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Community Contribution

How Do Offices Beat Gender Barriers in Bangladesh?

Emily Janoch, T. Sharmin, B.K. Mahalder
As a part of USAID Feed the Future's Agriculture Extension Support Activity in Bangladesh, the Dhaka Asiana Mission and CARE Bangladesh worked with local farmers, service providers, and private sector companies to understand the most important changes the project could introduce to the system to increase farmer access to services. By using a human centered design approach, piloting solutions on a small scale, and using data for regular feedback across all of the stakeholders, the project has been able to introduce several innovations that will help extension agents work more effectively and their client farmers be more productive. While the models are still in the testing phases, we have already seen encouraging results from this CLA approach.
* 97% of stakeholders are satisfied with the design of the centers, and 93% say this model is effectively meeting farmers' needs.
* Farmers, especially women farmers, say they have more access to extension agents than they did before the service centers were constructed.
* Sub-Assistant Agricultural Officer (SAAOs) themselves feel more respected and valued in their jobs, and report higher job satisfaction.
* 87% of farmers say that this model has improved the effectiveness of extension services. 63% of farmers say they gained new skills as a result of the approach.
* Women SAAOs report feeling more effective at their jobs by having a safe space to work from.

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