Innovation and Learning

Digitalising for transformative change

Bangladesh is a country of over 160 million people, most of whom live in remote rural areas. The nearest access points to public services can typically be 20-25 kilometres away - leading to large delays, prohibitive costs and multiple visits to access points. This puts tremendous strain on Bangladesh's ability to provide basic public services and quality of life to its population, especially to those furthest behind. 

UNDP'S Response 

Through the 'a2i' initiative, UNDP is supporting Bangladesh to radically transform the lives of millions, catalysing citizen-friendly public service innovations, empowering Bangladeshi youth with future skills and bringing government closer to the people. Using an integrated approach, UNDP helped connect private sector and communities to establish over 5,000 digital service centres located not more than 4 kilometres away from every citizen in the country, serving a monthly average of 6 million people with land records, birth registration, banking and rural e-commerce. In addition, an online National Portal gives citizens access to 700 public services from 46,500 government offices - with support from a telephone-based Helpline targeting those with low connectivity in hard to reach areas. These efforts have radically improved service delivery and saved Bangladeshi citizens nearly 2 billion days, over $8 billion and 1 billion visits. About 10,000 new digital self-employment opportunities were also created, half of which for female entrepreneurs. 

Focal Points

  • Anir Chowdhury
    Policy Advisor
    UNDP Bangladesh