Date: 18 Jan 2018
Access to Information (a2i) Programme under Prime Minister’s Office recently hosted the “National Dialogue for Mobile Services to Accelerate SDG Achievement in Bangladesh”, an initiative of the GSMA, in partnership with the Bangladesh government, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and AMTOB. The event highlighted the important role the mobile industry can play in helping to achieve the Bangladeshi government’s Vision 2021 development roadmap, as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among a number of topics, the event focused on how commercially sustainable mobile services can be used to empower citizens in an accessible way. a2i drives the creation of a public service innovation ecosystem and delivery infrastructure from the Prime Minister’s Office working closely with the Cabinet Division. At the core of a2i’s strategy is to redesign services in a citizen-centric manner and facilitate innovation across the society. a2i is deepening and widening its work with both public and private sectors to convert innovation prototypes to complete services, many of which can be accessed by the target beneficiaries through smartphones and handheld devices. a2i’s representatives shared the Bangladesh experience in public service innovation especially focusing on innovative mobile services. “Today’s event reinforced the importance of mobile technology in helping the Bangladeshi government achieve its long-term development goals,” said Alasdair Grant, Head of Asia Pacific for the GSMA. “By identifying opportunities that maximize business and social impact, working together, government and the mobile industry can make the 2030 agenda a reality, and in doing so, improve the lives of citizens across Bangladesh.” Both the government of Bangladesh and the mobile industry have demonstrated strong commitment to supporting progress towards the SDGs. By collaborating more closely on opportunities that align with each stakeholder’s organisational goals, the government and industry have an exciting opportunity to unlock digital transformation for millions of Bangladeshis. Attending the National Dialogue were the honourable Minister of Agriculture Begum Matia Chowdhury, the honourable Advisor to the Prime Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Principal Coordinator for SDG affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, Country Director for UNDP Bangladesh Mr. Sudipto Mukherjee, Head of Asia Pacific for the GSMA Mr. Alasdair Grant, the Director General (Admin) of Prime Minister’s Office and the Project Director of a2i Program Mr. Kabir Bin Anwar, and a2i’s Policy Advisor Mr. Anir Chowdhury.
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