Organizational working strategy

Since its inception, Steps has been following the program strategies:

  • Networking and Alliance Building with civil society, community based organizations, different local and national networks, platforms, forum etc.
  • Collaborative partnership with different Ministries and Government mechanisms as well as political parties and media

Networking and Alliance-building

Steps always recognizes that in Bangladesh, profound social change cannot be achieved in an isolation from the cultural, social and structural factors impacting on gender relations. Therefore, Steps focuses on a strategy that reaches out to all directions. Steps is aligning all the way down to individual activists working at the roots of communities, through local level NGOs and networks. On the other hand, it also reaches up to inform and influence national level policy makers. Steps builds networks with social activists, like-minded civil society organizations and people, government bodies at local, national and regional level to raise collective voice against patriarchy and any types of discrimination. Side by side, Steps has networking with different collective platform at local, national and regional level Through this process, Steps became a contributor and stakeholder of women’s development and women’s rights movement in Bangladesh.

Steps follows the approach of implementing program through the collective platform of local networks namely Gender and Development Alliance. Steps likes to work collectively and thus it tries to build alliance with different local and national networks, platforms, forum etc. while working on common issues. Following are some examples of Steps’ association with collective networks/forums at national and local level:


Citizens’ Initiatives on CEDAW, Bangladesh (CIC-BD) is a coalition of 54 leading non-government and human rights organizations working for full ratification and implementation of CEDAW. The platform has been formed in 2007 and since then it has submitted two alternative reports on CEDAW in 2010 and 2016 which recommendations also been considered by UN CEDAW committee and Bangladesh Government. Steps Towards Development is playing the secretarial role of the platform. Human Rights Forum-Bangladesh (HRFB) is a collective platform of 20 human rights organizations working for protecting and promoting human rights of the citizens and preparing a combined stakeholder’s report and submitting this report to UN URC.

Steps is playing active role as a member of the Steering Committee. Gender in Media Forum (GIMF) is a national level platform of NGOs, media houses and advertising agencies that is working to ensure gender sensitivity of different print and electronic media. Steps Towards Development is playing the secretarial role of the platform. Steps is the Secretariat of Gender and Development alliance (GAD Alliance), a national platform of 120 grassroots organizations and civil society representatives, which has 20 years of working experience in 18 districts and there are 15 local networks exist at those areas.

Gender and Development Alliance – GAD Alliance

Gender and Development Alliance (GAD Alliance) is a national platform of Steps and 15 local networks consisting of 120 civil society organizations, social activists and women leaders working together for an equitable and inclusive governance and services for more than 20 years. GAD Alliance was formed in 2002 with an aim of promoting gender equality, human rights and good governance. GAD Alliance creates example to develop learning collaboration among civil society, elected representatives and service providers at all levels for promoting gender equality, human rights and good governance.

The Alliance is trying to focus/highlight the local experience, echo the grassroots voices and demands at national level for policy advocacy. It implemented the activities at local level through its local networks. Since its inception, GAD Alliance along with Steps played a role in developing collaborative partners at local level, making strategy for local level program implementation, coordinate and monitor program implementation at districts and pilot areas.

Role of GAD Alliance:

  • Coordinate the program implementation at district, sub-district and union level
  • Organize, facilitate and monitor activities of local level
  • Develop collaborative partnership with government administration, local government, service providing institutions and political parties
  • Run campaign and advocacy programs on VAW and WPP issues both at district and national level
  • Promoting volunteerism specially among young generation

Steps always promotes social volunteerism and activism at national and local level. Steps upholds a mandate to revitalize the diminishing volunteerism of society, engaging men, women, boys and girls. With these groups, social volunteers groups have been developed at different levels to change the behavior and attitude of the society towards women and girls, to promote and protect women human rights, and to raise collective voice against any types of discrimination.   

Collaborative partnership

Steps is committed to build learning sharing collaboration between public institutions and civil society from local to national level for influencing policy and increasing responsiveness at practice level. Collaborative partnership among the stakeholders and different advocacy initiatives helps to influence the policy makers to work on increasing effectiveness of legislation, policies, national action plans and accountability systems to prevent and end VAW/G. Steps build collaborative partnership with different Ministries and Government mechanisms e.g. local government institutions, Local Administrations, WID sub-committee, Women Development Forum, Nari Nirjaton Protirodh Committee etc. as well as political parties and media in national at local level.

Steps has many such previous examples where it worked in local level through networking and collaborative partnership approach for building knowledge and awareness on different women human rights issues as well as link the experience at national and global level for advocacy for policy formulation, policy influence and policy change. For example, while working on birth registration, marriage registration, women’s political participation, gender responsive budgeting, sexual harassment, gender based violence and other women’s rights issues and instruments, Steps always followed these strategies and achieved commendable success.

Briefly, with the support of the networks, organizations and committed people, Steps is committed to building a system of learning collaboration from local to national level. These learning collaborations exist between and among civil society, media, service providers and community people. It required establishing collective platforms at both national and local level. These collective platforms have developed facilitators and social actors within civil society, professional groups, people’s representatives, students and women activists. At national level, it has developed collaborative partnership with MoWCA, ERD, finance, education, health and LG ministries for considering gender issues in their respective fields. At local level Steps has partnership with different service providers and govt. institutions (e.g. kazi office, health centers, schools) to make them responsive towards establishing a just society.

List of some collaborative partners Steps Towards Development worked with

  1. With Government Ministries and Institutions
  • Ministry of Women and Child Affairs (MoWCA)
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Ministry of Local Government
  • Ministry of Social Welfare
  • Ministry of Labor and Employment
  • Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock
  • Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs
  • Ministry of Finance

2. Government Institutions

  • Local Government Engineering Department (LGED)
  • Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET)
  • National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB)
  • Planning Academy
  • IMED of Planning Ministry
  • National Institute of Population Research & Training (NIPORT)
  • IFAD EP-1
  • Directorate of Non-Formal Education (DNFE)
  • Directorate of Primary Education -DPE
  • Mymensingh Aqua Culture Extension Project, Small Enterprise Development Project
  • Birth registration District Task force
  • National Nutrition Programme (NNP)
  • Department of non-formal education
  • Department of Primary Education
  • Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC)
  • Bangladesh Bank

3. With United Nations Bodies

  • UN Women
  • UNDP

4. With Development Partners and International organizations

  • ILO Bangladesh
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  • International Republic Institute (IRI)
  • CARE-Bangladesh
  • Action Aid-Bangladesh
  • PLAN International Bangladesh
  • Save the Children
  • OXFAM Bangladesh
  • World Vision Bangladesh
  • VSO Bangladesh
  • DanChurchAid
  • H&M Hennes & Maurtiz AB

5. Community Organizations and NGOs

  • Steps worked with more than 120 local level NGOs and community organizations