Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Job fairs organized by the Disability Network

In 2017, the Bangladesh Employers Federation established the Bangladesh Business and Disability Network (BBDN) to create a more disability inclusive workforce. BBDN is centred on advocacy, inclusion services and awareness raising through job fairs. They bring together employers, DPOs, and NGOs presenting experiences and practices to facilitate disability inclusion. Between 2017 and 2020, four job fairs were organized, resulting in more than 350 jobs with a retention rate of 80 per cent.

“I am feeling really great after getting a job, and I can stand on my own feet now.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Establishment of a Business and Disability Network to Facilitate Employment
Organisation:Bangladesh Business and Disability Network (BBDN)
Country
of Implementation
Bangladesh – Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet
Start Year2017
Sub-CategoryA project of the Business Sector

FACTS & FIGURES

  • BBDN has assisted with more than 350 job placements, with a retention rate of 80 per cent
  • Through scaling with partners, BBDN expects to reach 8,000 people with disabilities and close to 80 employers in Bangladesh by 2022

PROBLEMS TARGETED

There is no platform in Bangladesh to match companies seeking qualified candidates and people with disabilities seeking job opportunities.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

With the Bangladesh Business and Disability Network (BBDN), employers and employers’ associations have created a vehicle to enable a more disabled-friendly workforce. This means that for the first time in Bangladesh, it is no longer NGOs and disability representatives alone who are addressing this issue, but also employers who are coming together and trying to take the lead on this topic.

BBDN holds meetings, webinars, and events with employers where implementations of disability friendly actions are discussed. The organization presents successful policies, practices, and models to promote the integration of persons with disabilities. The commitment and engagement of companies are monitored. The motivation of companies to participate ranges from good experiences in the past to the implementation of CSR commitments. The actual matching process primarily occurs at job fairs, which bring together jobseekers with disabilities, BBDN, and companies.

A male person in a wheelchair gets an envelope from a man standing; both look into the camera. Behind them are one woman and three men standing in a semi-circle.

A job candidate receives an appointment letter from an employer at the Dhaka Job Fair.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

Members of the employer network pay an annual fee (€1,000 for Founding members and €250 for General members) and sponsors co-finance all BBDN activities. Moreover, BBDN continues to acquire funds from various development partners, such as the International Labour Organization, and is also funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the German GIZ.

BBDN and partners are jointly working towards an IT-driven job matching process as part of the Innovation to Inclusion programme led by Leonard Cheshire. BBDN is also working with Sightsavers to build the disability confidence of employers. Through both programmes BBDN wants to serve 80 companies by 2022.

FACTSHEET

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