The two-day-long conference was organized by the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh
On Sunday, on the second day of the 3rd CSD Annual Conference on Sustainable Development 2018, leading civil society and NGO sector actors joined key government civil servants to address sustainability challenges pertaining to the concrete tasks of project design and implementation.
The two-day-long conference was organized by the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh.
Chief guest at the conference, Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury, joint-secretary, Department of Environment, Ministry of Forest, Environment, and Climate Change, stressed the need for collaborative sustainable development strategies between the private sector, NGOs, and the government.
Dr Saleemul Huq, director, International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), presided over a session where some of the country’s leading development experts discussed key issues addressing sustainable development.
Central requirements for project design and implementation included the need for new projects to be based on organizational learning and input from local partners who understand the needs of the communities they work with.
The use of tools like priority ranking to prioritize project implementation was also found to be useful in development work. Most importantly, consensus among panel practitioners indicated there was a need for emphasis on soft interventions, including capacity building and awareness raising, if development interventions were to be truly sustainable.
Md Anwar Hossain, joint secretary, Development Effectiveness Wing, Economic Relations Division (ERD) said: “The government continues to value partnerships with NGOs and had already begun to pursue more ‘bottom up’ approaches in its projects.”
Dr Mohammad Asaduzzaman, professorial fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, discussed the specific time-horizon problem with climate change interventions, where the “pay-off” comes after decades, not five years.
Discussants included Hasin Jahan, country director, Practical Action, Md Khalid Hossain, Economic Justice and Resilience programme manager, Oxfam International, Ikramul H Sohel, programme manager, Inclusive Market Development, Christian Aid, and Sayeed Mahmud Riadh, head of Programme, Coastal, Haor and Char Context, Concern Worldwide. Also taking part in the discussions were, Shah Sufi Md Motoakkel Billah, project coordinator, Bikash Bangladesh, and Salim Reza, programme manager, Pallisree.
Professor Carolyn Roberts, Professor of Environment, Gresham College, London, Dr Sultan Ahmed, Director General, Department of Environment, Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Md Khurshid Alam, Assistant Country Director, United Nations Development Programme, Professor H M Jahirul Haque, Vice-Chancellor, ULAB, and Member, ULAB Board of Trustees, Kazi Inam Ahmed, also spoke at the closing session.