Work Areas of PROKAS

PROKAS Working Areas

PROKAS is facilitating and supporting actors working in four areas: climate finance, labour migration, food safety and climate-induced migration.

Climate Finance Project

Through applying the comparative advantages of government, civil society and private sector, the project aims to demonstrate that climate projects that are transparent, accountable and inclusive, will increase the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of climate change interventions, increasing opportunities for national and global financing and the wellbeing of communities.

The project is engaging globally, nationally and locally with the following partners:

  • Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS)
  • Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University
  • Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust (COAST)
  • Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL)
  • International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)

Advances to date
Globally, project partners have joined with government to raise the profile of Bangladesh climate change issues, demonstrating Bangladesh as a leader amongst climate vulnerable countries.

Nationally, project partners have built trust with ministries leading to a shift from distrust towards civil society to one of recognising project partners’ value and proactively seeking support. This has been possible through the project being flexible and adaptive, working with the incentives of government actors and aligning interests – providing government ownership of processes and an interest in collaboration.

At a local level, partners have increased civil society awareness regarding climate change issues and have also built trust will local government. Climate committees, comprising respected members of the community are undertaking audits of climate projects and local authorities are starting to recognise the value climate committees bring to local planning and oversight.

Expected outcomes of the project are:

  • More transparent and accountable climate financing systems
  • More open inclusive and fair processes that lead to better quality climate adaptation projects
  • More international climate funding for Bangladesh
  • Safer more climate secure lives for Bangladeshi people.

Fair Labour Migration Project

This project aims to increase the protection of labour migrants through aligning the interests of multiple stakeholders (government, parliamentarians, private sector and civil society) to improve transparency, accountability and access to information in the migration process/system. Labour migration is an integral part of the current global economy. Being a labour surplus country Bangladesh participates in the supply side of the labour market. Last year, Bangladesh received 15.54 billion as remittance from its migrant labour force.

The government of Bangladesh acknowledges the importance of labour migrants in transforming Bangladesh into a lower middle-income country from the least developed country. In 2018 over 700,000 migrants left Bangladesh for overseas employment, nearly 70% to gulf countries. Of these, around 14% are women, mostly involved in unskilled domestic work. Independent research identifies that a high percentage of these migrants have suffered some form of abuse: 51% experienced fraud, harassment and inhumane or degrading treatment, women were particularly at risk of physical abuse and sexual violations; 19% were not able to go overseas after paying the majority or all of the fees, on average migrant families lost BDT 243,000 in cases of failed migration. On arrival in the host country, women are particularly vulnerable.

The Fair Labour Migration project is supporting collective action towards making labour migration pathways fair, safe and regularized in partnership with RMMRU, WARBE DF, BOMSA and YPSA with strong collaboration with BMET, MoEWOE, MoFA, and the Parliamentarian Caucus on Migration and Development. The project partners, in collaboration with national, regional and international actors, are also working actively towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of Global Compact on Migration (GCM).

Food Safety Project

Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the project aims to increase governance transparency and accountability in the poultry sector leading to informed policymaking, safer production and distribution of poultry products and economic benefits for small-scale farmers (including women farmers). The poultry sector is the main source of protein for poorer people. Approximately 70% of rural households are engaged in livestock production which includes poultry farming as a key source of their livelihoods and around 68% of the agricultural labour force are women.

The aim of the project is to support inclusive processes to improve the regulation, monitoring and enforcement of food safety standards in the poultry sector, increase awareness of and information about food safety and safer production methods of small-scale distributors and producers in the sector, and, increase consumer awareness of and demand for safe food. By demonstrating the value of and encouraging more inclusive multi-stakeholder engagement on policy related to the governance and regulation of the poultry sector there is potential to improve: the scientific production of safe inputs in the sector; the use of safer farming practices and more hygienic distribution and market provision; the knowledge of and access to information for small scale farmers on safe production practices; and, access to information for citizens that increases the demand for safer poultry providing a market that incentivizes safe production.

Food Safety Project is working in partnership with Beez Bister Foundation (BBF), Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) with strong collaboration with Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, Department of Livestock Services (DLS) and Directorate of National Consumers Rights Protection (DNCRP).

Climate-induced Migration Project

Coastal communities have faced significant challenges due to erosion and flooding for decades. Erosion due to shifting river patterns has led to the loss of thousands of hectares of land, leading to displacement, ongoing vulnerability and significant migration. Climate change is exacerbating this problem. Many of the displaced people end up in slums in Dhaka in search of unskilled employment, living in substandard housing without access to decent education, water and sanitation or health facilities. Currently, around 500,000 migrants, many of whom are also climate displaced, are arriving in Dhaka annually.

This project aims to establish how civil society, government and private sector working together can create a different pathway for climate-induced migrants – through demonstrating how secondary cities that practice accountable and transparent processes, can offer migrants with improved employment opportunities, access to services and a better quality of life.
PROKAS is working with a range of stakeholders including the private sector, local and national government, and civil society to create

  • Employment opportunities for migrants by enabling private sector growth
  • Supporting the local government to develop green infrastructure
  • Creating consensus at the national level to encourage adoption of the necessary policies

Currently, five partners in collaboration with several government ministries and local level stakeholders are working on climate-induced migration program:

  • Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS)
  • Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University
  • International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)
  • Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, RMMRU
  • Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD)

The overall expected outcomes of the project are

  • To demonstrate a replicable scalable model for developing secondary cities that can support climate displace migrants
  • Opportunities for climate-induced migrants to live in dignity
  • More transparent, accountable and inclusive processes.