OSDER’s Development Programs are mainly action research program that it conducted during early years of its operation in its laboratory area in Gazaria , Munshigonj district of Bangladesh. History of its development program includes four stages of growth: Formative Stage (1990-1992), Experimentation Stage (1992-2003), Transitional Stage (2003-2009) and the Consolidation Stage.
Formative Stage (1990-1992)
Formative stage of OSDER is characterized by the formation of this organization with the initiative of its founder president Professor Dr. Aka Firowz Ahmad .In this stage after its formal emergence having its registered office in Dhaka the organization establishes a laboratory area in Gazaria Upazilla under Munshigonj district of Bangladesh with its office in the village Karim Khan..
Experimentation Stage (1993-2003)
In the experimentation stage OSDER undertakes several educations and action research programs related to community development in its laboratory area during the period from 1992 to 2003. Quite a large number of national and international organizations come forward with their assistance to provide their supports to OSDER’s efforts during this period.
With a view to developing a participatory and production oriented capital support program OSDER runs micro credit program for eight years from 1992 to 2000. Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), a government funding agency in Bangladesh provided fund to this program of OSDER during this period .OSDER undertakes a program for evolving Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) suitable for rural disabled people. CORDAID (a coalition of 3 Dutch organizations such as Mensen in Nood, Billance and Mimesa), Dienst Over Grenzen (DOG) and Stichting Liliane Fond (SLF) of the Netherlands and The National Foundation for Disabled Development extended their supports to the organization for different activities under this program.
OSDER initiated its women development program help of the Asia Partnership for Human Development (APHD). The Adventist Development and Relief Agencies (ADRA) and Caritas Bangladesh helped OSDER engage in environment and disaster management program. OSDER implemented a project for eliminating and preventing child labour from construction sectors, with the help of International Labour Organization (ILO) during 2001-2005. OSDER also conducted a project of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, Government of Bangladesh for the Eradication of Hazardous child labour in the Dhaka city.
Under the sponsorship of the Directorate of Non-formal education program (DNFE), OSDER monitors program activities of Program Implementation NGOs in the sector of Non Formal Education. With the help of Winrock International, OSDER undertook a project [OSDER-WI BREAD-II] for the promotion of poultry rearing technologies through small farmers’ participation in the Munshiganj.
Based on the experience of the fore mentioned programs/projects OSDER has developed its Community Based Development Program (CBDP) from holistic perspective that emphasizes the utilization of social capital and available resources in the community.
Community Based Development Program (CBDP)
OSDER has evolved its Community Based Development Approach to rural development in 1999 from holistic perspective. CBDP is a mixed scanning approach, its general target is the society as a whole but the disadvantaged sections including poor villagers, women, Persons with Disability (PWD), drug abusers and children are considered with special emphasis. All as well as government/non-government efforts are utilized in a coordinated manner to achieve this end. It mobilizes the community including its potential values and institutions to ensure their development in collaboration with government agencies, local government bodies and NGOs in institutionalized manner. Much emphasis has been given on human resource development. Community partnership approach has been taken for financial sustainability of the program as well as the organization itself.
This development approach is based on some basic considerations:
- Community has the built-in capacity to solve its own problems that naturally affect the total society.
- Community is the main actor of development where NGO acts as the facilitator or catalyst, since the community people is best aware of their problems and they also possess higher urge and commitment to solve the problems.
- The social capitals including the potential community values and institutions as well as the available efforts of government agencies, local government bodies and NGOs pertinent to development are mobilized.
- Emphasis has been given on human resource development.
- Community partnership approach has been taken for financial sustainability of the program as well as the organization itself.
The major program components of the Community Based Development Program (CBDP) include Community Education, Capital Support, Agriculture, Health, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) of the Persons With Disability (PWDs) Anti-Drug, Gender and Human Rights, Bio-diversity and Environment programs and so on.
Transitional Stage (2003-2009)
In the transitional stage OSDER withdraws its direct involvement in microcredit program at the field level. It was really a hazardous task to settle with a large numbers of group members who were associated the organization and establishing new franchising relationship with them. In the beginning of this stage OSDER conduct a thorough baseline survey on each of the group members and based on credit status they are gradually phased out from the credit program .They have been provided with referral services so that they might have easy access to credit facilities to other formal sources. By doing this the organization oriented its efforts essentially related development research, education and human resources development and dissemination knowledge through publications, seminar, and workshops and so on. In line with this OSDER started publishing the quarterly research journal ‘Society and Change’ since 2007.All the preparations for piloting CBDP approach to community development are taken in this stage.
Consolidation Stage (2009 up to date)
In this stage OSDER consolidates its role as an organization for development education and research .Besides conducting activities related to the allied fields it also engages in networking and community based research from multidimensional perspective. It has been by this time able to develop a potential research team consisting of scholars across the disciplines and generations.