Friday, June 27, 2008

Bangladesh surveys disabled people to build a country-wide database

From PR Newswire June 25:

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- The data collection form to be used for the survey in the pilot project on developing a National Database on Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh has been approved by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh on May 15, 2008.

The National Forum of Organizations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD) and Therap (BD) Ltd. are implementing this project jointly with the Department of Social Services (DSS), Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, and the Jatiyo Protibondhi Unnayan Foundation (JPUF).

"With this approval, the project is taking a big step forward," said Priyanka Kabir, who is coordinating it from Therap's end. "The form will be used in the survey keeping in mind the project's goals, which includes identification of the actual number of persons with disabilities in the country, demographic and disability data management, and statistical reports generation.

"We will now begin the most important phase which is data collection and entry," Dr. Nafeesur Rahman, Director of NFOWD believes. "This is a long felt, but giant step forward."

Expressing his optimism about the piloting, he added, "Once this piloting is done, if the Government of Bangladesh allocates adequate budgets in the coming years, we could gradually cover the entire country, and all persons with disabilities could be brought under the national database. This will not only help us getting invaluable information about them in details, but also help the Government, donors and NGOs for practical planning purposes.

"The pilot project is being implemented in 6 out of 64 districts of Bangladesh. The database will store demographic and disability related information of around 200,000 (two hundred thousand) persons with disabilities. The database software will use fingerprint recognition technology for identification and verification of the data entered into the database. Once completed, the database will be available online for the authorized government officials.