Adolescents constitute about 23 percent of the total population in our country and to meet these large portions of population demand, a number of organizations (Development Partners, Government, INGOs, NGOs etc,) have initiated interventions tailored to the need of the adolescents. The organizations and individuals interested in this area proposed to form a platform/Network which would be a non-government, not for profit and voluntary network of organizations and individuals working in the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights and services. In this context a meeting on 2003 was held at Marie Stopes Bangladesh and a network formed named Network for Ensuring Adolescents Health, Rights and Services.
The goal of this network was to support and promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights, services and program initiatives. However, for some unavoidable circumstances, the network stopped working after 2012 and Marie Stopes Bangladesh under its Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR) Project took the initiative to reactivate NEARS once again in such a way so that it could sustain by itself. The Strategic Planning Workshop of NEARS-2017 is a part of this initiative.
The specific objectives of the workshop were:
The workshop adopted a participatory and interactive methodology that comprised several group sessions, brain storming and activities where participants were asked to divide in groups. This was done in random sample basis. The session ended with a flipchart presentation from the participants.
The participants were from NEARS member organizations including Executive Director, Team Leader, Program Officer, Coordinator, convener and representatives. The vice presidents of NEARS attended various sessions throughout the workshop. The total number of participants were thirty-one (male- 17; female- 14). The participants had a strong background on adolescents’ reproductive health rights issues and they had their roles and responsibilities to improve the adolescents’ vulnerable situation in Bangladesh.
The workshop was residential, it in fact started from 21st March 2017 when the nominated personnel reached to the venue. The opening session started with an introduction from NEARS members where they mentioned their working perimeter regarding Adolescents and Youth and expressed their expectations from this strategic planning workshop. At the same time a brainstorming took place to let everyone know the NEARS partners’ interventions in SRHR. A working area mapping also done focusing member organizations role on ASRHR.
The next day started with the National Anthem of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. After that a short welcome speech given by Imrul Hasan Khan, Member-Secretary, NEARS. He pointed out on his speech that a strategic planning is not a magic bullet to do all task in a quick manner rather to make an action plan where the mission is endless. He welcomed all members of NEARS to take part in achieving the objectives set out in this plan. The entire session was divided into several part and the workshop continued with a successive manner.