For the last 20 years Dnet as a not-for-profit social enterprise provided solutions and implemented development projects for the improvement of the life of women, children, youth especially supporting those who are marginalized. Dnet has a firm track record to work on the issues of legal and human rights, governance, social accountability and right to information. Dnet’s inputs internationally renowned projects and large government initiatives like Pallitathya Kendra, InfoLady, Aponjon, 999 et al succeeded in national scale.
With the continuing growth of the economic development indicators of Bangladesh, the development ecosystem and funding patterns are rapidly changing. In addition the economic uncertainty of the primary funding countries, as well as the shift of their own priority, from philanthropy to the sense of security more, the donor funding is reducing drastically for Bangladesh.
Dnet has taken some well-defined steps in policy and practice to fight this extraordinary situation. To continue Dnet’s legacy of the leading role in solution design in the domain, the new strategy is expanding the horizon from technology to multi-disciplinary knowledge where the country Bangladesh is vastly lagging the experts. Without understanding the context, applying solutions from other context or culture may not provide results in the long run.
Complex social problems like poverty, lack of education, poor health and wellbeing, corruption, security threat, business failure etc. needs a proper understanding of the local context from systems thinking approach. It is very difficult for those who are from the other culture or context to design solutions without understanding the local ecosystem properly.
Dnet is now developing tools where data-driven digital systems and models will help to understand the ecosystem better, even for the donors and out of context experts. For many projects Dnet is now working with the donors or implementing partners to understand the local ecosystem and context deeper.
As an example, in one project partnering with the government of Bangladesh, Dnet is finding ways, how malpractice like false bid or pre-bid nexus of the government contractors can be detected using tender data analysis and network simulation. In another project with micro-merchants, we are trying to learn why some of the shopkeepers are so successful in a specific area and some fail. Then using analytical tools, we will try to learn and will feed the learned knowledge to the failing shopkeepers to do better. These are new ideas of leveraging the society to prosper using its own learning re-feeding using domain knowledge and digital technology. Using this process we are becoming more and more knowledge partners in the developing community and it is providing good results.
We look forward to a better and sustainable future for Dnet if we can succeed with the current plan of leveraging the partnership with the other ecosystem player, not only with technology service but more as a local expert in cross-domain knowledge. For the systems thinking the approach and from the new development philosophy “local experts” are the key to understanding a problem, for developing a solution and for sustainability. We hope if Dnet can succeed with these ideas, it will make a significant impact on the development practice in Bangladesh where local implementers will take a knowledge lead for doing good for people.