Old Day
Human Chain



Program Description

Ageing Programme

Title: Realising the Rights of Vulnerable and Marginalised older people in Bangladesh to benefit from development programmes to end poverty and improve health.

3. Objectives, Results, Activities
You are requested to outline objectives, expected results and activities. This material will form the basis for subsequent monitoring and evaluation (see section 6, appraisal process, pg. 12 of the guidelines). Outline how the initiative will address the key cross-cutting issues
1) To strengthen older people led civil society organisations in Bangladesh to monitor and advocate for effective government delivery of policy commitments with a focus on social safety net programmes and existing health services as well as inclusion in government credit programmes.

2) To strengthen older people led civil society organisations in Bangladesh to monitor and advocate for inclusion in NGO and private sector health services and credit programmes.

3) To increase awareness on the situation and potential of vulnerable older people in Bangladesh amongst government, NGO and private sector at local and national level so that they are actively included in poverty reduction programmes and health service provision and national budgetary allocation processes.

Results: Should satisfy the SMART criteria - Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic and Time-bound.

1. By the end of the project, older peoples' groups established and strengthened in 6 project districts with increased awareness of rights, proactively monitoring access to entitlements and engaging with key stakeholders.

2. By the end of the project, an improved monitoring and distribution mechanism for Old Age Allowances and Widow's Allowances and a national level commitment to increasing the national budget allocation for allowances.

3. By the end of the project, improved health status for older people through increased access to government, NGO and private sector health service facilities and older people's increased knowledge on self-care and age related illnesses.

4. By the end of the project, older people have access to/are included in government and NGO micro-credit programmes.

5. Older people are actively participating in local government and community decision making processes and activities with opportunities to extend project approach across Bangladesh.

Activities: Describe the nature of the activities (do not list) and how they will support the achievement of the objectives

Establishing and strengthening older people’s groups and monitoring teams
The project will focus on establishing and strengthening groups of older people at village level. Both older men and women will be encouraged to participate, with older women from groups established in the pilot project involved in mobilising the new groups. Leadership committees will be identified and trained to improve their leadership abilities and to raise awareness on their rights and entitlements in Bangladesh. Special leadership training will be given to women leaders, to encourage their participation and to build confidence to be actively involved in various project activities. RIC monitoring assistants and the groups will conduct a village survey covering the situation of older people, their access to and delivery of social safety net programmes, health services and credit programmes to establish a baseline to measure project impact against.

Older people’s groups will identify members to be part of monitoring teams at village, Ward and Union levels, paralleling government structures. Each village will have one or two monitoring teams of five members each (3 men and 2 women) which will meet on a monthly basis. From village monitoring teams, 11 representatives (7 men and 4 women) will be identified to be a part of Ward level monitoring teams. From Ward level monitoring teams, 4 representatives will be identified per Ward to establish Union level monitoring teams. Each Union comprises of 9 Wards. The 36 members will be comprised of older men and women. Older women in particular will be encouraged to participate. Each Union level committee will have a minimum of 9 women members. Monitoring team members will be trained in awareness of specific entitlements and access to health and livelihoods options, monitoring techniques and tools and advocacy and lobbying tools.

In Year 2, once older people’s groups and monitoring teams are established, RIC will initiate the process of forming District level federations of older people, so that groups are able to meet and share experiences with older people from other communities, and also discuss ways in which they can develop united approaches to address similar problems and issues with local government. The federations will contribute to increased solidarity between groups of older people. Local government at Union and Upazila level will be lobbied to provide identity cards (as experienced through the pilot project), as older people view these as an important part of recognition of their status as older people in Bangladesh. Identity cards will also be used as a point of lobbying for public transport providers to provide reduced cost transport for older people, thus addressing another concern of older people when going to the bank to collect their allowances or accessing health centres at Upazila level.

Monitoring and lobbying activities
Monitoring teams will engage regularly with local government at Union and Upazila (sub-district) level to discuss the information collected during monitoring. RIC monitoring assistants will facilitate the monitoring and documentation processes, discussing the findings with older people. RIC teams will also facilitate regular meetings with local leaders, building capacity of monitoring team leaders through the project period so that older people themselves are able to take on these roles and initiate meetings. Monitoring and lobbying activities will focus on three separate areas of importance to older people in Bangladesh:

The first area concentrates on older people’s knowledge of and access to Old Age Allowances and Widow’s Allowances (OAA and WA). While it is recognised that not all widows are older women, the purpose of the monitoring and lobbying activities is to get older widows included on the lists compiled by local government authorities at Union level. Older people themselves will take responsibility for maintaining accurate up to date lists of priority recipients in these communities based on allowance criteria and need and lobby the local government at Union level to use the information from these lists. They will also monitor how the allowances are being used, to strengthen lobbying activities at national level focusing on increasing national budgetary commitments.

The second area concentrates on access to health care and the quality of service older people receive. There are several types of service providers in each community, and as discussed in Section 2, the problems vary with each type of service provider. The monitoring teams will collect information on older people’s experiences on accessing health care and also the quality of service provided by government, NGO and private sector health providers. Government service providers will be lobbied to provide better health care services to older people, ensuring that waiting areas are set aside for older people and that they are seen at health centres. NGO service providers will be lobbied to include older people in their community services, with an increased awareness on the types of health problems experienced by older people. Private sector providers will be lobbied to provide low cost services to older people. Successes under the pilot project will be highlighted and used to stren gthen lobbying processes – older people in the new areas will know that success is possible, and service providers will know that others have responded positively to lobbying processes.

Health care monitoring will be complemented by a component designed to increase older people’s health awareness and knowledge on looking after themselves. This is particularly important for older women, as women’s health needs receive lower priority. A selection of older people, with a focus on older women, will be identified in each community to receive training of trainers training in age related health care. Older people, from the village level older people’s groups, will be trained on identifying common age related health symptoms such as high pressure or blood sugar so that they will know when they should visit a doctor for treatment. Older people will also organise themselves to make regular home visits to other older people who are unwell and are not mobile. The project will provide pressure monitoring and blood sugar counting machines at Union level which will be managed by older people.

The third area concentrates on access to micro-credit. This area is a new area in relation to the activities implemented under the pilot project. A village survey will identify key government and NGO run programmes providing credit of which the project will select 2-3 to lobby. The RIC team has established a credit programme in Moheshkali Union in Cox’s Bazar District which incorporates older people. The RIC team will work with older people from this credit programme to strengthen it, and to compile a lobbying pack on the demonstrated successes of this credit programme which concentrates on older people’s access to and use of micro-credit. This pack will be used to lobby credit service providers from government and NGO in other project communities to increase awareness of the credit-worthiness of older people, as well as provide an example of a model which has worked for RIC.

National level awareness raising and lobbying processes
This component will focus on collecting evidence through older people’s activities through their monitoring teams, and engaging with District and national level government departments – specifically the Ministry of Social Welfare, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance - to improve service provision and budgetary allocations. One key target will be the annual budget processes, where evidence of the importance of OAA and WA will be used to lobby for an increased budgetary allocation which will increase both the monthly allowance as well as the number of people covered.

This component will provide regular opportunities (through national level celebrations of older people’s day, national day, schools competitions, project review meetings, district level consultation meetings, older people’s networking and federation meetings) to review and reflect on the programme’s achievements, with press coverage at events so as to increase visibility. The project will focus on increasing awareness on the citizen’s monitoring approach across Bangladesh, with the view to increase interest and requests to replicate the approach in other Unions. Bangladesh has a total of 4,451 Unions and this project is being implemented in only 20. The process and successes will be documented in a good practice manual and will be disseminated at the end of the project, in particular to those interested in replicating the approaches.

Mainstreaming: Human rights promotion, governance and gender equality
The project is designed to promote and facilitate the realisation of rights of older people to participate and benefit from development processes in Bangladesh and by doing this to promote good governance on the part of local and national government authorities. In the pilot project focusing on just two of the 4,451 Unions, involvement in the project resulted in older people and local elected government being increasingly aware of older people’s importance as voters. Local government (Union Parishads) also benefited from older people taking responsibility for compiling and updating lists of vulnerable older people who should receive allowances.

RIC monitoring staff will work with older women to encourage their participation at all levels. It is RIC’s experience that older women in particular are likely to receive more negative feedback on participating, therefore, older women from the pilot project areas will participate in organisation meetings and will act as role models for older women in new project areas to participate actively in project activities.

Micro credit:


Good Governance:

Project Title: Citizen Initiatives to create pro poor responses of relevant Govt. and other services in Dhaka City.

Project Goal: Poor people have improved access to the quality essential services thorough facilitating pro-poor actions in 77 slums of 30 clusters under Dhaka City Corporation area.

Project Objectives:
  • To make service providers responsive towards the poor slum dwellers through implementing pro-poor policies & practices and building coordination among government, NGO and private sector organizations.
  • To create proactive role of citizens and their groups, especially the poor community, through organizing, networking & mobilizing so that improved services are being rendered to the poor communities.
Project Activities:
  • Baseline Survey
  • Poorest Cluster Committee (PCC) meeting
  • NASaF (Citizen Forum) meeting
  • Orientation and awareness training for NASaF and PCC
  • Volunteer selection and orientation
  • Develop issue-based messages and use low cost poster, leaflet to raise awareness
  • Live cultural activities
  • Issue based citizen meeting, gathering, human chain, rally press conference, memorandum
  • Coordination meeting with Ward Commissioner, NASaF, PCC and service providers
  • Dialogue, lobbing, consultation and sharing meeting with City Corporation Committees & service departments, WASA, DPHE, Ward Commissioner, Health service providers, non-formal & primary education providers, micro-credit & other soft loan service providers, social safety net service providers and NASaF & PCC.
  • Dialogue, Consultation and sharing meeting of NASaF and PCC with service providers.
  • Round table, Consultation meeting, Seminar with the policy makers, service providers, citizen leaders, urban expert.
  • Social Accountability (Governance Performance Monitoring)
  • Facilitate vulnerable groups for accessing social safety net services
  • Emergency medical and legal support
  • Media campaign.

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