Program and project implementation

Steps has gained huge experience and expertise in program/project implementation and management through executing various projects on gender, human rights and governance in almost all divisions of the country. Those projects and programs focused on different aspects of women’s human rights and rights violations, various governance related issues (especially on the local government), education, women’s political participation, women’s economic empowerment, gender-responsive planning and budgeting at local and national level, youth development, food security, agriculture, climate change etc. Steps implemented those projects or programs with technical and financial assistance from different international organizations and UN bodies as well as government ministries/institutions.

From the very beginning, Steps’ one of the main themes of work is women’s human rights and VAWG is one of the main issues. For the last almost 3 decades Steps has been implementing its program on promotion and protection of women human rights and gender equality with particular focus on violence against women to achieve its mission. In last 28 years (Since 1993 till date) Steps has implemented a number of programs and projects on women human Rights including VAWG and SRHR at 8 divisions, 20 districts, 55 upazila, 450 union and with 500 educational institutions and these are still continuing. Some of the most significant projects implemented by Steps so far are as follows: Strengthening Movement to Advance Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, APARAJITA-Political Empowerment of Women; Strengthening Gender Responsive Local Governance; Strengthening Civil Society Participation in implementing CEDAW Convention in Bangladesh, AGNIJITA-Political Empowerment of Marginalized Women; Best School for Girls and Boys; Promote Inclusive Educational Environment for the Physically Challenged Students; Stop child marriage and sexual harassment; Prevent violence against women and girls; Promote Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; Economic empowerment and innovative value chain development for marginalized farmers and producers etc.

Awareness campaign and policy advocacy

Steps has been involved in policy advocacy and awareness raising campaign engaging active citizens, youth volunteers and evidence based field experience and learning documents for enacting non-discriminatory laws, formulating gender responsive policy and budget and take other necessary steps for establishing human rights. Steps also works in collaborative partnership with local government and educational institutions for gender responsive governance and services and inclusive and equitable education. Steps did advocacy with different government ministries with other civil society organizations to implement UN recommendations, government national and international commitments related with human rights. Steps has experience and expertise in community and institutional campaign on different issues. Steps has a strong base of social and youth volunteers in different parts of the country and they are initiating campaign on different rights issues and against any kinds of discriminations, gender based violence, early and child marriage, SRHR etc.

Steps has allied with various mainstream human rights organizations as well as international human rights treaties and conventions like CEDAW, UPR, and Beijing PFA. It involved with various campaign and advocacy initiatives along with others to achieve national target including Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Steps has developed collective platform for CEDAW, UPR, GAD, SDG, GRB, GIMF, PRSP etc. and played the secretariat role in recent past and coordinated as well as associated well. Through this, Steps has earned huge recognition from national and international allies working on these issues. Steps played the secretariat role to many national level responses (Citizens’ Initiatives on CEDAW-Bangladesh; gender and PRSP Group; Gender in Media Forum etc.) Especially, Steps has a long working relationship with UN Women regarding many gender and development issues. The organization plays the role of secretariat of CEDAW platform since its beginning in 2007 with support of UN Women.

Steps was actively involved with advocacy with the government for implementation of National Women Advancement Policy 2011 and the development of National Action Plan to prevent violence against women (2013-2025). Steps was the member of NAP working group and contributed to engendering the Sixth Five Year Plan (2011-2015). Campaign activities were done in the past years to help targeted community people, students and others to enhance their knowledge on gender equality and women’s human rights issues. Steps organized several campaign programs to stop violence against women, sexual harassment, early marriage and women’s political participation all the year round on Sexual Harassment, Campaign on Women’s political participation, 16 days activism to stop VAW, CEDAW Day observation etc. Community people enthusiastically participated in these campaign programs. Beside these major three campaign programs, other campaign programs were done during the year such as mobilization, human chain, cultural program etc. As a result of these campaign activities, people better awareness of violence against women and its different forms at family and society is created. Community expressed their commitment for socially abandon the perpetuators and help create social protection for victim and her family.

Study and research

Steps carries out monitoring and research to see the changes at both field and national level, and to help take the right measures in right time and to track the programs in terms of achievements and challenges. Steps conducted many quantitative and qualitative research, study and action research. More than 35 researches were conducted by Steps during its journey with different ministries, UN bodies and national and international organizations. The major issues were: Gender, Women Human Rights, Education, Drugs Problem, Women, Children, Youth, Persons with Disability, Health, Road Constructions, Small Cottage and Micro Enterprises, Indigenous Communities, Agriculture, Climate Changes, Power and energy, SRHR, GBV and Early and Child marriage and Mental Health. In addition, some of its recent studies include disaster vulnerability, entrepreneurship development, community health care management, fair wage of agriculture labor, youth leadership, drop-out of secondary students, quality and inclusive education, socio-economic impact of bridge/culvert on rural roads, mental health, gender responsive teaching method and management etc.

IEC and BCC Material Development (Audio-Visual and Printing)

Steps has developed a great deal of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials in print and audio-visual forms. Steps produced these need-based print materials like book and booklet, poster, leaflet, information card, sticker etc. for education, awareness-raising, training and advocacy on gender equality, human rights and good governance, for all levels, in all sectors in a reader-friendly way. Steps Towards Development has an experienced and skilled team of staff who have expertise in producing different types of campaign and advocacy materials. Steps also developed a number of issue-based training modules and materials especially on gender and human rights issues for capacity building of development activists of different levels that are being widely used by Steps as well as other organizations. 

Side by side, Steps produced audio-visual materials for wider audience like documentary films, TV spot, reportage etc. These print, AV and training materials are well-recognized and used widely by GO and NGOs to facilitate capacity building activities, campaign and advocacy, orientation at community as well as institutional level. It is noteworthy that Steps Towards Development is one of the pioneering organizations that developed user-friendly print, AV and training materials in easy Bangla language so that the development activists as well as common people can understand the evolving concepts of gender and human rights.

Capacity-building and mentoring-coaching

Steps Towards Development, is working to build the capacity of development workers, activists and institutions to promote gender equality, human rights and good governance. It developed training modules and materials that are being used by Steps as well as other organizations. Through these efforts, Steps also developed trainers at both local and national level to ensure continuous dissemination of gender mainstreaming concepts. Steps has a unique mechanism for transferring knowledge, skill and information from national to local level. Steps regularly conducts training to develop facilitation skill of development activists from different organizations on gender equality. Besides, Steps has taken initiatives to develop the capacity of development organizations to implement gender sensitive policies for their projects and change their organizational practice.

Since its inception Steps has conducted customized trainings for different national and international organizations and ministries of Bangladesh Government. Steps has expertise in regular mentoring, coaching and information sharing to community people and social volunteers in different issues related with gender equality, human rights and gender responsive governance to educate and raise community voice and initiatives. Steps took initiative for developing youth leadership, carried out social action works through youth volunteers and done mentoring-coaching activities by youth facilitators and trainers. Steps conducted capacity-building programs for teachers, mentoring and coaching of student volunteers, training curriculum and materials development on different human rights issues for school level to ensure violence-free institutions at 18 districts. The major topics of the training provided by Steps were: Gender and gender equality, gender mainstreaming, gender and development, gender and ICT, organizational development and management in gender context, gender awareness and development, gender advocacy,  gender and governance, early marriage, CEDAW, entrepreneurship development, development internship etc.