ACD aims to address the root causes of violence committed on women, and gender inequality and working for developing community care system. ACD formed village development committees and activated men, women and adolescents on the basis of gender, community, class, caste and religion who are subjected to exploitation and oppression. The community stakeholder groups are linked with each other and play due role to improve their life and livelihood. They work through local government institutions (Union Parishad/UpazilaParishad). The following community based organizations are working for developing community care system:
People’s Organization deals development issues, advocacy issues and protection measures against violence and Integration support for survivors.
Counter Trafficking Committee enhances anti-trafficking efforts and execution against human trafficking.
Violence Protection Committee monitors violence against women and children and support for linkage with Salish Committee and People’s Organizations.
Salish Committee deals local level arbitration
Women Support Group deals women’s issues and raise collective voice of grassroots women.
Adolescent Self–help Group enhances collective empowerment of youths and their participation and peer support to the survivors.
Child Rights Forum enhances children’s participation and raise child rights.
Youth Forum movement on gender based violence engaging men and boys.
Child Communication Unit advocates for child protection and media campaign against child rights violations.
Coalition tobacco control activist group.
Youth Club community preparation during disaster.
ACD programs are being implemented with a view to uplift the target audience economically and socially that includes economic empowerment having particular focus to income generating activities, savings generation, creating entrepreneurs, social justice and change. ACD began its micro-finance program in 1993 and working area coverage is Rajshahi, Naogaon and ChapaiNowabganj districts, 7 Upazillas, 38 Unions and 300 villages. ACD’s microfinance program strives developing its own processes and procedures to run the program with a view to serving the poor emphasizing women and extreme poor who needs it and thus the program has been characterized in the pace of time with achievements of specialty features such as cost-effectiveness, sustainability and simplicity. ACD offers various types of credit namely Rural Microcredit, Microenterprise Credit, Agriculture Microcredit, Ultra Poor Microcredit and Seasonal Loan to its members in the rural areas.
Borrowers of ACD invest the loan money in different Income Generating Activities (IGAs) run by themselves. They repay the loan installments from a portion of profit. A small part of the profit is also used to buy necessary things for the family. After the payment of the installments they get opportunity to use the profit for themselves. A large number of them are becoming self-reliant gradually through the IGAs. Employment opportunities are also created for the extreme poor through this program. ACD’s experience suggests that an integrated micro-credit and social development approach can significantly contribute to the achievement of the avowed MDGs.
ACD has been implementing Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) program by the assistance of Department of Women’s Affairs, Government of Bangladesh with a view to improve the socio-economic conditions of the targeted ultra poor VGD members by building up their income earning capacity and social empowerment through providing occupation/skill development training on potential profit making income generating activities, awareness raising on human rights, health & hygiene care, environment, disaster preparedness etc, savings development, life skills issues and making provision of credit and other services during and beyond the food assistance period. This program is observing as effective tool for livelihood improvement of the ultra poor women and ensuring their food security.
ACD has developed separate units to facilitate its programs for sustainable benefits in programming.
The unit ensures productivity of ACD staffs towards achievement of organizational goal and objectives. The unit works in conformity with the Human Resource Policy of ACD. It also looks after the disciplinary aspects of the staffs. The key functions of human resource development are to enhance staff performance through orientation, training, and Performance Management System. It designs and implements a variety of interventions for staffs aimed at realizing their potentials and increasing their professional competencies.
The finance section’s prime responsibility is to deal with all functions pertaining to Finance and Accounts. The section plays an important, indeed a central role in the organization to affect organizational efficiency, effectiveness, economy, enhance decision making capacity and to ensure transparency and accountability. ACD’s finance section is involved in functions such as:
The finance section collects financial information and report from all units of the organization where costs are incurred in order to control and safeguard financial transactions.
ACD attaches due importance to advocacy at local, national, regional and international forums and involve on promoting human rights, good governance, anti-trafficking, gender equity, climate vulnerability, disaster management, issues related to tobacco control and its adverse impact, and microcredit services. ACD advocacy strategy seeks to educate survivors and civil society at large, about their rights to legal resourcesand representations, as well as fair and adequate legislation. ACD has organized a number of community events in order to raise awareness as a social phenomenon deserving of society and government’s attention and redress. ACD applies a three tired approach to advocating for the rights of people.
ACD Advocacy Strategies
Advocacy initiatives also include undertaking research on how laws and policies constrain human rights; publishing its research findings, documents and reports to mobilize public opinion and stimulate discussion on the need for reform, including through the mass and alternative media; and carrying out legal advocacy for positive changes through litigation or lobbying with policy makers. Advocacy is carried out by the Research, Documentation & Publication Unit, and Investigation Unit.
Human rights investigation is vital element to protect human rights properly. It entails a great deal of information-gathering in order to establish and verify the facts surrounding an alleged human rights violation. Human rights investigation also includes gathering information about incidents, observing events, visiting sites, discussions with Government authorities to obtain information and to pursue remedies and other immediate follow-up. ACD conducts regular investigations on human rights issues and abuses. These are conducted both in-groups and independently, depending on the type of the abuse. Priority issues are violations against women, religious and ethnic minorities, children and issues that hinder the achievement of the rights of the people. The investigation unit compile and preserve information and share with relevant agencies of the government and members of civil society, professional groups like journalists.
The unit aims to improve the management competencies of development practitioners and to enhance the human and operational skills of beneficiaries and program participants. The unit plays a significant role in developing new need based training courses for ACD programs. It takes special initiative to upgrade the existing modules and materials. Diversified internal training initiatives such as gender in reproductive health, adolescent skills development, small business analysis, promotion of sales skills and computer literacy are arranged for male and female staffs.
The unit promotes and ensures effective implementation of the Child Protection Policy of ACD on the welfare of children by safeguarding their rights from abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation. The unit closely works with shelter home, drop in center, socialization center (semi institutional center), child led organizations, Community Based Organizations, local elected bodies, law enforcing agencies, women group, adolescents groups, arbitration committee, etc. The unit is comprised of 7 members’ i.e. (i) senior managemenmt, (ii) Shelter Home, (iii) Drop-In-Center, (iv) Human Resource Unit, (v) program staff working on children issues, and (vi) two children.All ACD staffs have been oriented on the key issues: raising awareness on child protection, organization’s contact with children and risk of child abuse, review of child protection policies and procedures and follow-up – organizational plans in developing or strengthening Child Protection Policies and Procedures.
The unit works with/for different stakeholders in three different concerns, a) advocacy, b) awareness raising, and c) therapeutic. ACD assimilated theatre for the process of advocacy that aims to make its stakeholders realization on social problems and thereby advocates them to take immediate actions to solve the problems. ACD’s cultural teamconsisted of survivors staying at Shelter Home, DICs, Socialization Centre, and children and young women from vulnerable family who are working as a unique unit for community mobilization and advocacy. The team conducted folk song, drama and theatre on women empowerment, discrimination, human trafficking, safe migration and different rights issues to sensitize the people. The unit also provide capacity building support to the children of violence victims to cope with the traumatic and stigmatized situations.
The unitbrings out different publications by compiling program impact in a coordinated manner. The Documentation Cell under the unit preserves newspaperclippingsinbothEnglishandBengali, prepares statisticalchartsonhuman rights violations which occur in Rajshahi district and keep them ready to be use for the organization. ACD publications include newsletters, annual report, booklets, brochures, leaflet, flyers, posters, information folder, stickers, signage, documentary, program reports, research and studies. Such activities encouraged the printing media to publish a number of features and success stories of ACD. Some cases anchored the events that reinforced the confidence and commitment of staff members, target beneficiaries and people at large. The unit responds to different Expression of Interest (EoI), producing different write-ups on development, concept notes, preparing and developing different proposals.
Vocational skill training and employment activities have been taken for improving the livelihood of victim of violence including men, women and children who are disadvantaged and in vulnerable situation through creating scope for better employment. They are provided suitable trade based vocational and technical education like tailoring, embroidery, Block-Batik, mobile servicing, electric & electronic servicing, packaging, paper cutting and paper bag making, handicrafts and souvenirs, beautification, candle making, poultry, livestock, and nursery. The trades have been selected as per findings of the participatory market survey along with supply and value chain analysis in the local area. The course completed trainees are involved in different safe and wage employment and they are earning better amount then before.