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LEAP III Bangladesh Policy and Regulatory Assessment

The U.S. Agency for International Development in Bangladesh (USAID/Bangladesh or the Mission) engaged Integra Government Services International (Integra) through the Learning, Evaluation, and Analysis Project III (LEAP III), to conduct an assessment (the Assessment) and prepare a draft scope of work (SOW) for an upcoming five-year, $10-15 million activity under the Mission’s Feed the Future (FtF) program (the Activity). Through this new activity, the Mission will improve policy implementation in four key pillar areas: 1) seeds, 2) food safety, 3) social safety nets (SSN) and 4) nutrition.

Public-Private Partnerships for Family Planning Commodities

Many governments and donors support the use of public-private partnerships to distribute publicly managed commodities through the private health sector to overcome barriers to access for the full range of family planning methods. This brief draws on country experiences with commodity partnerships for family planning in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. It documents approaches used to place government-managed commodities into the hands of private providers and ultimately the women seeking the method.

Sauti Trade Insights COVID-19 Bulletin

COVID-19 has imposed extreme challenges for East Africa’s micro and small enterprise traders. The Sauti Trade Insights COVID-19 Bulletin leverages Sauti East Africa's unique analytical perspective to document traders’ changes in business behaviour in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We present key findings on the economic impacts of COVID-19 on traders, drawing on behavioural insights from our mobile-based market information platforms in Kenya and Rwanda. 

mSTAR/Bangladesh Final Evaluation

mSTAR's activity in Bangladesh ran from September 2013 until September 2017. Its primary objective was to assist USAID/Bangladesh to integrate digital payments in the programs and operations of implementing partners, as well as to support expansion of the digital payments industry in ways that are beneficial to USAID programs and USAID’s broader development objectives at an ecosystem level.

Increased Income Earning Opportunities: Bala’s Story

Kuber Chandra Bala is a fish farmer who had previously participated in trainings offered by USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project. In 2014, AIN began paying training incentives to farmers like Bala via mobile money. Bala soon started using his MFS account to make purchases and top up his mobile airtime, saving him time and money. With the time saved, he was able to engage in other income-earning opportunities. This is the tenth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of digital financial services on people's lives.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Use Cases of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh (by Payment Type)

This document illustrates some of the different ways that mobile financial services (MFS) are being used in Bangladesh. It intends to help USAID’s implementing partners learn more about how mobile financial services are being and have been used for different purposes across different projects and programs implemented by government agencies, private sector players and development organizations.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Use Cases of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh (by Beneficiary)

This document illustrates some of the different ways that mobile financial services (MFS) are being used with different types of beneficiaries in Bangladesh. It intends to help USAID’s implementing partners learn more about how mobile financial services are being and have been used across different projects and programs implemented by government agencies, private sector players and development organizations.

Agent Banking 101

Agent banking is the latest innovation in banking services available in Bangladesh. It aims to provide formal banking services to the unbanked, including populations that have traditionally been more inaccessible. Although officially sanctioned by Bangladesh Bank in late 2013, agent banking has only recently started to take off in Bangladesh in the past year and a half. It represents another channel, like mobile financial services, promoted by the Government of Bangladesh to promote financial inclusion.

Deep Dive into the Mobile Financial Services Offered in Bangladesh: Presentations by two leading providers | Workshop

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

Mobile Money Tipsheet: Bridging the Mobile Financial Services Gender Divide

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. These tipsheets are intended to assist USAID implementing partners in Bangladesh to more effectively make use of mobile financial services.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Minutes February 2015

The mSTAR/Bangladesh-organized Mobile Money Consultative Group held its second meeting on February 19, 2015. The MMCG serves as a platform through which stakeholders can share their experiences using mobile money, as well as to identify opportunities for new product innovations and barriers that may exist in effectively using existing products to reach remote and underserved populations. Over 20 representatives from the donor community and development sector attended and contributed to the constructive dialogue. This summary provides meeting highlights. 

Mobile Money in Action: Myths, Facts and Simulations | Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

The Future of Mobile Payments in USAID Health Projects and Programs: Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. This workshop focused on training frontline manager on MM and its benefits, and on the role of the mSTAR project.

Agricultural Productivity Context: Promoting Agriculture, Governance, and the Environment (PAGE) Project

The PAGE project worked with smallholder cocoa producers—most of whom were vulnerable, including war widows and youths—to address production-to-market transactions and develop competitive agricultural and rural enterprises using a market systems approach. This case study highlights the importance of the facilitation role of the development organization to ensure that stakeholder workshops take place. In the project, a national level stakeholder summit took place to address the constraints and opportunities of the national cocoa value chain in Sierra Leone.

Scaling Feed the Future Innovations Through Market Systems (Event Resources)

Richard Kohl is a scaling expert currently assisting USAID Bureaus and Missions in thinking about how to scale technologies and innovations within the context of Feed the Future. Dr. Kohl is roughly half-way through a dozen planned country visits to Missions with Feed the Future investments to provide recommendations on scaling innovations, be they technologies or business models. His approach views market systems as platforms for shifting from scaling, as defined by more time and resources, to a more sustainable, population-scale approach. Dr.

Bangladesh Portfolio Assessment

The mobile banking market in Bangladesh has seen rapid growth in recent years. However, significant progress still needs to be made before Bangladesh’s poor can fully realize the benefits of mobile banking. One area that promises significant near term opportunities to serve the needs of these groups is in government-sponsored payments. By utilizing mobile money or e-payment mechanisms, inefficiencies associated with disbursements can be reduced.

Mobile Money Infosheet: mCash

mCash, which is operated by Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, offers a range of products and services, including cash transfers between individuals (P2P) and between businesses/organizations and individuals (B2P), fund transfer between bank accounts to/from mobile accounts, student fee payments, salary disbursements and withdrawals, bill payments, merchant payments, airtime purchases, and international remittance payments. Its accounts are set up in accordance with Mudaraba Principles of Islamic Shari’ah.

Pushing the Employment Frontiers for Africa's Rural and Urban Youth

Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is growing at more than twice the pace of any other region. Although the overall rate of population expansion has been gradually declining for decades, the absolute number of working-age people will grow by approximately 14 million next year alone (Lam and Leibbrandt 2013). By 2030, when children born this year reach their 16th birthdays, the corresponding labor pool will have grown by 21 million people annually.

The ENABLE Case Study: Making Media Work for the Poor

This case study looks at work being undertaken by the Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for a Better Business Environment (ENABLE) Programme in Nigeria to strengthen one of the key supporters of this policy process – the mass media.