A number of organizations and networks working on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), and the health agenda in general, jointly launched the Healthy Bangladesh SRH Network on Tuesday.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed at a ceremony held at a conference centre in the capital.
The speakers at the ceremony said Bangladesh has strong commitments on population and health goals, and has made important progress on many fronts. However, they added that critical challenges still loom, including a slowing in the decline of maternal mortality, persistence of child marriage and unmet needs on family planning.
They also voiced the opinion that holistic approaches to empowerment of women and engagement of youth are central to succeeding on the looming challenges.
The founding members of Healthy Bangladesh SRH Network include the Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), Options Consulting Services, BRAC, Naripokkho, Family Planning Association of Bangladesh, Population Services and Training Centre, IPAS-Bangladesh, SERAC-Bangladesh, Society for Environment and Human development, RH-STEP, Mirror Institute of Arts and Justice, Kotha, Handicap International and Ghashful.
Hossain Zillur Rahman will be the convener of the network and PPRC will act as its secretariat.
The network brings together a diverse set of organisational capacities including service-delivery, raising awareness, research and documentation, advocacy, capacity-building and policy influencing.
While each participating organisation will continue to focus on their action areas, the network will specifically focus on building a collective voice to promote social and policy accountability, especially in the areas of SRHR, and broadly in the areas of adolescent and women's health.
The initial set of activities of the network will be supported by Options Consultancy Services under the Department for International Development's WISH2ACTION programme.