Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh

Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) founded in 1973 as a successor organisation of the Bangladesh Ecumenical Relief and Rehabilitation Services (BERRS) created by the World Council of Churches (WCC) immediately after the war of liberation for relief and rehabilitation leading to mid and long-term development activities. It is a national organisation and works under the banner of the National Council of Churches of Bangladesh (NCCB). An inter-faith body called the Commission governs it. Its services are rendered in the spirit of inter-faith dimensions, irrespective of caste or creed, race or religion. These services are quite separate from evangelism. Initially, CCDB was engaged in welfare and charity, and in addressing relief and rehabilitation needs.

The efforts of CCDB over the last three decades can be phased as relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction (1972- 75), community development focusing on development of human resources (1975-78), collective growth with distributive justice (1978-81), human resource development towards self-reliance (1981-85), justice and equity for the poor based on participation and care (1986-91), sustainable development through people';s participatory process (1991-96) and people centred development (1996 onwards). The mission and objectives of CCDB are to empower the poorest of the poor, including tribal and aboriginal people, to capacitate women';s small local organisational initiatives to make them effective actors/facilitators in sustainable and participatory development, to maintain gender equity at all levels, to enhance human and organisational potential at all levels, and to extend services to disaster victims.

CCDB has programmes on literacy and functional education, livelihood skills training and support, health, food security and nutrition, resourcing for income generation, capacity building of tribal and aboriginal people, gender equity, advocacy/ networking, and environment, disaster preparedness and response.

The management of CCDB is a participatory one. In the central office a total of 9 issue-based sub-committees were formed to streamline various sectional functions and to encourage active participation of the functionaries. To strengthen the process, a central steering committee with representation from each sub-committee was formed. For smooth programme management the central steering committee coordinates and monitors the activities of various sections. It reviews the progress of different programmes/activities, identifies constraints, and suggests remedial measures. It sits once a month. The sub-committees also sit at least once a month. CCDB has a permanent staff of 412 of whom 115 are women. It also has 185 time-bound staff (among them women are 56).

The organisation implements its development programmes in various regions of the country. At present (2010), CCDB is working in 22 districts. Theses are: Manikganj, Rajshahi, Narsingdi, Nawabganj, Naogaon, Natore, Pabna, Gopalganj, Barisal, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Bandarban, Rangamati, Faridpur, Jessore, Magura, Jhenaidaha, Khulna, Satkhira, Kushtia, Narail and cox’s bazar. The programme beneficiaries of CCDB numbered 49 small organisations and 136,595 families.

CCDB's programmes and budget are supported by 14 donor agencies from different parts of the world, including Europe, Australia and USA. The World Council of Churches (WCC), Geneva, co-ordinates a Round Table for CCDB. [Shamsul Huda]