The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, together with the neighboring Indian state of West Bengal makes the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. It is the 8th most populous country in the world, with a population of approximately 161 million. Bangladesh also has the highest population density amongst large countries. It has been identified as one of the 11 countries that have the potential to become one of the world's largest economies in the 21st century. However, despite the economic gains Bangladesh continues to face challenges such as lack of infrastructure, weak institutions, rapid urbanization, and low social development.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the World Bank have been working together in Bangladesh to support multiple development initiatives, including water and sanitation, urban development, and social & institutional capacity building. The Government of Australia has become a strategic development partner in Bangladesh and continues to support provision of services in low-income communities and small towns, institutional capacity building of water utilities, and gender development.

Projects

Grant Title Project Status Programs Funded Objective
Bangladesh - Intermodal Freight Logistics Active Infrastructure For Growth This study is supporting the policy dialogue on freight logistics in Bangladesh by identifying the institutional, policy, regulatory, and investment options to develop a modern and efficient freight logistics sector in Bangladesh. It also provides quantitative underpinning for designing a national logistics strategy.
Impact Evaluation Northern Areas Reduction-of-Poverty Initiative (NARI) project Closed completed South Asia Gender initiative To determine whether the Northern Areas Reduction-of-Poverty Initiative (NARI) project has had a significant impact on the earnings and socio-economic welfare of female beneficiaries in Bangladesh. The NARI project facilitates access to employment opportunities in the garment sector for poor and vulnerable women from lagging areas of Bangladesh by providing information, technical and life-skills training, transitional housing, and other support in order to adjust to urban life and formal sector employment.
Building Capacity for Gender Mainstreaming - Ministry of Housing and Public Works (Bangladesh) Closed completed South Asia Gender initiative To build capacity and gender-sensitizing activities in the Ministry of Housing and Public Works in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh – Women-Only Bus Service in Dhaka City Closed South Asia Gender initiative To address the increasing set of issues that female commuters face in Bangladesh, taking examples of other cities around the world that have introduced women-only services.
Bangladesh - Chittagong Urban Transport Master Plan Active Infrastructure For Growth Technical assistance is provided to support the improvement of urban transport in Chittagong. This is expected to help improve safe and smooth mobility of the residents of Chittagong and remove one of the critical obstacles for freight transport of the country. Growing economic activities in Chittagong, already crowded with a population of about 6.5 million, caused deterioration of urban transport, larger congestion, traffic accidents, and air pollution. Urban transport problems of the city hamper the country’s economic development. The city is a major port handling increasing freight handling at the port with road transport that is the major mode of freight transport to and from Chittagong port, while rail and inland waterway carry nominal share. Delays in the freight transport passing through the city would result directly in delays in the economic activities relaying on transported goods, thus the solution is sought to improve urban transport and the freight transport in particular.
Bangladesh - Building Capacity for Gender Mainstreaming - Ministry of Housing and Public Works Closed South Asia Gender initiative
Bangladesh - Impact Evaluation of Northern Area Reduction of Poverty Initiative (NARI) Closed South Asia Gender initiative This activity aimed at determining whether the Northern Area Reduction of Poverty Initiative (NARI) has had a significant impact on the earnings and socio-economic welfare of female beneficiaries in Bangladesh. The NARI project facilitates access to employment opportunities in the garment sector for poor and vulnerable women from lagging areas of Bangladesh by providing information, technical and life skills training, transitional housing. It supports women’s adjustment to urban life and formal sector employment. NARI is a pilot project that is planned to be scaled up to other poor areas in Bangladesh based on the results of the impact evaluation that takes into account: mid-term earnings 18 months after the completion of the training program; probability of employment; probability of continuation of employment for a certain amount of time (survival rate) in the garment industry; health and behavior outcomes (life expectancy, pregnancy, marital status, among other dimensions); living standards of dependents. Since this is the first stand-alone gender project in the South Asia Region, the impact evaluation will also inform the design of other projects in the region.