Australia and UNDP Partner with Bangladesh Government to Strengthen NGO Affairs Bureau to accelerate SDGs

A Strategic Partnership for Sustainable Development: Strengthening NGO Affairs in Bangladesh

February 16, 2024

Acting Australian High Commissioner Nardia Simpson and UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative Stefan Liller sign the agreement marking the beginning of a strategic partnership to strengthen NGO Affairs Bureau capacity for accelerating SDG progress in Bangladesh.

In a collaborative effort to enhance the development initiatives in Bangladesh for achieving SDGs, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have joined hands with the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) for the "Institutional Strengthening for Promoting Accountability and Transparency-ISPAT" project. An agreement was signed today, 15 February, between DFAT and UNDP at the Australian High Commission in Dhaka.

Acting Australian High Commissioner Nardia Simpson and UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative Stefan Liller signed the agreement, marking the beginning of a strategic partnership aimed at building the institutional capacity of the NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB). The project's primary goal is to empower NGOAB to effectively collaborate with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and contribute to the country's development efforts.

Acting High Commissioner Nardia Simpson expressed her optimism, stating, "This initiative will build the capacity of NGOAB to support NGOs in Bangladesh and help strengthen their operational environment."

Stefan Liller, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh underscored the significant potential impact of the collaboration. He emphasized, "This new project is poised to build the capacity of NGOAB, enabling them to deliver prompt, efficient, and effective services to their different constituencies."

Bangladesh has witnessed significant progress in addressing the needs of underprivileged communities through the involvement of numerous Non-Governmental and Non-profit organizations operating under NGOAB. The number of such organizations has surged from 394 to 2581 in recent years, while the human resources capacity of NGOAB has remained constant.

Representatives from UNDP and DFAT stand together in a display of solidarity and partnership, committed to advancing sustainable development goals in Bangladesh.

©UNDP Bangladesh

The collaborative project plans to modernize the NGOAB office by digitalizing its operations, making it more gender-friendly, and providing comprehensive training to staff on data management for sustainable outcomes.

In attendance at the signing ceremony were Deputy Head of Mission Clinton Pobke, Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh Anowarul Haq, Senior Governance Specialist Sheela Tasneem Haq, and Senior Program Manager for Development Cooperation Asif Kashem, among others.

This joint endeavor reflects the commitment of Australia, UNDP, and the Government of Bangladesh to foster transparency, accountability, and innovation in the development sector, contributing significantly to the realization of sustainable and inclusive growth in Bangladesh.

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