Dhaka, Bangladesh — PPD in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh and STEP-UP project Partners in Bangladesh organized a consultative meeting with the members of National Task Force (NTF) on 18 September 2012 at Directorate General of Family Planning, IEM Conference Hall. The meeting was attended by stakeholders including national task force members and representative from the donor organizations and development partners. The meeting objectives were to introduce STEP-UP partners to the NTF members; to brief the NTF members about the project background, objectives and expected outputs; to share the consortium’s planned activities in partnership with the NTF members for the preliminary inputs and to create a platform for technical inputs in country profile.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. A K M Amir Hossain, Additional Secretary and Director General, Directorate General of Family Planning. Dr. Mohammad Sharif, Director (MCH-Services) & Line Director (MC-RAH) and Member Secretary of the National Task Force welcomed the members and other participants and briefed the participants about the STEP-UP project and its partners in Bangladesh.
Dr. Joe Thomas, PPD Executive Director addressed the participants. In his address, he highlighted PPD’s priority focus areas and how the STEP-UP research outputs to that. He mentioned that the inputs of the step-up project will help the developing countries to expedite the progress of achieving the ICPD and MDGs.
Dr. Ubaidur Rob, Country Director, Population Council presented a Brief Overview on STEP-UP multi country program and partners. In his presentation he highlighted the significance of research on unintended pregnancy in developing countries and elucidated the focus areas of the STEP-UP.
Dr. Lorna Tumwebaze, PPD Deputy Executive Director, made a presentation on PPD’s Role in the STEP-UP Project in Bangladesh. Dr. Tumwebaze indicated 3 major involvement areas of PPD under the project: Communicate & increase uptake of the generated research evidence; Capacity building and Partnership and networking. Dr.Tumwebaze explained the expected contribution and role of the NTF memerbs/key stakeholders to the STEP-UP project.
Dr. Laura Reichenbach, Social Scientist, ICDDR, B presented an outline of the Bangladesh Country Profile. In her presentation, she described the goal of the profile as to design and produce an analytically rigorous, nationally relevant, and comprehensive review of the current evidence related to family planning, fertility intentions and preferences, menstrual regulation and abortion, and the needs of specific populations in Bangladesh.
The discussions were wrapped up by Mr. A K M Zafar-Ullah Khan from Population Council and formerly Senior Secretary to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh. However, he added that accessing services to hard to reach, remote and low performing areas are challenging. The consortium should realize the challenges, interventions and strategies for accessing programs and services to these areas. Mr. A K M Amir Hossain, the chairman of the NTF and Director General, Directorate General of Family Planning and Additional Secretary of Government of Bangladesh provided concluding remarks. He thanked PPD for associating NTF members for utilizing their expertise and experiences in vetting the country profile and policy and programmatic implications in Bangladesh. He concluded the meeting with the commitment for providing support and cooperation to STEP-UP consortium for successful implementation of the project and achieving outcomes.