Global goals aim to create the conditions under which ending poverty, improving lives and protecting the planet are possible.
Reaching for the Sustainable Development Goals
For the first time in human history, we face the real possibility of eradicating extreme poverty from the face of the earth. The new Sustainable Development Goals require us to widen our perspective. Governments, donors and civil society must play their part in the meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by creating the enabling conditions in which the poor can access their rights and uplift themselves.
How did we do in the Millennium Development Goals?
As the world adopts the Sustainable Development Goals, we reflect on the progress that has been made. The world has successfully reduced the number of people living in extreme poverty by half, improved access to good drinking water for 2.3 billion people and worked hard to reduce the disparities in primary school enrolment between boys and girls but there is still a long way to go.
Bangladesh, with help from organisations like BRAC, has met and in some cases exceeded several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
MDGs that have been met include, reducing the poverty gap, attaining gender parity at primary and secondary schools, reducing under-five mortality, improving maternal health and improving detection cure rate of tuberculosis.
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in poverty reduction, reducing the prevalence of underweight children, increasing enrolment at primary schools, lowering the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio, improving immunisation coverage and reducing the incidence of communicable diseases.
MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- BRAC microfinance delivers to 4.5 million borrowers through a ‘credit-plus’ approach, addressing the needs of vulnerable populations including rural women, young people and adolescents, landless poor, marginal farmers, migrant workers and small entrepreneurs. (Hossain 1998, Mahmud 2010)
- BRAC has graduated 1.6 million households out of extreme poverty since 2002 (246,708 in the last 5 years) through a tailored set of interventions specifically designed to meet the needs of ultra-poor households.
MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education
- Bangladesh is on course to reach target 2.1 – net enrolment rate in primary education, however the primary school drop-out rate is still high and literacy rates low meaning targets for indicators 2.2 proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach grade 5 and 2.3 – literacy rate of 15-24 year olds are unlikely to be reached.
- Three components of BRAC’s education programme contribute to this, the pre-primary component targets children from very poor families and prepares them for government primary schools, the primary school component and education support programme provides primary school drop outs with a second chance to finish primary and go to secondary school.
MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
- Gender parity has been achieved in primary and secondary education in Bangladesh
- Sports and theatre is being used to empower thousands of adolescent girls
- 187,200 households reported reduced violence against women (in the last five years)
- 500 women groups are able to barging with state actors and increase their democratic voice (in the last five years)
- 325,043 women were empowered to actively advocate for their rights
- Girls (40,842) at school feel empowered to protest against sexual harassment and boys (18,480) support them. (in the last five years)
MDG 4 and 5: Reduce child mortality and improve maternal health (exceeded)
- “My country, Bangladesh, has seen a health revolution in my lifetime. Maternal mortality has decreased by 75% since 1980, infant mortality has more than halved since 1990, and life expectancy has risen to 68.3 years, higher now than in neighbouring India and Pakistan.” Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (The Lancet, Nov 2013)
- Three projects that directly contribute to this are improving maternal, neo-natal and child survival, Manoshi and essential health care. It is likely that the Adolescent Development Programme and Nutrition project also indirectly contribute.
MDG 6: Combat HIV, Malaria and other diseases
- BRAC is on course to reduce the death rate associated with TB to 34 per 100,000 and increase the cure rate of TB under the DOTS programme to 97.5%.
- BRAC co-ordinates a consortium of NGOs which detect cases of TB and Malaria and support follow up, treatment and the distribution of nets. The WHO provides drugs and government manages patient information.
MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
- Sanitation coverage has increased in Bangladesh by 38.24 million over the last five years with 3.38 of that in hard to reach areas. (SPA data)
- Over 2 million safe water service points have been installed or repaired (SPA data)
- BRAC have successfully reducing open defecation from 42% to 3% from 2003-2014 (reference?)
MDG 8: Global partnerships for development
- BRAC has a strategic partnership arrangement with DFID and DFAT which has delivered £350million over the last five years for programmes that provide communities with the resources to get themselves out of poverty.
- BRAC and BRAC University collaborate with organisations in research, training and impact evaluations.