Brac has launched a specially designed database on a user-friendly local service mapping website called "Shongjog" to support survivors of violence to access eight types of necessary information and avail services from state and non-state actors.
The interactive tool that offers name, contact details and other information on service providing agencies was introduced for the public at an event held at the BRAC Centre on Thursday (2 December), said a press release.
Brac will offer information on eight types of services from the platform that has been developed based on a mapping conducted in 61 districts covering 435 upazilas across Bangladesh.
Aroma Dutta, member of parliament, and Md Habibur Rahman Chowdhury, deputy director, National Legal Aid Service Organisation (NLASO), attended the event as the chief guest and special guest respectively. Asif Saleh, executive director, and Jenefa Jabbar, director, Social Compliance and Safeguarding, Brac, also spoke at the event.
The services in the mapping mainly include medical/health services, legal services, psychosocial services, safe/shelter homes, police stations and other necessary local service information for the survivors of violence. Through the website any victims/survivors of abuse, harassment and violence will be able to gain access to information and services designed to assist them to recover from traumatic experiences. It will result in increased access to the system of government and non-governmental services, expected the organisers, the press release added.
Appreciating the initiative, lawmaker Aroma Dutta called on all the civil society entities working on women's rights to join the effort. She suggested Brac should use the information on Shongjog website to develop a data bank to ensure more efficient support for survivors of violence.
NLASO Deputy Director Md Habibur Rahman Chowdhury assured that initiative will be taken to add details of all the government legal aid offices in different districts to the website. He emphasised the need to bring all the organisations working with survivors of violence under a single umbrella for the success of the initiative.
"This initiative will be truly successful only when people will get updated information from this site. But it is not possible for Brac only to entirely update it. It needs collaboration from all relevant stakeholders," Brac Executive Director Asif Saleh said.
He urged all to not consider the website as an initiative solely of Brac and to make their own contributions so that it becomes successful.
Jenefa Jabbar, director, Social Compliance and Safeguarding, Brac, said her organisation will collaborate with the government and non-state actors at both the central and local levels to create a wider range of connectivity and referral linkage.
Taslima Yesmin, associate professor, Department. of Law at the University of Dhaka, and representatives from different organisations also attended the event. From Brac, Tahmina Yesmin, safeguarding lead, Kollol Nag, Head of Platform under Technology Division, Taqbir Huda, advocacy lead for Communications and PVAW at Gender Justice and Diversity Programme, and Shashwatee Biplob, programme head, Social Empowerment and Legal Protection (SELP), were present, among others at the programme.