Vision, Mission, Objectives and Strategy
Fighting for a world of Equity, Justice and free from poverty where Human Rights and Democracy are the Social Cultures.
COAST organizes strategically important activities related to development, which in turn, will facilitate the sustainable and equitable improvement of life, especially of women, children and disadvantaged population of the coastal areas in Bangladesh through their increased participation in the socio-economic, cultural and civic life of the country.
- To facilitate and participate in survival strategies of the coastal poor, especially of the women and the disadvantaged population to gain socio-economic sustainability and a better livelihood standard.
- To support and take necessary steps to mediate initiatives of the poor in realizing their demands on government and other institutions where they have legitimate rights and shares.
- To initiate projects and activities, also with others, with the aim of protecting and preserving the ecological/natural resources of the Bay of Bengal and related river basins.
- To promote advocacy, lobby and seek alliances for policy formulations and behavioral changes of relevant organizations and institutions and of the poor and disadvantaged population in the coastal areas.
- To undertake disaster preparedness and post-disaster rehabilitation programs in the coastal areas.
- To undertake humanitarian welfare services specially for women and children of disadvantaged and poor families.
COAST Strategy for 2015-19
COAST (www.coastbd.net) has emerged as an NGO from a ten-year-old project of an international NGO since the beginning of 1998. It was a project situated in the southern part of Bhola island, i.e., in the mouth of the Bay of Bengal where joint flow of world mighty river Ganjes and Brhamaputra are met, this is one of the world most dangerous cyclone zone. It was painstaking nationalization process have had happened during the period of 1994-1997, mainly these are reducing overhead cost in building capacity and enhancing coverage, empowering beneficiaries to change their role as an active partner of the development initiatives and finally forming board to ensure local accountability.
It has set of values related to its working approach those are Pro-Poor Existence, Experiential Learning, Learning by doing, Equality of Human Potentials, Economy in personal and organizational Behavior, Respect to own Culture, Gender Equality, Right to Participation in Decision making, Communication, Relation and Accountability, People’s Organization, Governance and Environment & diversity. These have been prepared during the period of 1998-99.
It is registered (No. 1242) by the NGO Affairs Bureau of Prime Minister’s Office, Bangladesh Government. It has got registration (No. 00956-04041-00068) from Microcredit Regulatory Authority, Bangladesh Central Bank. COAST is also a certified organization by Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) International.
New Strategic Plan 2015-2019
Program objectives for next five years
a. Sustainability of core program based on a micro finance with RBA
b. Integration of CITEP / climate adaptation to enhance income capacity of the member participants
c. Building People Organization as Alternative Power Structure and Participatory Management
d. Develop a Sustainable Disaster Response and Legal Endowment Fund
e. Campaign and advocacy to facilitate coastal livelihood security especially of fisherman
f. Campaign and advocacy to facilitate pro poor policy especially for climate, economic and tax justice.
g. Expansion also to the growth centre areas for the balancing hard to reach areas.
Management objectives for next five years
a. Building long term committed senior level
b. Development of simple but integrated and effective human resource development approach.
c. Simple but effective program quality monitoring and finance monitoring system
d. Promoting strong pro people corporate identity among community and all other level especially in respect of governance.
e. Diversify organizational income on sustainable basis.
In all the regions, COAST implement a concept of core programs, i.e., appropriates blending of micro finance, institution building, and good governance, development education, Coastal Integrated Technology Extension Program and nutrition and primary health care. The concept has been developed on two premises as follows;
i. the organization will not develop any services which is available among state agencies at local level , rather the organization will mobilize the poor to put and mediate their legitimate claim on those agencies, aiming to facilitate the promotion of responsive and accountable government and
ii. All the components of these core programs will run out of the income from a progressive people centered micro finance operation.
The concept has been developed and tested since 1995. There are a set of sustainable indexes being used for all the regions and the core programs are fully operationally sustainable.
COAST is not minimalist in its micro finance (MF) programs i.e., it is not only exclusively for income enhancement, tailoring to greater empowerment, it has policy direction in this regard title “ Giving Human Face in Micro Finance”, these are i.) MF program should be tailored to greater contribution to poverty reduction and social welfare, ii.) MF is not only a mere service; it is a socially responsible business, iii.) MF program has to be appropriate to livelihood activities of the locality, iv.) MF program should be a part of a holistic approach of empowering people i.e., facilitating capacities on realization of their rights as active citizen. v.) Poor have to do savings for their own capital accumulation and also to meet the expenses during crisis period. vi.) MF management should be transparent, accountable and participatory especially to its clients., and vii.) There should not be any compromise in respect of maintaining standard professionalism in MF management.
The good governance programs in COAST have four components i.e., i. social mobilization to mediate legitimate demand of the poor, and ii. Facilitating access to the local government, iii, institutionalizing democracy and iv. advocacy for policy and behavioral changes (i.e., to minimize gaps between policy declaration and policy implementation especially of the state agencies).
In respect of institution building it is the formation of people’s organization (PO) and leadership development among the poor in the level of groups, Union, Upazila, project and central management of COAST. The POs is not only for social mobilization for legitimate demand mediation, it is also of participation / consultation in management of the programs and organization. POs participation in organizational matters has been systematically integrated. Two People’s Organization representatives are also as the members of Board of Trustee of the organization.
There are weekly sensitizing lessons in the groups as a part of development education program, This has been prepared in view of functional and program objectives, the lessons is also integrated to the providing space for practicing literacy to the neo-literate member participants.
Apart from all those components of core programs there are non-core programs, which is either partly cost recovery basis or fully supported by external funding. COAST emphasizes cost recovery and gradual diminishing of external dependency.
CITEP (Coastal Integrated Technology Extension Program) objective is basically to provide nutritional intake to pregnant mothers and children of poor families, promoting commercially viable income generating activities in integrated agriculture not endangering the ecology, promotion and preservation of local species and plants especially to protect the farmers from patents rights and seed business. In this relation COAST has linked with different national and international networks for campaign and advocacy.
COAST emphasizes to support community initiatives on education so that in one stages the education institutions either solely run by community or taken over by the government. In Bhola there are so far 25 such schools have been taken over by government and in all the projects COAST support around 10 schools so far. Apart from these there are components on community accountability for quality education, which will be the part of governance program. REFLECT (Shonglap-Dialog) have been tailored to the need of adolescent girls and they are involved with their self-income generating activities.
Having long experiences in disaster mitigation, COAST believes in sustainable capacity building of communities. So it is being integrated in all the programs. In long term, the organization is also building a capacity so that any emergency response is not depended on the external assistance. Breaking the isolation, i.e., communication is fundamental in respect of mitigating disaster, COAST has already established strong radio communication along with two rescue boats in its working area which will also serve the purpose of disaster tracking and operating rescue program during disaster.
Networking to Address Structural Issues
COAST believes that, whatever she does, unless there is a change in political culture and commitment from the political parties there will not be sustainable pro poor development and democratic institution. These demand local leadership and critical mass; in this view like COAST local NGOs can play a greater role. Taking this in view COAST initiated the network EJWG (Equity Justice Working Group-EquityBD) (www.equitybd.org)
COAST is involved with networks like CHS Alliance, (former Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International and COAST is also certified with HAP I), ICVA (International Council of Voluntary Agencies), ADRRN (Asian Disaster Risk and Response Network), GKP (Global Knowledge Partnership), CIVICUS (World Alliance for Citizen Partnership), Jubilee South-APMDD (Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development), SAAPE (South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication ), LDC ( Least Development Countries) Watch, APRN (Asia Pacific Research Network), FANSABD (Fresh Water Action Network South Asia Bangladesh), CANSA (Climate Action Network South Asia), CAMPE (Campaign for Popular Education), UNFCCC (United Nation Framework for Climate Change Convention), INAFI ( International Network of Alternative Financial Institution), CDF (Credit and Development Forum), Micro Credit Summit Campaign, Mix Market, Rural Women’s Day Observation Network, BNNRC ( Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication) , Election Working Group, ANLAP (Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance) etc.