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What is Bangladesh ECD Network (BEN)?

Bangladesh ECD Network (BEN) is a forum of stakeholders including government, non-government and international organizations working in early childhood development (ECD). The Network was formally established on 7 September 2005 as forum for sharing information and experiences regarding ECD and increase cooperation among members.

What is the Goal of Bangladesh ECD Network?

BEN aims to support and encourage organizations, agencies and institutions partners to generate their commitment to and investment in children's optimal and holistic development in Bangladesh.

What are the Objectives of the Network?

The major objective of the BEN is to advocate for and promote ECD in Bangladesh. The specific objectives are:
  • Develop ECD Guidelines & Tools: Develop standard and generic guidelines for developing ECD tools, materials and programs.
  • Share Information and Resources: Create and provide a platform for ECD professionals and partners to share information and resources to ensure accessibility.
  • Create Awareness: Promote importance of ECD and create awareness at practice level.
  • Advocate for Policy Change: Support national actors and partners to advocate and formulate national ECD policies, frameworks and program implementation strategies.
  • Build Partnership: Build national and international partnerships and collaborate to create a supportive environment to leverage resources for ECD and BEN's capacity to fulfill its objective.
  • Generate Knowledge: Generate and facilitate the empirical research knowledge on ECD from national and global context to address priority areas and develop ECD culture.
  • Develop Capacity: Create and offer opportunities for professional development and learning related to ECD programming

What are the roles of BEN?

The major roles of Bangladesh ECD Network are:
  • Advocating for policy development and change
  • Building capacity
  • Generating new knowledge
  • Establishing partnership
  • Sharing Knowledge
  • Expanding coverage

Who are the Members?

BEN being a forum of organizations working for Early Childhood Development in Bangladesh has a variety of organizations including Government agencies, research institutes, national and international organizations, local NGOs and UN agencies who are engaged in promoting ECD. A member fulfills one or more of the following specific criteria related to holistic development including cognitive, linguistic, emotional and social development of young children in Bangladesh:

  • Provides or plans to provide ECD services.
  • Engages in advocacy.
  • Provides training.
  • Develops learning and training materials.
  • Provides or mobilizes fund.
  • Conducts research and studies.
  • Conducts and/or has potential for mass awareness campaign and other communication activities.
  • Contributes to formulating national policy, standards, plans and programs and in systems development in relation to ECD.

What are the Responsibilities of Network Members?

The responsibilities of a network member includes:
  • Attend and participate in network meetings in various forums/events organized by BEN central level Executive Committee and Regional Level Hubs.
  • Represent BEN at local level and build close relation with other ECD partners.
  • Advocate for the network and seek to enroll potential new members.
  • Participate in Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) called by the Executive Committee.
  • Implement program/activity set by the BEN central level Executive Committee and Regional Level Committees prepared as per decision of AGM or EGM.
  • Maintain liaison with the network secretariat and act as an active ECD partner in promoting BEN objectives.
  • Provide support for organization of local level advocacy, communication and promotional activities by BEN.
  • Provide information and share resource materials as and when needed.
  • Support the sustainability of BEN either through funding or providing voluntary assistance.

What are the Benefits of Network Membership?

An organisation subscribing to the Bangladesh ECD Network membership receives several benefits such as:
  • Access to the interactive Bangladesh ECD website (www.ecd-bangladesh.net), where substantial issues can be discussed, up-to-the-minute information can be shared, expertise can be identified and members can find out about ECD activities of member organizations.
  • Complimentary copy of ECD Newsletter, BEN directory, other publications and other promotional materials developed by the network.
  • Access to short courses (free or with partial cost sharing) on ECD/ECE by professional institutions.
  • Access to training and orientation to be organized by the network or in collaboration with other organizations/institutions.
  • Invitation to participate in regional and national meetings, seminars, technical meetings and workshops.
  • Access to the pooled expertise of the ECD field in Bangladesh through technical assistance, responses to particular requests for information, formal and informal discussions, and written updates.
  • Information and advice about financial resources for implementation of ECD program.
  • Access to technical resources and materials produced by network at subsided rate or at cost price.

Who can apply for membership?

Any organization, institution, agency, sectoral department, network, forum, corporate body and individual contributing to promoting holistic development of young children from conception to transition into primary education will be eligible to apply for membership of Bangladesh ECD Network.

An applicant will have to fulfill one or more of the following specific criteria related to holistic development including cognitive, linguistic, emotional and social development of young children in Bangladesh:

  • Provides or plans to provide ECD services.
  • Engages in advocacy.
  • Provides training.
  • Develops learning and training materials.
  • Provides or mobilizes fund.
  • Conducts research and studies.
  • Conducts and/or has potential for mass awareness campaign and other communication activities.
  • Contributes to formulating national policy, standards, plans and programs and in systems development in relation to ECD.

What are the categories of BEN membership?

General Member: Organization, agency, sectoral department and academic institution involved in ECD policy development, planning, program development, service delivery and research.

Individual Member: Individuals having a high level of professional expertise in the field of ECD and/or contributing significantly to promoting ECD in Bangladesh may be invited by the executive Committee to become individual members of the Network.

Associate Member: Organizations, agencies, networks, forums, associations, professional groups, enterprises and individuals, who are working in specialized areas (such as nutrition, health care, child protection etc.) and can play a supportive role for promoting ECD.

Observer Member: International development agencies interested in ECD can apply for observer membership.

How to Get the Membership?

  • Interested organizations/individuals who desire to become member of BEN and meet the criteria set by the network can apply in the prescribed form available in the Network Secretariat, Regional Secretariats and BEN website. An application (letter of interest) and organizational profile have to be submitted along with the prescribed format.
  • Regional Committees will provide inputs to Executive Committee, as necessary, regarding applicants.
  • The executive committee will review all membership applications and take decision regarding all membership and the fulfillment of eligibility for different categories of membership.
  • The selected members will be notified through e-mail or mail about membership decision.
  • Political, religious, cultural or ethnic identity, values or beliefs are not considered in offering or denying membership.
  • Inability to continue work on ECD for a long period of time will lead to discontinuation of membership at the Executive Committee's discretion.

What is the Executive Committee of the Network?

The Executive Committee of BEN is elected by BEN members to facilitate the activities of the network. The executive committee has been working since the inception of BEN. The committee, elected periodically, takes necessary decisions regarding BEN activities and implementation of plans approved in BEN general meeting. an Executive Committee, comprising:

Structure of Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of BEN members derived from representatives of Government and Non-Government agencies, national and international organizations, UN bodies, Educational Institute and local NGOS

What are the Responsibilities of the Executive Committee?

The responsibilities of the committee include:

  • Mobilize resources for the Network activities, prepare annual budgets for the network and ensure budget accountability.
  • Identify, plan and organize relevant network activities in line with objectives and policies of the Network approved at the general meeting of Network members.
  • Prepare and distribute annual network activity plan.
  • Approve new membership.
  • Ensure that the network directory and website is updated on a regular basis.
  • Supervise the secretariat in performing its duties.
  • Delegate required network tasks to network members. Represent the network domestically and internationally as needed and according to availability of resources. Establish advisory and consultation structures and mechanisms, especially regarding ECD policy and plan development and capacity building activities.

What is the Secretariat of Bangladesh ECD Network?

Central Secretariat

A secretariat has been established to support the network in general and under supervision by the Executive Committee. In order to ensure the sustainability and continuity of the secretariat, the ECD Network secretariat has been located at the Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University.

Regional Secretariat

BEN has 9 regional secretariats across the country. The regional secretariats with support from the central secretariat organize different activities at regional level. The objective of the regional secretariats is to facilitate easy communication and better access between the regional secretariats and BEN members in the respective regions. List of BEN Regional Secretariats

NoRegionResponsible Host Organization
1.BarisalSpeed Trust
2.ChittagongShongshoptaque
3.Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT)Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP)
4.DhakaDhaka Ahsania Mission
5.KhulnaJagoroni Chakra Foundation
6.NetrokonaShabolombi Unnayan Samity (SUS)
7.RajshahiALWO
8.RangpurRDRS Bangladesh
9.SylhetFIVDB

What are the Responsibilities of the Secretariat?

The responsibilities of the secretariat include:

  • Prepare annual activity plan for the regions for approval by the BEN Executive Committee.
  • Execute the activities according to the approved activity plan.
  • Communicate regularly with all the members in the respective regions and disseminate information among them.
  • Keep in touch with the BEN Secretariat and provide news and updates.
  • Perform all logistic and event management functions of the regions in cooperation with BEN Secretariat.
  • Recommend membership from the regions following the membership criteria.
  • Help BEN Secretariat get information and facts of the new applicants.