What does Minister Ploumen’s visit mean for you and the other partners?
“The fact that Minister Ploumen came to see the programme activities for herself and spent a whole day with the beneficiaries is a message for us that the Dutch government prioritises both Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and young people’s needs. During her visit she said that she was impressed by how much Bangladesh has progressed and that the country is working very well in the field of SRHR, especially with regards to young people.”
What are the most outstanding outcomes that you see as a result of the UBR (2) programme? And what value has Simavi added to the programme?
“The existence and execution of the UBR2 means that the original UBR programme has become more visible to its stakeholders, especially the government. The presence of high-level Bangladeshi government officials in Gazipur during Minister Ploumen’s visit proved that, and I believe that is the most outstanding change.
Simavi’s involvement in UBR2 adds value in two ways. First, as Simavi is the technical lead among our Dutch partners, it can share its long and outstanding experiences in the arena of SRHR with the programme. Second, Simavi can disseminate internationally the experiences it learns from a country like Bangladesh, which has progressed a lot despite of its so-called ‘conservative’ image.”
What are the future plans for the programme?
“PSTC and our partners realise that the support we receive might be squeezed in the future, so our main plan will be focused on how to sustain the programme, how to sell the idea to government stakeholders in mainstreaming the programme and how to attract other development (donor) partners to invest in this type of programme. Therefore our main strategy will have an emphasis on ‘Lobby & Advocacy’, be it national, regional or international.”
More information on the UBR programmes can be found here.