PRABRIDDHI – Local Economic Development

Bangladesh’s economy has been steadily growing over the last three decades with GDP growth rates above 5% over the last 10 years. Not all regions of Bangladesh however were able to benefit to the same extent from the economic transformation brought by this impressive GDP growth. As decentralization remains an important element of the 7th Five Year Plan (FYP) of the government, new approaches such as Local Economic Development (LED) have entered the sphere of the local government mission. 
Jashore Municipality, Bangladesh
Bhairab Municipality, Bangladesh
Shibganj Municipality, Bangladesh
Bogura Municipality, Bangladesh
Dinajpur Municipality, Bangladesh
Kushtia Municipality, Bangladesh
Project duration
2020 - 2025
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

The 7th FYP recognizes that the rural development contributes significantly to the economic development of the whole country and supports Bangladesh’s ambition to reach the status of “middle-income” country. In recent years, established and democratically elected Local Government Institutions (LGIs) at union, upzilla and municipal levels have gained weight in national debates on local governance and decentralization. This will support and renew the decentralization process. 

PRABRIDDHI focuses on building the capacity of an urban or rural territory to create a competitive advantage for its enterprises through a broad set of activities and improve the economic well-being of its people and workers. PRABRIDDHI is essentially participatory short-term planning, bottom-up designed, owned and delivered, relying on public-private collaboration with an iterative, transparent and open-ended process.

PRABRIDDHI is funded by SDC and implemented by Swisscontact. It has started a 24-month long pilot or inception phase (originally 18 month long but later extended by 6 months) in August 2018 in two selected municipalities of Bangladesh, Jashore and Shibganj. The objective of the pilot phase was:

  1. To build capacity of municipality level institutions and test the feasibility of the LED process through municipalities;
  2. To design a scale up phase of the project in additional municipalities based on the pilot experiences with a national level anchor.


Expected Results by 2025:

  • Benefit 40,000 people through increase of net additional income of CHF 4.5 million
  • Create 45,000 additional labor days
  • Support partner municipalities to generate additional revenue of CHF 500,000 through improved service provision
  • Develop LED toolkit based on the contextualized LED model for Bangladesh and anchor it with suitable national level partner to ensure wider replication of the LED model in future


Entrepreneurial ecosystems
PRABRIDDHI, SGS collaborates to empower local entrepreneurs
PRABRIDDHI, a local economic development (LED) project jointly funded by Switzerland and the Government of Bangladesh, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SGS Bangladesh Ltd to empower local entrepreneurs, strengthen business competitiveness and stimulate sustainable growth.  Markus Ehmann, team leader of PRABRIDDHI, and Engr. Abdur Rashid, Country Manager and the President of Switzerland Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, SGS Bangladesh Limited, signed the MoU at a Dhaka hotel on Wednesday (September 13, 2023).
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
PRABRIDDHI signs partnership contract with MAB to promote Local Economic Development through establishment of a virtual platform
The Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB) has signed a partnership agreement with PRABRIDDHI, a local economic development (LED) project funded by Switzerland and Government of Bangladesh, to promote LED through establishment of a virtual platform. Dewan Kamal Ahmed, president of MAB and mayor of Nilphamari municipality, and Markus Ehmann, team leader of PRABRIDDHI, signed the agreement on 7 September 2023 at Swisscontact Bangladesh office. 
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Development of a capacity building model for local economic development (LED) in Bangladesh
PRABRIDDHI is developing a capacity development model for Local Economic Development (SLED), in collaboration with the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University Rotterdam. The main objective of this initiative is to train national institutions, including the National Institute of Local Government (NILG), and other organizations such as the Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB), to build capabilities in the field of LED.