Prabriddhi: Local Economic Development at District Level in Bangladesh
In six urban municipalities and their surrounding territories, the public and private sector and civil society will engage in participatory local economic development planning and implementation, generating income opportunities for poor and disadvantaged women and men. The project combines Switzerland’s expertise in market development and local governance to develop and refine a model of local economic planning and creates the right conditions for its wider replications by the Government of Bangladesh.
Employment & economic development
Agriculture & food security
Business support & economic inclusion
|Background||Bangladesh has achieved considerable economic development progress in the past three decades. However, the strong economic growth has not translated into sufficient job creation (“jobless growth”), and not all regions have been able to benefit in a similar way. Inequality is on the rise, both vertically and horizontally, as overall income increases accumulate mainly with better off people, companies, and geographic regions. While poverty has declined rapidly in rural areas, the rate of reduction was much slower in peri-urban and urban areas. In last 10 years, the gap between the Eastern and Western half of Bangladesh has widened. The current COVID-19 crisis is evolving from a pandemic to a medium to long term economic recession in Bangladesh. The effects are already visible in the form of declining remittance receipts and exports. The rural and peri-urban SMEs, that constitute the majority of the informal economy, need to invest and raise productivity in order to survive, expand and create additional employment opportunities. In addition, the slow-evolving capacity of local government institutions (LGIs) with limited resources and overlapping authorities are not creating the most conducive business enabling environment for the local economy (beyond key metropolitan areas) to thrive, create jobs and attract investment for a sustainable and inclusive future growth in Bangladesh.|
|Objectives||The overall objective of the project is that ‘municipalities are more capable and responsive to the needs of the private businesses and support farmers, non-farm entrepreneurs and workers to increase their incomes’.|
At least 40,000 farmers, non-farm entrepreneurs and workers, particularly poor and disadvantaged women and men (e. g women dried mango producers, beauty salon workers, rice harvest laborers, leather workers) in the selected 06 municipalities.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises or businesses and farmers, Municipalities and Local Government Division of Bangladesh Government.
Outcome 1: Farmers and non-farm entrepreneurs use new/modified sector-specific and municipal services to improve production, processing and marketing activities;
Outcome 2: Municipalities institutionalize the LED approach in collaboration with other public and private actors;
Outcome 3: Local Government Division (LGD) of Bangladesh Government promotes LED approach for nation-wide awareness and large-scale replication.
The LED approach would not only allow SDC to leverage and combine its expertise in market development and local governance, but also to create a more visible, synergistic and concentrated impact.
1. Local public and private actors introduce new/modified products and services targeting farmers and non-farm entrepreneurs to improve production, processing and marketing activities;
2. Municipalities and other public and private actors have improved understanding and knowledge of the LED approach and application of tools;
3. Municipalities and other public and private actors applied the LED approach;
4. Key national level stakeholders are engaged through knowledge sharing events, platform etc., and they start to recognize the importance of LED approach in the context of Bangladesh;
5. Experience, learning and challenges on LED systematically collated and tools developed.
Results from previous phases:
The key result of the inception phase is the testing and refining of a contextualized ‘LED model’ and ‘toolkit’ in Jassore and Shibganj municipalities. The municipality and the private sector in these municipalities established multi-stakeholders platform and contributed their time, effort, ideas and funds to design and implement 13 quick wins/ short schemes to improve the business framework conditions and address the most pressing challenges facing the dominant sectors in the local economy.
Overall, as of June 2020, as a result of the LED process in the two municipalities, 2,030 people enjoyed a net additional income of BDT 28,372,000 (CHF 341,500) and 11 full-time jobs were created thanks to the improved business opportunities enabled through the LED interventions. The local stakeholders contributed BDT 2.8 million (61% in cash & 39% in-kind) for implementing LED activities. Thanks to the digitisation of trade licenses and construction of a new wholesale mango marketplace, by June 2020, the Shibganj municipality has so far earned an additional revenue of BDT 760,000 or CHF 9,000, which will continue accruing in the years to come.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
|Coordination with other projects and actors||The project signed Memorandum of Understandings with Bangladesh Government and selected municipalities. It will also coordinate with other SDC projects such as B-SkillFUL, Efficient Accountable Local Government and Horizontal Learning Program.|
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 8’700’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 2’490’000|
|Project phases||Phase 2 01.09.2020 - 31.08.2025 (Current phase) Phase 1 01.01.2017 - 31.08.2020 (Completed)|