Summary of the initial meeting of what would become the BEES Network, which was held in New Delhi in May 2011. The meeting was co-hosted by Isabel Guerrero, Vice President, South Asia Region, World Bank, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, The World Bank Group. The participants representing civil society were:
Ghizaal Haress, Executive Director, Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP), Afghanistan. Ghizaal Haress is Acting Executive Director for Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP). AREDP is a national program implemented by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, funded by a number of donors - mainly the World Bank. Prior to this assignment, Ms. Haress has worked in different capacities with National Democratic Institute (NDI) including; Senior Program Manager for the Institute’s Legislative Program; Senior Program Officer for Parliamentary Women’s Program; and Program Coordinator for Domestic Election Monitoring Project. She has also worked for Womankind Worldwide – a UK based organization promoting women’s rights in developing and post conflict societies. Her work experience also includes working for Global Rights – a US based human rights organizations. She has an LLM from University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies United Kingdom and bachelors degree in Law and Political Science from Kabul University.
Tamara Abed, Director, Aarong, BRAC Dairy and Food Project, and Ayesha Abed Foundation, Bangladesh. Tamara Abed, Director, Aarong, BRAC Dairy and Food Project (BDFP) and Ayesha Abed Foundation (AAF), joined Aarong in 2002 as GM, Design and Product Development. She became Head of Aarong and AAF in June 2005. In May 2006 she was given responsibility of BDFP and became Director in January 2007. She completed her MBA in Finance from Columbia University and B SC. (ECON.) from London School of Economics and Political Science. Tamara started her career as an investment banker in Peregrine Capital Ltd. in Dhaka and then also worked in Goldman Sachs in New York in Mergers and Strategic Advisory. She also worked in BRAC’s Urban Programme for a year in 1998. Tamara is currently serving on the Board of BRAC Bank as a Director nominated by BRAC.
Jharna Dhara Chowdhury, Secretary, Gandhi Ashram Trust, Bangladesh. Jharna Dhara Chowdhury, Secretary, Gandhi Ashram Trust (GAT)—a
philanthropic development organization working at Noakhali. It is working since 1946 with Gandhian philosophy of rural development, peace and social harmony. Since inception, GAT is working for the rural poor, specially for women, in the encircled area of the Ashram. It has two prong functions of development and charitable activities. The goal, objectives and activities of GAT are derived from the core value of Gandhian philosophy and guideline. At present GAT is working for 5 Upazillas (sub-districts) of Noakhali, Lakshmipur and Feni District. It is working directly with 25000 poorest families of the area.
Chime Wangdi Secretary General, Tarayana Foundation, Bhutan. Chime joined Tarayana as Director General of the Foundation in July 2005. Prior to it, she was the head of Policy and Planning Division (PPD) in the Ministry of Agriculture, the Royal Government of Bhutan. She had also been a core working-committee member of the Foundation from the day Tarayana was established. She has recently been promoted as the Secretary General of the Foundation. Chime has dedicated herself to the cause of poverty alleviation in Bhutan for the last 18 years in various capacities including that of Programme Coordinator for the Integrated Horticulture Development Programme, seeking out interventions that bring in cash income as well as improved household nutrition. She brings to the Foundation her experiences and expertise of having served at National Policy as a member of the Planning Commission, Renewable Natural Resources’ sectoral policy as head of PPD, MOA, and as member in many Governmental committees and boards. She was a former member of the Policy Analysts Network, South Asia (PANSA) and continues to serve as one of two National Commissioners for the Independent South Asia Commission on Poverty
Alleviation (ISACPA), and works closely with other national as well as regional poverty alleviation projects and programmes. She has a masters degree from
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. She was born in the year of Dragon.
Vijay Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, and, Mission Director, National Rural Livelihoods Mission, India. Vijay Kumar joined Government service (Indian Administrative Service) in 1983, and worked in Southern State of Andhra Pradesh. He has 27 years experience of working on development. Out of this, more than 20 years have been spent in working on rural development and rural livelihood issues. Vijay headed a state promoted autonomous organization for promoting livelihoods of indigenous people in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and developed new approaches for rural poverty reduction and forest based livelihoods in forest based areas with large population of indigenous people For last 10 years, from 2000 - 2010, Vijay headed an autonomous society of the State Govt., Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (S.E.R.P) responsible for implementing a state wide poverty eradication programme with an outlay of over Rs.2300 crores ($500 million). Vijay joined Govt. of India last year as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development and the first Mission Director, National Rural Livelihoods Mission. He has the responsibility of rolling out a nationwide poverty eradication program based on social mobilization and empowerment of rural poor and particularly women.
Reema Nanavaty, Executive Director, SEWA, India. Having succeeded in joining the coveted Indian Administrative Services, Reema stepped out for a year to come and directly work with the poor women members of the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA). As a manager, she developed the regional rural water supply scheme of Government of Gujarat and SEWA into an integrated water project, and made women central to water decisions. She stayed on with SEWA and expanded the project into an ongoing Women, Water and Work campaign of 40000 women. Since being elected by 2,84,000 members of SEWA as their General Secretary in the year 1999, Reema has expanded SEWA membership to new heights of 5,30,000 making SEWA the single largest union of informal sector workers in India. She currently manages US$6 million strong economic activities of SEWA through a federation of 70 cooperatives, seven district associations of artisans, saltfarmers, and forestry workers, and a direct outlet of 12000 artisans. She initiated and negotiated the first ever NGO-Government of India-IFAD loan to rebuild lives of 60000 earthquake affected women member of SEWA and is currently designing post conflict reconstruction package for 40000 SEWA members affected by recent riots. She sits on various government and multilateral agency committees.
Aminath Arif, Founder and Management Executive of SALAAM School, Maldives. Aminah Arif is Founder and Management Executive of SALAAM
School, which offers technical vocational training, personal skills and development coaching, community development activities and private business
development consultancies. She is Founder member of Women Entrepreneurs Association (WEA) Maldives, Member of SAARC Women Entrepreneurs Council, Member of Small and Medium Development Committee (under the Technical Assistance and Loan Facility Ministry of Economic Development
with Asian Development Bank) and Business Council Member at Ministry of Economic Development.