Wednesday, September 23, 2009

United in Spirit, Strategy and Service

~ Habitat Bangladesh Staff Retreat 2009

Habitat For Humanity International – Bangladesh (HFHI-B) is set to serve 10,000 families within the next three years.

In August over 60 HFHI-B staff members from around the country attended the annual retreat in Savar to share emerging developments and challenges, and to discuss a new direction for the organization.

“United in Spirit, Strategy and Service” was the theme of the retreat, providing an opportunity for staff to become familiar with the new strategic direction; unpacking the detail (ki?), why we are changing (Keno?) and how we hope to achieve the vision over the next three years (kibhabe?).

The Strategic Plan until Fiscal Year 2012 will improve building technologies, adapt repayment schedules to ensure affordability, establish strong partnerships, secure further funding and alternate support and strengthen internal work practices.

More specifically, HFHI-B is aiming to attract a dedicated Advisory Board of nine diverse and influential members who will actively advocate for HFHI-B. It is essential to receive guidance from experienced community leaders in order to further engage with government, business and academia.

HFHI-B will engage in participatory market research in order to increase expertise in building and construction. Research will focus on product design development, such as load-bearing blocks and prototype houses to ensure appropriate, affordable, sustainable products and services for our target population.

A major new activity for Habitat Bangladesh is the emergence of mutually benefiting partnerships. In essence, partnerships aim to enable HFHI-B to serve more families - whereby partner organizations take a direct (Implementing Partnerships) or supporting role (Non-Implementing Partnerships) in Habitat projects.

At the Savar retreat, staff provided valuable feedback on the expected effectiveness of Habitat Bangladesh’s evolving direction. The consensus was that the delivery of every HFHI-B mission focus will be significantly improved after the implementation of the FY12 Plan.

National Director Kelly Koch believe the retreat was “a great opportunity to be all together but it’s only the beginning. However it is just one forum for unity – let’s continue the communication, discussion and action throughout the year.”

The more immediate focus – the 2010 Fiscal Year plan - includes serving 1,500 families - 30% through implementing partnerships, reducing the impact of disasters in vulnerable communities, offering engaging CSR opportunities and developing research and appropriate technologies.