President, Abul Hashem, has provided technical assistance to USAID funded adolescent reproductive health project in Bangladesh for about five months during 2016 and 2017 period. The project is implemented by Plan International. The project is designed to provide sexual and reproductive health education to adolescent boys and girls of age 10-19 and improve their access to health facilities through improving the capacity of the service providers and facilities and referring the adolescents to the clinics. In Bangladesh 33 percent of the girls are married before the ae of 15 and 65 percent before the age of 18. More than half of the girls under 19 years of age become mothers. The project also works to establish a social environment that is supportive of delaying the marriage of adolescent and first birth through engaging the gatekeepers –family elders, community and religious leaders. The project also trains interested married adolescents to serve as community sales agents for social marketing products including contraceptives to improve access to contraceptive services in the communities.
Mr. Hashem’s technical assistance included Identification and addressing strategic, design, and operational issues that impede project’s performance. He facilitated establishing a common understanding between all stakeholders of the project objectives; modified the organizational structure and partner management to improve effectiveness and efficiency; introduced work planning and budgeting system to enable close performance monitoring, weekly staff meeting, and streamlined a communication process between different stakeholders including USAID. He also initiated a process to digitize the monitoring and evaluation system, revising job descriptions of several staff to improve their utilization and establishment of team synergy. Mr. Hashem’s inputs has dramatically improved project’s resource utilization and achievement of results and consequently project’s image to USAID, the partners, and other stakeholders.