20th century intelligence - ending poverty of half world without electricity -although Keynes 1936 (last capter general theiry money inetrest emplymen) asked Economists to take hipocrati oath as the profession that ended extreme poverty, most economists did the opposite. Whats not understandable is how educatirs failed to catalogue the lessons of the handful who bottom-up empowered vilages to collaboratively end poverty. There are mainly 2 inteligences to understand- Borlaug on food; fazle abed on everything that raised life expectancy in tropical viage asia from low 40s to 60s (about 7 below norm of living with electricity and telecomes). Between 1972 and 2001, Abed's lessons catalogued in this mooc had largelu built the nation of Bangladesh and been replicated with help of Unicef's James Grant acroo most tropical asian areas. What's exciting is the valley's mr ad mrs steve jobs invted Fazle Abed to share inteligences 2001 at his 65th birthday party. The Jobs and frineds promised to integrate abed's inteligence into neighborhod university stanfrd which in any event wanted Jobs next great leap the iphone. The Valley told abed to start a university so that women graduates from poor and rich nations could blend inteligence as Abed's bottom of the pyramid vilage began their journey of leapfrog modles now that gridd infarstructures were ni longer needed for sdiar and mobile. Abed could also help redesign the millennium goals which were being greenwashed into a shared worldwide system coding frame by 2016. There re at Abed's 80th birtday party , the easy bitwas checking this mooc was uptodate. The hard bit - what did Abed mean by his wish to headhunt a taiwanese american to head the university's 3rd decade starting 2020?

Thursday, August 10, 2023

1.1 seeds of brac he world's only bottom up agency of disaster relief and development

 Disaster relief is often seen as world a way from human development. In terms of development and integrating nation sustaining intelligence,  mathematically/systemically This is extremely illogical or highly political or both!

 Its the only time foreigners (eg empire former rulers)  are asked to come in by independence national government; their funds are to do relief of an overwhelming disaster like a cyclone killing hundreds of thousands but not to stay and transfer knowhow to0locals. Brac sort of bridged the two skillsets  (best of both systems)by accident, Consequences were spectacular - a model 1billion girls development has analogously adapted... essentially barefoot nd women empowerment models in asia will over 1872-2019 swapped or multiplied the intelligence of abed's greatest cooperation design probably ever seen in 2 millennials

since The Economist published Entrepreneurial Revolution dec 1976 - my family as system mapmakers (dad coined ER) has only seen 2 world champions who are so deeply rooted in data/intel of scoiety - fazle abed and Dr fei-fei li  -we're talking impacts (f=grounded so deep in sustainability across generations) on majority of human race -in abed's case by definition any rural family raining life expectancy in tropucs from low 40s to 60s must have applied some of abed's goal 3 health solutions and goal 2 food solutions

 process 90% of nation building was networked bottom up by women empowrment because at borth of nations 90% was rural and the national leadership in dhaka barely had taxes or resources to serve 10% who were citizens as well as national security

Abed in 1970 was regional ceo of shell. When a cyclone kileld half a million , shell campus was one of few ledt standing- and many of the smartest village-focused medics who knew the country and its one lab (cholera) boarded with abed. Adter a few months as releif workers lefr, abed's fate was different. Shell basically told him to go work for pakistan army- the empire adminstratting East Pakistan as it had been called

over to https://www.dhakatribune.com/others/317925/julian-bhai-friend-of-bangladesh

what was happening to abed between 1969 and 1972 - here's an unique account

What did you do after the Liberation War ended?

After my short visit to Bangladesh, I was back in Calcutta to gradually close down Oxfam’s refugee relief program. Some people who had been running a 480-bed bamboo hospital to treat the wounded needed medical supplies, and so they “raided” our medical store in Calcutta. Later on the NGO, Gonoshasthaya Kendra, which Oxfam supported for a few years, was set up. It trained young women to be “barefoot midwives,” who rode on bicycles to tend to expecting mothers in villages. 

This support was, to a large extent, due to Raymond, who was appointed Country Director of the new Oxfam office in Bangladesh. He was the obvious choice, and he had accepted the job, but on one condition. Send relief supplies to Caritas or Mother Teresa’s sisters, he told head office, not to me. I want to use Oxfam funds to support young Bangladeshis with vision, he said. 

The other early beneficiary of this philosophy was a new NGO called BRAC. In February 1972, I handed over 300,000 rupees to its young founder, Fazle Hasan Abed, for village rehabilitation work in Sylhet. 

Cyclone Bhola in 1970 played a large part in the origins of BRAC, did it not?

Yes, it did. Abed got involved with the cyclone relief operations started by some American expats and their Bengali friends in Dhaka, and that eventually inspired him to create BRAC. The expats that he met in 1970 during the cyclone relief work were a very well-informed and dedicated group of individuals, including Jon and Candy Rohde, Lincoln and Marty Chen, Richard Cash, among others. Abed sometimes turned to this “brain trust” for advice and consultation. They stayed involved with BRAC for many years. 

How did Sir Fazle Abed fare during the War?

He had a narrow escape! Abed had returned from England in 1969, after 15 years in England, to work with Shell Oil. By the time war broke out, he had already been promoted twice. But after the military crackdown, he was transferred to Dhaka, where he was given his new assignment: Manage the fuel supply for the occupying Pakistan army. He realized he had to get out of there.

He took a flight to Karachi, ostensibly to visit friends. He went on to Islamabad where the authorities there got wind that something was up. They raided his hotel room, and took him in for questioning.  Why had a Bengali from Dhaka suddenly turned up in West Pakistan? “To see friends,” he told them, and pulled out his return ticket. “If I am ordered to return to Dacca at once, I will,” he added. Of course, he had no such intention. As soon as they left, he took a bus across the border to Kabul, Afghanistan, and hopped on the next flight to London.

The return ticket was a good idea!

Yes, that probably saved him. That and his British passport, which doubtless gave the Pakistan security forces some pause, before taking him in or harming him in any way.

What, in your opinion, made him so successful in building BRAC?

Abed was a very attentive listener. He actually listened to the people that he wanted to help. Most don’t do that. But he did. He talked directly with villagers. There are recordings of him in the villages speaking to farmers. 

In those days, few listened to farmers. They’re illiterate, so what do they know? Quite a lot, actually. They have indigenous knowledge. They know what grows in each area. They know about the medicinal qualities of plants. About 25 years ago, farmers in Sirajganj were telling us that the river was rising a couple of days earlier each year, because the snow in the Himalayas was melting a bit earlier each year. They knew what was happening with respect to global warming and climate change long before anyone else. 

The other thing about Abed was that he was always looking to learn. He wasn’t interested in the good news; he wanted to learn from mistakes, things that were overlooked. That was unusual, at the time. So he would always ask me: What can we do better? So I would tell him. I don’t see many women in the program, I might say, or I don’t see any children with disabilities in the BRAC schools. And within a week, BRAC staff would be following up. Now, it’s commonplace for service providers to monitor and evaluate the impact of their projects. Abed and BRAC were doing that from the very beginning.

And one other smart thing that Abed did was to keep BRAC out of politics, as much as possible. A lot of other NGOs didn’t do that, especially in the 1980s. Even the umbrella organization, the Association for Development Agencies (ADAB), got caught up in the political situation. By the late 1980s, it had become a downright hostile environment, with acts of violence, even murder plots. At one time, Raymond Bhai and I were engaged in shuttle diplomacy, passing messages between NGO leaders, pleading with them not to resort to violence. 

This state of affairs surely didn’t help the NGO sector?

Not at all. It hurt the image of NGOs as a whole in this country. But by staying out of it, BRAC emerged with its reputation intact, and in an even stronger position.