Bangladesh has been making remarkable progress in its pursuit of a “Digital Bangladesh to Smart Bangladesh: The road to 2041” vision. The country’s strong political will and relentless efforts have propelled the adoption of digital technologies, not only within the government but across sectors, to achieve national and sustainable development goals.

The use of the National Sanitation Dashboard (NSD) at the national level and the Integrated Municipal Information System (IMIS) at the sub-national level are prime examples of how digital technologies are revolutionizing sanitation service delivery. Under the 61 towns project, jointly funded by the government of Bangladesh and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NSD was established to facilitate the implementation of solid waste and faecal sludge management systems in municipalities and city corporations. Additionally, with support from the Gates Foundation, the IMIS was piloted in Jheneidah, Khulna, and Khustia cities.

While these public data systems have significantly shaped investment, planning, management, and monitoring of sanitation services, challenges remain. Data fragmentation, duplication, and a lack of a comprehensive data governance framework hinder the potential impact and accessibility of these initiatives, particularly for marginalized communities.

To address these challenges, the “Public Data Systems Strengthening in Bangladesh (PDSSB)” program has been initiated. Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and positioned within the SDG Accelerator Framework, this program aims to harmonize data indicators, establish a data governance framework, and ensure the widespread adoption of the IMIS. The Global Water & Sanitation Center at Asian Institute of Technology (GWSC-AIT) in coordination with Technical Advisory Group for Data (TAG’D), under the leadership of LGD, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (MoLGRDC) kicked-off the “Public Data Systems Strengthening in Bangladesh (PDSSB)” programme on Thursday, May 11. The programme will be managed by DPHE as the technical arm of the LGD.

The PDSSB program will play a pivotal role in unifying data initiatives, enhancing coordination between organizations, and building public trust in data privacy matters. It is a significant step towards achieving the SDG 6.2 agenda of safely managed sanitation for all by 2030.

Let’s congratulate Bangladesh on its achievements and support the PDSSB program to unlock the full potential of digital technologies for inclusive and sustainable development. Together, we can build a brighter future for all! 🌍💪

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