Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development
|Rural development academy|
|Akhtar Hameed Khan|
Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ পল্লী উন্নয়ন একাডেমী (বার্ড)) is an autonomous institution that strives for research and training of local people as well as practitioners on rural development. The Academy is known for implementing Comilla Model in 1960s that has been internationally recognised as a model project for rural development in the developing countries.
BARD was established in 1959 in Comilla (as Pakistan Academy of Rural Development), under the initiative of Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan who became the institution's founder-Director. After the Partition of Pakistan, the institution was renamed to its present form.
The Academy is located at Kotbari, 10 km from Comilla town. The campus is spread over a vast area that also hosts residences, conference rooms, mosque, library, a health clinic, sports complex, and other amenities.
One of the main functions of BARD is to provide training for both officials and non-official members of the public and private institutions working on rural development. The training is provided in the form of courses, visit programmes, workshops and seminars.
The research is basically aimed at collecting socio-economic data for planning and project preparation. Findings are also used for training and information materials by respective public bodies and planning institutions. Research also relate to the evaluation of national rural development programmes either independently or jointly with government agencies, universities and research organisations.
Since its inception BARD has conducted a number of large and small scales development programmes.
- TCCA - In 1960s the Academy evolved a new system of rural cooperatives where small farmers of Comilla sadar thana were organised into primary cooperatives in the form of the federation of Thana Central Cooperative Association. The model has been successfully replicated all over the country.
- The Thana Training and Development Centre (TTDC) (since 1962-63) is a model of decentralised and coordinated rural administration for development. Subsequently, it was renamed as Rural Works Programme (RWP).
- 1969, Thana Irrigation Programme.
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