Building Partnerships to Promote Early Childhood Development

Bangladesh ECD Network (BEN) organized the Third National ECD Conference at Bangladesh Shishu Academy in 2008. Annual conference has become a regular event of the network. This year the two day long conference was held on 17-18 November 2008. About 500 people participated in the conference. Along with the BEN members, ECD professionals, educationists, nutritionists, child health specialists, child psychologists, health specialists, media personals, writers, journalists participated in the conference. Ms. Rokeya Sultana, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, was the chief guest and Mr. Quazi Akhter Hossain, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, was the special guest.

The two day conference included five plenary and nine concurrent sessions. The plenary sessions contained general discussion while many presentations on different important child development issues and discussion on them were made in the concurrent sessions.

International Presentation:

Representatives from the Open University, Sri Lanka and from the Government of India also shared their country experience on ECD through presentations. Ms. Jatinder Kaur, Under Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India presented on ECD Programme for Indian Children: ICDS Experience and Dr. Indrani M. M. Talagala, Former Head, Department of Early Childhood & Primary Education, The Open University of Sri Lanka shared about the Linkage between ECD Programme and Academic Institution: Sri Lankan Open University Experience.

Future Directions of Bangladesh ECD Network: Business Session

In presence of the members and the Executive Committee of BEN, some important decisions about the future direction of BEN were taken in the final plenary session. Mr. Chowdhury Mufad Ahmed, Joint Program Director, PDEP- II, DPE, chaired the session. Ms. Mahmuda Akhter, Member Secretary of BEN, briefly presented on the findings of the four regional seminars in 2008 and Mr. Mehedi Hasan, the Administrator of BEN, presented the report of the survey which was conducted in 2008 about the Executive Committee. The discussion in the session got very interactive as the network members shared their opinion about the future direction of the network. The executive committee members evaluated the questions from the audience. The following important decisions were made in the session:

  • The present committee would continue and extend by involving Ministries.
  • BEN would approach the Ministries ( Ministry of Primary and mass Education, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) to nominate their representatives in the BEN Executive Committee
  • BEN Regional Committees would form in 2009
Certificate Awarding:

Certificates of the Post Graduate Certificate Course on ECD were distributed among the students in the certificated awarding ceremony by Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University.

Video Highlights

The secretariat of BEN collected diverse videos on innovative ECD programs, television interviews by ECD experts and ECD related songs and videos from several organizations. They were projected in two big screens in the exhibition ground. The video show was running in both days of the conference. The initiative was highly appreciated as it was a good collection for sharing of the ECD initiatives in Bangladesh.


An exhibition was arranged at the premise of the venue. 20 organizations displayed and sold their own invented ECD materials in the allocated stalls. Bangladesh Shishu Academy, BRAC, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Early Childhood Development Support Programme – Bangladesh, ECDRC, IED, BRAC University, Friends in Village Development Bangladesh, Gonoshasthaya Kendra, Heed Bangladesh, ICDDR,B, Ichchey Media Group, IED, BRAC University, Inner Force, Integrated Community Development Project, Nayantara Communications, Phulki, Plan Bangladesh, Research Initiatives Bangladesh, Save the Children USA set their stalls in the exhibition. The exhibition gave the festive look.

Meet the Press:

From the Learning of the previous two conferences, the dealings with the journalists and media were planned this time. On the day before the conference, a meeting with the press was organized at Bangladesh Shishu Academy to brief about the conference to the journalist and as a consequence, the news of the whole conference was covered in the national dailies. The television channels telecast the news of the conference and an interview of the Member Secretary of BEN was aired on NTV at the first day of the conference.

Topics of the Sessions: Plenary Sessions:
  • Opening Ceremony
  • Government and Civil Society Initiatives for ECD
  • Certificate Awarding Ceremony of 1st Postgraduate Program on ECD in Bangladesh
  • ECD Programs in India and Sri Lanka
  • Future Directions of Bangladesh ECD Network: Business Session
Concurrent Sessions:
  • Play and Creativity
  • Child Rearing Practice in Bangladesh
  • Fathers' Role in Child Development
  • Community-based Responsive Parenting and Feeding
  • Mapping of ECD Activities in Bangladesh
  • Language Development in Ethnic Groups
  • Linking ECCD with Local Government in Bangladesh: Implementation and Scaling-up Challenges
  • Effectiveness of a Community-based Child Stimulation Program in Rural Bangladesh
  • Affects of SIDR on Young Children and Recovery
  • Child Trafficking and Child Development
  • Children's Early Development in Bede Community
  • Film and Television Production by Children
  • Early Interventions for Special Needs Children
  • Aga Khan Foundation's International Experience in ECD and its Work in Bangladesh
  • ECD Impact Study
  • Effect of Anchol Program for Injury Prevention
  • Education & Care of Street Children
  • ECD Program for Children in Char and Haor Area