana, Secretary, Rural Development and Cooperative Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Professor Dr.Md. Ali Akbar, Vice-Chancellor, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Professor, Dr. M. Abul Kashem, Vice-Chancellor, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Professor Dr. Md. Jasimuddin Khan, Pro- Vice-Chancellor, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mohammad Mohsin, Director General, Department of Agricultural Extension, Dr. Md. Kabir Ikramul Haque, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Director General, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Dr. Md. Shahjahan Kabir, Director General, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Syed Arif Azad, Director General, Department of Fisheries, Dr. Md. Ainul Haque, Director General,Department of Livestock Services,
Engineer M. A. Matin, Director General of Rural Development Academy, Professor Dr. M. Zulfikar Rahman, President of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society and Professor Dr. M. Jiaul Hoque, General Secretary, Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society highlighted the importance of this international conference for sustainable rural development.
The International Conference on Research and Extension for Sustainable Rural Development was an important milestone of the Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society. The findings and recommendations of this conference will greatly help in the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas of Bangladesh and participating countries.

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,http://www.shiree.org 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