Katalyst organised an experience sharing meeting on Access to Local Government Services with the government counterparts from the Ministry of Agriculture(MoA) and The Department of Agriculture Marketing (DAM) on the 12 December 2009. The meeting was attended by Mr. Manjurul Anwar, Deputy Chief, MoA and other key officials namely Mr. Reza Ahmed Khan, Assistant Chief, Mr. Dewan Ashraful Hossain, Deputy Director, Mr. Abul Bashar, Deputy Director, Mr. Mainuddin Chowdhury, Deputy Chief of DAM and from our Advisory Panel Mr Bazlul Khondoker.
Mr Emdadul Haque, Director, External Relations, Mr. Martin Godau, Group Director, Business Enabling Environment Group (BEEG) and other relevant official from Katalyst were also present.
The key objective of the meeting was to share the Access to Local Government Services model developed by Katalyst. Martin Godau welcomed the participants and explained the challenges for the field level government service providers to increase their outreach and help the rural farmers.
The introduction was followed by the presentation of Nasir Uddin Ahmed and Azman Ahmed Chowdhury of BEEG explaining the new model. It was suggested during the presentation that in order for the rural level farmers to get better access of the services provided by the government, it was important to have an intermediary. This idea led to the concept of an Upazilla Level Business Membership Organization or a UZBMO. The BMOs, in partnership with the government extension service providers at the Upazilla level formed local Public Private Partnership (PPP) to resolve local issues at the field level.
The Question Answer session described the model developed by Katalyst a very fruitful one with immense potential of improving the livelihood of the rural farmers. However, it was suggested that marketing the final yield of the farmers could be added to the model. The representatives of DAM suggested that the model may work even better if the field level personnel of DAM were included in the PPP. The plenary session discussed 3 key questions about scaling up the work of Access to Local Government Services.
The meeting ended with a closing remark from Martin Godau, thanking the participants for their valuable inputs and suggestions.