Swisscontact South Asia had a sound 2015 in Bangladesh and Nepal.
In Bangladesh, despite political disturbances in early 2015, projects progressed at a satisfactory pace. Building Skills for Unemployed and Underemployed Labour (B-SkillFUL), mandated by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), started its Inception Phase in November 2015. It aims to improve well-being of 50,000 poor and disadvantaged men and women by increasing their access to the labour market and income, while safeguarding their fundamental rights at work.
Swisscontact has furthered its work in skills development in Nepal through the Nepal Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS) Project, which SDC is supporting the Ministry of Education to establish a National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) and a corresponding NVQ Authority.
Skills and Employment Programme - Bangladesh (SEP-B), re-branded as Sudokkho, is promoting private sector-led training using varied delivery modes in the Ready-Made Garments and construction sectors. Building on its successful partnership with Novartis, Swisscontact’s Achieving Sustainability towards Healthcare Access (ASTHA) project is improving access to quality healthcare services for rural communities through development and promotion of Community Paramedics in Bangladesh.
ATC-P, Katalyst, continues to deepen its impact using the market systems approach, making it more inclusive of the poor and women and targeting high value agriculture sub-sectors. Much of 2015 was also spent in capitalising the learning the project has generated over the years. The project is making good progress in defining, measuring and reporting on systemic changes.
Making Markets Work for the Jamuna, Padma and Teesta Chars (M4C) is partnering with public agencies, private companies and local service providers to promote relevant inputs and services and improve market linkages leading to sustainable income generation for char dwellers. As a result of implementing innovative dialogue approach of forming and capacitating Change Management Teams (CMTs) by Supplier Qualifications Programme (SQP) in partnership with GIZ–International Services, targeted factories in the Ready-Made Garments sector are enjoying reduced injuries, worker turnover and absenteeism. Value for Waste project is pioneering in segregated primary waste collection system through community leaders in various neighbourhoods, including low-income slum areas in Bhashantek in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
In Nepal, in spite of the devastating earthquakes in April and May, on-going initiatives of Swisscontact like Youth Employment Project (YEP) are contributing to the integration of youth into the job market and youth groups in social and economic processes through improved and market-oriented skills development training and awareness programmes on youth policy dialogue and stakeholder sensitisation. Likewise, Samarth - Nepal Market Development Programme (NMDP), in addition to promoting market systems for the small producers and workers in selected high-value agriculture sub-sectors and tourism sector, is also promoting, in the aftermath of the earthquakes, a market-led response through The Agricultural Reconstruction Project for sustainable recovery.