WHERE WE WORK
United Kingdom is located off the north-western coast of Europe. The country as a whole is Great Britain, consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Eventhough the United Kingdom contributes significantly to the world economy, the country is facing severe social issues. Environmental pollution, inequality (low pay and poverty), unemployment and underemployment, race-related issues, aging population, mental health issues, and drug and alcohol abuse are some of the most serious issues which have to be dealt with.
Air pollution is caused mostly by highway traffic. Air pollution in the UK is the biggest environmental health threat and it is responsible for around 36,000 premature deaths per year. Therefore, suitable measures have to be taken to improve the UK air quality and to reduce harmful emissions.
Another critical issue facing the UK is how to house the aging population. Housing needs of the people often change as they grow older. According to the Briefing paper (Number 09239, 3 June 2021) of House of Commons Library, around 12.3 million people of the UK population (19%) was 65 or above in 2019. The older population in the UK is projected to grow, with people aged 65 and above making up 24% of the population by 2043 (17.4 million people). The proportion of the population aged 75 and above is projected to rise from 8% in 2018 to 13% in 2043, while the proportion aged 85 and above is projected to rise from 2% to 4%. As such, there is range of challenges like maintaining their independence and well-being, accessibility, access to information and support services etc. to be considered in the development work in order to ensure that the older people are better met with their housing needs.
Prevalence of mental health problems are also a growing public health concern. One in four adult and 1 in 10 children in the UK are experiencing some sort of psychiatric disorders. Dementia is also an another growing challenge which affects older people after the age of 65. In the UK it is estimated that around 850,000 people and England alone about 676,000 are affected with dementia. Effective and evidence-based mental health services for adults, children and young people have to be developed and delivered in the way that work better for them.
The UK current unemployment rate is 4.4% and the rate is varied between ethnic minority groups from 3.8% for people from White ethnic background to the lowest 12.3% for Bangladeshi. Both unemployment and underemployment are future challenges and assistance is to be allocated to reduce this disparity.
As a third sector organization, ReDI can play a vital role in finding an innovative solutions reaching most needy people and offer them high-quality service.
Sri Lanka, formally known as Ceylon, is an island located off the southern tip of India. Sri Lanka consists of wide range of topographic features with distinguishable central highlands, the plains, and the coastal belt, making the island one of the most scenic place in the world.
Sri Lanka has experienced steady economic growth during the recent years, achieving middle-income status in 2010 with a GDP per capita of USD 3,853 (2019). Despite steps forward, significant disparities in income levels and access to basic services remain across the country. Extreme poverty is concentrated in geographical pockets and relatively large share from the total population of 21.8 million subsists on slightly more than the poverty line.
Informal workers in the country comprise about 70 percent of the workforce and particularly vulnerable for any shock as they lack employment protection. Skill development is an essential country need in order to improve the employability and potential productivity of the work force. Special interventions have to be implemented to improve relevant skills of young people to make a smooth transition from school to work and ensure they are employable.
Even though, the Northern Province of Sri Lanka showed a sign of rapid economic recovery with the end of the civil conflict in 2009, shortage of skilled labour, scarcity of water, weak infrastructures specially related to agriculture and fishery sector development and the prevailing social issues continue to impede the economic development.
Climate-related hazards create a significant threat to economic and social development in Sri Lanka and have a heavy economic cost. Most frequent weather-related disasters are floods, landslides, and droughts. High prevalence of dengue, a vector-borne (mosquito) viral disease with reported high number of death every year is another vulnerability factor. Occurrence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) without a known underlying cause is also a health issue and farmers are the most affected and vulnerable occupational group.
Innovations through R&D are essential to address the development needs of Sri Lanka and to be competitive globally. On the other hand, the growth and commercialization is critical to succeed in R&D and have not shown significant success in Sri Lanka. Research for Development Innovations CIC works closely with universities and technological institutions and creates a mechanism to commercialize or wider dissemination their R&D efforts.
Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world and a high-risk country to the effect of climate change and natural disasters. Unstable economic growth, rising rates of unemployment and under-employment, are the key issues to be addressed eliminating poverty in Nepal.
The Government has admitted that Nepal will graduate from Least Developed Country category to Middle-Level Income countries by 2021 and reach Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The specific interventions are to be considered to raise extreme poverty level from US$ 1.90 per person per day to reach US$ 3.20 required for Lower Middle-Income level category. It will also be an essential requirement to support vulnerable local communities to ensure long term sustainability of Nepal.
Research for Development Innovations CIC supports to implement interventions that meet government recommended key priority areas of increase food production of basic food commodities, prudent and effective management of natural resources, expand economic opportunity and enhance institutional
Bangladesh has achieved some remarkable success in the areas of development during the past few years. Good progress was also achieved in the Sustainable Development Goals of minimising economic poverty; reducing malnutrition, undernourishment and stunting; healthy lives; primary education enrolment; increasing gender equality, financial inclusion, and access to electricity and safe sanitation; and marine protection during the period of 2016-2020. However, the disparity in poverty incidence between urban and rural areas, and western and eastern regions of the country is noticeable. The country has identified the areas that require actions for improvements such as reducing income inequality, providing universal access to health coverage and quality education, meeting urban demands, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and mobilizing financial resources.
The government of Bangladesh has its plan to achieve the following milestones: (i) accelerate the average annual growth rate from 7.1% to 8.0%, (ii) reduce poverty from 20.5% to 15.6% and extreme poverty from 10.5% to 7.4%, and (iii) provide 11.33 million new jobs.
Limited labour absorption capacity in the industry and service sector also remains a challenge in the employment generation in the country. Increased private sector participation is essential to meet the country’s development needs. The absence of framework for private-public-partnership remains a barrier for the private sector to participate in the country’s development work. There is a need and an opportunity to change the paradigm to enable the private sector to play a major role in the financing, management, and operations of the infrastructure intimately connected to developmental goals. The majority of businesses in Bangladesh are informal and the cost of doing business is high. The banking sector is the primary lender but faces many challenges, particularly in aiding the SME sector effectively. Improving the banking sector, the ease of doing business, business environment, and investment climate are essential components that could help accelerate private sector development.
Bangladesh faces serious climate challenges. The country is ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. Changing rainfall and water flow patterns, coupled with poverty incidence, high population density, rapid urbanization, and reliance on livelihoods that are weather-sensitive have been affecting rural livelihoods, food security, public health, and access to infrastructure and social services. Sustainable management of water, natural ecosystem, environment and land resources in the context of climate change and disaster vulnerabilities are pivotal issues that require immediate attention of the local and global bodies.
Research for Development Innovations CIC works in Bangladesh to implement interventions that can bring solutions to the development challenges faced by Bangladesh and provide evidence-based recommendations for policy changes.