Social security is important not only for addressing vulnerability, but also for solving the problems of entrenched poverty and reducing marginalization. Bangladesh’s latest initiative in social security — the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) — takes up the challenges through an inclusive, focused and coordinated approach to poverty reduction. The successful implementation of the NSSS will provide a strong basis for Bangladesh to extend proper social security to its poor and vulnerable population.
The Union Parishad (UP) is the main gateway and implementing authority of social safety net programmes at grassroots level. The capacity building and training of UPs and their representatives is very important to ensure quality to implement and strengthen the management system, including those of finance and monitoring. In order to implement a successful capacity building and training programme, it is, however, important that we undertake correct diagnosis of capacity gaps based on assessment of individuals’ training needs, which will primarily be related to organisational needs of UPs, and identify and address the capacity gaps by targeting training contents designed and conducted in conformity with best practices, with an emphasis on interactive learning.
The objectives of the training needs assessment (TNA) are to: (a) map the capacity gaps of elected UP representatives and officials pertaining to social security programme and suggest the capacity enhancement required; and (b) assess training needs to enhance the capacity of UPs representatives and officials to support the implementation of the NSSS. The study was carried out in the project areas of the SWAPNO project in Satkhira and Kurigram to determine the perception of the UP representatives and Secretaries on various areas of implementation of social security programmes.